Farewell to Northlands Road

Compiled by Dave Allen

September 14, 2000

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Northlands Road, the Home of Hampshire Cricket: 1885-2000

All quotations from the writing of John Arlott

"Back once more on the ground where the backways and the little odd rooms - conjured out of accidental bulges in the old pavilions - are familiar as home. To be sure, the old pros' room has been renovated; its spike-pocked floor renewed and showers, baths and basins installed. Still though the Southampton ground has an air of improvisation, of gradual growth, additions and after-thoughts merging into a unity like the photos, nick-nacks and pieces of china which, over the years, accumulated on our grandparents mantelpieces" (Cricket Journal 1958)

Hampshire's Southampton Grounds:

Antelope 1839 First match (East side of Love Lane) 1842 Daniel Day curator, Hants v England 1845 MCC beat Hants - Day moved to Itchen*

(Cricket continued there under Mr Brooks)

Itchen Ground 1845 Daniel Day moved to ground* (South side of Woolston Road) 1846 First match 1851 Day to East Hants Ground, Southsea 1850s Ground built on

1864 Major cricket returned to Antelope until

Northlands Road 1884 Eight acres leased for £160 pa 1885 Ground opened & first matches 1893 Freehold purchased (£5,400) 1895 First season of Championship Cricket

"1895, that year of transformation, saw also the beginning of the replacement of the old....by the basis of the present building complex. It would normally be categorised as Edwardian; as so many of the county pavilions are or were. With its bright red tiles and brickwork, white woodwork and open to the air in perpetual optimistic expectation of sunshine, it is - or is it that nostalgia makes it seem so? - a generous, essentially summer place." ("A Summer Place" Hampshire Handbook 1985)

1896 Pavilion Facade erected
1896 Southampton FC play there for 2 seasons
1897 Ladies Pavilion built
1911 (White) Scoreboard erected
1956 New office block opened
1959 Indoor School built
1960s Two pavilions joined
1980s County Club developed
1990s Sold for housing development

Adapted: Cricket Grounds of Hampshire - Association of Cricket Statisticians 1988 Notable Events at Northlands Road:

2000 Hampshire's last-ever match at Southampton v Notts in the National League. Prittipaul's 152 v Derbyshire was the highest score for Hampshire in a first innings on a home ground (not debut)
1999 Robin Smith captained Hampshire in their first ever National League match
1998 Hampshire lost to Lancashire in the Nat West Semi-Final. Chasing 253 they collapsed to 28-5 and lost by 43 runs. Since cup cricket began in 1963 Hampshire won only one semi-final at Northlands Road (B&H Cup v Somerset 1992)
1997 Hick & Moody (Worcestershire) scored 438* for 3rd wicket at Southampton - Hick's innings of 303* was the highest ever v Hampshire.
1996 Dimitri Mascarenhas took 6 wickets on debut for Hampshire. Kevan James took 4 wickets in 4 balls and scored a century v India - a world record. In the match v Essex the match aggregate of 1523 for 36 wickets is the highest in Hampshire's history. Cardigan Connor took 9-38 v Gloucs - a ground record.
1995 Keech (98) & Whitaker (97) both narrowly missed their centuries in a tied Sunday League match v Worcestershire. West Indies scored 696-6 dec.
1994 Hampshire's 603-7dec v Surrey was their highest ever at Southampton
1993 Future Hampshire batsman Matthew Hayden hit a century at Northlands Road for Australia
1992 Udal with 8-50 v Sussex achieved his best bowling for Hampshire
1991 Chris Smith scored a century in the Nat West quarter-final v Nottinghamshire but did not play in the final because he left Hampshire in August to take up a post abroad.
1990 Gloucestershire were particularly disappointed when Hampshire beat them by scoring 446-8. Hampshire also scored 600-8 dec v Sussex - their first score of 600 on the ground.
1989 Raj Maru took 8-41 v Kent
1988 Hampshire won their first Cup Final at Lord's but on the next day their celebrating captain Mark Nicholas retired hurt without scoring in the Sunday League v Gloucestershire
1987 Hampshire 2nd XI lost to Derbyshire in the Bain Dawes Final.
1986 The captain and vice-captain Nicholas & Terry were batting at the end of the Sunday victory v Lancashire, celebrating Hampshire's title success. Bob Parks dismissed six victims in an innings v Notts - equalling the ground record.
1985 Robin Smith achieved his career best bowling of 2-11 v Surrey
1984 Trevor Jesty Scored 32 in an over off Robin Boyd-Moss (Northants) - the most ever at Southampton
1983 Three West Indians, Greenidge, Marshall and Lynch all scored centuries in the match with Surrey
1982 Nick Pocock invited Worcestershire to bat in the Sunday League but Ormrod & Patel set a League record with 224 for 1st wicket
1981 The former Hampshire opener Richard Lewis played for Dorset when they beat Hampshire in the B&H Cup
1980 Roger Tolchard a former Hampshire 2nd XI player caught six Hampshire players in the match v Leicestershire. Tim Tremlett opened the batting and carried his bat for 70* in the same match.
1979 Bob Stephenson had one season as Hampshire's second wicket-keeper/captain (the first was C Robson)
1978 Barry Richards and Andy Roberts left mid-season before Hampshire won the Sunday League title for the second time.
1977 The only double champion, Peter Sainsbury, retired before the season began, having played since 1955
1976 Trevor Jesty enjoyed his only 7 wicket haul (7-75 v Somerset) and scored his first century (134 v Gloucs)
1975 Hampshire achieved their highest limited overs score of 371-4 v Glamorgan in the Gillette Cup. Gordon Greenidge scored 259 v Sussex and went to 50, 100, 150, 200 & 250 with a six - his total of 13 sixes was a ground record.

"It is hard to select a particular innings of Barry Richards as outstanding because, if he stays in long, he will either have given a rich display of stroke-making or batted with consummate skill on a bowler's wicket. It is hard though not to believe that, against the Australians at Southampton in 1975, he spoke his heart in the idion he commands most fully. Thomson, Hurst, Walker, Higgs and Mallett bowled; Richards played two innings of 96 and (retired hurt) 69, which declared his fitness to stand high on the level of Test cricket from which he is debarred....He played himself in with cold determination. Then, as soon as he was sure of his touch, he unleashed a fury of strokes....tossing his wicket away to a bad ball when a century was his for the taking." (John Arlott's Book of Cricketers 1979)

1974 Bob Herman took 6-15 v Glamorgan but rain prevented victory and Hampshire finished runners-up in the Championship.
1973 Northants came to Northlands Road in second place, lost in two days and finished the season in third - Hampshire were champions.
1972 John Holder took a hat-trick before retiring to become an umpire. 1971 New Zealander David O'Sullivan impressed v Gloucestershire as Hampshire clinched the 2nd XI title
1970 Barry Richards left the Rest of the World side in the `Test' v England to score a Sunday century v Glamorgan
1969 Hampshire's first Sunday League match in June was `Butch' White's benefit. Hampshire finished 2nd.
1968 In his first season, Barry Richards started batting at number 4 but scored more after he moved to opener - finishing with 2314 runs.
1967 Gordon Greenidge batted at number 7 for Hampshire 2nd XI when they won the title for the first time
1966 Hampshire's former `leggie' Alan Castell surprised the West Indies with 7-58 in the match
1965 Peter Sainsbury took 7-30 and scored 70 in a Gillette Cup match v Norfolk
1964 Former Pompey soccer player Mike Barnard scored 123 v Australia - his sixth and final hundred, of which three were v tourists.

"Go to the County Ground on any day in the cricket season - or, for that matter, on a good many days outside it - and somewhere between the indoor school and the pavilion you are likely to meet a comfortable, well-fed-looking man going in one direction when he obviously wants to go in several. He has a rosy face, a quizzical look in his blue eyes and one eyebrow goes up as he asks you wistfully, out of the side of his mouth, "ave you seen so-and-so?"This is `The Coach'. Arthur Holt finds that title convenient: it saves him the embarrasment of telling ground staff boys that they must call him Mister Holt and not Arthur." (An Appreciation 1963)

1963 Derek Shackleton took 7-30 v Surrey - his best at Southampton
1962 Danny Livingstone, dropped first ball v Surrey (on a hat-trick) scored 200
1961 `Butch' White took 7-61 v Nottinghamshire - his best at Southampton in the year that Hampshire won their first Championship.
1960 Mervyn Burden took 8-96 v Lancashire but Hampshire lost

"Hampshire v South Africans 1960: In almost tropical sunshine the South Africans took Test batting practice at a tempo mounting from an early halting uncertainty to a glorious crescendo of strokes. The Southampton wicket was a friendly invitation to a run-making party - perfect hospitality for the batsmen.... McLean .... threatened avalanches with a six into Northlands Road. But upon that challenge the heavily shouldered and deep-chested David White peeled off his sweater and heaved a fast ball through McLean's drive. It was White's hundredth wicket in first-class cricket: he will batter down many a hundred more before he is done - but not without labour on such pitches as this." (Cricket Journal 3 1960)

1959 Three Test-playing county captains Cowdrey, Watson and Washbrook were all injured during matches at Southampton.
1958 Hampshire's new captain Ingleby-Mackenzie started with a victory, a duck and a century v Kent. He led Hampshire to 2nd place for the first time in their history.
1957 Tom Dewdney took a hat-trick for West Indies
1956 `Gunner' Denis Compton (Arsenal FC) played his last innings at Southampton (Keith Miller of the RAAF may have been a gunner but never a `Gunner'!)
1955 Neville Rogers deputised as captain for Desmond Eagar in the last five Championship matches and was undefeated although Hampshire were beaten by South Africa. Hampshire finished third for the first time with Roy Marshall in his first full season for them.

"Few cricketers have had the quality to draw people to cricket grounds. Fewer still could do so, yet send them away by their failure....Roy Marshall did it more than once. No cricketer who had ever appeared for the county had been able to attract crowds to Hampshire grounds as he did....As a member of the West Indian touring side of 1950 Marshall made 135 against Hampshire at Southampton and although Everton Weekes scored a double century at the other end, Marshall's was remembered as one of the most brilliant innings ever played at the ground." (John Arlott's Book of Cricketers 1979)

1954 HRH the Duke of Edinburgh brought his XI to the county ground
1953 West Indies batsman Roy Marshall made his Hampshire debut v Australia
1952 Derek Shackleton & Vic Cannings bowled unchanged in the match v Kent who were dismissed for 32, the lowest by Hampshire's opponents on ground. Arthur Fagg held seven catches in the match for Kent, a ground record.
1951 Two openers, Neville Rogers and Jackie McGlew (South Africa) made centuries in the tourist match
1950 The match v Kent ended in a tie. Alan Shirreff played for Kent having played for Hampshire in the previous Hampshire tied match.
1949 Charlie Knott took 12 wickets in the match v Notts
1948 Jim Bailey did the match double v Leicestershire and the season's double

"Mervyn Burden's account of his first appearance at the County Ground is one of the masterpieces of spoken autobiography: "I'd never been to the County Ground in my life before....I've never felt so nervous in my life. I went up and bowled my first ball and it flew clean over the top of the nets and smashed one of the windows in the dining-room. Someone gave me another one and as I walked back to bowl I was wondering what the dickens I should do this time. I didn't have to worry. Johnny Arnold was batting in the next net and as I turned to run in he hit an on-drive. I had my back to him and never saw it coming: it caught me a terrific crack on the ankle and I couldn't bowl for a fortnight. Still I thought I had better show willing so I turned up the next morning to see if there was anything I could do and they sent me out to help Ernie on the pitch. I hadn't been there a couple of minutes before I kicked a bucket of whiting across the square so they sent me home until my ankle was better." (Book of Cricketers 1979)

"Hampshire searched their resources for a ready-made pace bowler with no success at all. So, at the April nets of 1948, WK Pearce, the county chairman ordered the entire playing strength to bowl `seamers'. The staff rolled up their sleeves: Desmond Eagar recalls with some amusement his attempts to emulate Bill Voce, and several sets of hardening muscles were tugged violently in unfamiliar directions. The only profit the county could show for this experiment was the discovery that Derek Shackleton had bowled `with the seam' for his club (but) no one dreamt that the morning's search had unearthed the greatest single asset in Hampshire's post-war cricket." ("Derek Shackleton" in John Arlott's Book of Cricketers 1979)

1947 Quadruple Nelson - Kent won by 9 wickets after scoring 444 (4 x 111)
1946 County Championship cricket (v Worcestershire) returned on 11 May

(Donald `Hooky' Walker died on active service during World War Two) Southampton, most familiar of all cricket grounds for me, looked battered still from its war experiences and the weather, dully, did little brighten it. Rain was never far away and the wicket was damp and responsive to spin. Donald Walker would have put his head down and used his dancing feet to reach the pitch of the ball: but Donald will never play cricket again and for me the Southampton ground will always carry a sad memory of him.(Indian Summer 1946)

1939 Leicestershire were Hampshire's last opponents at Southampton before the war
1938 Johnny Arnold and Neil McCorkell enjoyed century partnerships in both innings v Kent
1937 McCorkell made the only century for Hampshire at Southampton in the season
1936 South African Len Creese took 8 wickets v Lancashire
1935 Future coach and Southampton footballer Arthur Holt made his debut
1934 GS Boyes bowled 80 overs in one innings v Notts
1933 Mead scored 150 but Leicestershire avoided defeat thanks to Armstrong who scored 84* and 164
1932 With Mead's century v Derbyshire he had then completed 100 v every county. Hampshire's 30 all out v Notts was their lowest ever at Southampton - Jim Bailey took 7-7 in the same match.
1931 Double international Johnny Arnold scored a Southampton century v Northamptonshire
1930 On the last morning v Nottinghamshire, Notts fielded without changing as Hampshire only required one run to win.

"In 1930 the ground was full to see if Don Bradman could complete his 1000 runs before the end of May. The match began on the last day of the month and Hampshire winning the toss, batted first, which threatened Bradman's opportunity. George Brown resisted characteristically until he was run out for 56 of 151. Bradman went in first, late on that Saturday afternoon needing 46 for his 1000 but under threat of rain. He had made 43 when the storm broke; Jack Newman bowled him a full toss; Bradman hit it for four and everyone ran for shelter." (Hampshire Handbook 1985)

1929 Tennyson played a captain's innings in June with 125* v Glamorgan
1928 Double Harrys: Harold Harry Gibbons opened for Worcs and William Henry (Harry) Ashdown and Harold Hardinge opened for Kent.
1927 Tennyson made the fastest first-class century for Hampshire on the ground v Gloucestershire in 55 minutes
1926 Future MCC secretary Ronnie Aird made his only hundred at Northlands Road
1925 Irish amateur TO Jameson made a century v Warwickshire batting at number 8
1924 Alec Kennedy took his second Southampton hat-trick v Gloucs. Hampshire beat Surrey by one wicket.
1923 Hearne & Hendren added a 3rd wicket record of 375 for Middlesex
1922 Alec Kennedy took 7-71 and scored 70 v Sussex who still won by 10 runs. He took 190 wickets in the season, a record for Hampshire
1921 Australia with 708-7 dec made the highest first-class innings on the ground. Phil Mead's 280* v Notts was the highest Hampshire innings on the ground.

"The cricket grounds where we watched the heroes of our boyhood can never be in our minds solely the fields of the current generation of players. When Philip Mead died during the winter, the BBC met the demands of topicality by broadcasting an obituary talk. It was also their idea that during the cricket season and from the County Ground at Southampton, a subsequent and longer piece should be put out in his memory. When they asked me to make this broadcast I wondered if I had not written and said all that I could about him. Yet the place seemed to create a different setting and a different demand. That monumentally reliable batsman, Philip Mead, is dead. But we who were boys in Hampshire in my generation - or, for that matter, in the two generations on either side of it - can never, as long as we live, see this County Ground at Southampton without remembering him. Even now, when I buy an evening paper and turn to the stop press cricket scores, I feel as if I am going to read once more that Philip Mead - a hundred and twenty-two not out - has saved the Hampshire innings." (Cricket Journal 1958)

1920 Brown and EIM Barrett achieved a record partnership of 321 for the 2nd wicket v Gloucestershire
1919 All Championship matches during this season were played over two days but play was extended and in two matches (v Gloucs & Surrey) the teams exceeded 600 runs in a day - ground records.

1914 Fast bowler Arthur Jacques took 7-51 v Warwickshire in his last season. He was killed in action during the Great War. Hampshire finished 5th - their best to that date.
1913 CH Abercrombie scored a century on his Hampshire debut v Oxford University (not his first-class debut)
1912 Hampshire defeated Australia for the first and only time
1911 Hampshire scored 463-8 v Kent - 105 short of a victory target of 568 but a record 4th innings score at the ground
1910 Lancashire scored 404-5 to win the match. CB Lewellyn was the first Hampshire player to do the double
1909 Jack Newman took a hat-trick v Australia

"If you look at the railings in front of the pavilion on the county cricket ground at Southampton you will see, just above ground level, a number of dents, curving in towards the pavilion. Almost forty years ago....Jack Newman, pointed to those dents and said to me, only half-humorously - "see those dents - all made by chaps edging my faster ball." Jack was one of the greatest of Hampshire cricketers. He was the last survivor of the four great professionals - Philip Mead, George Brown, & Alec Kennedy were the others - who, for years carried Hampshire cricket on their strong backs and were, arguably, as fine a group as any county has ever possessed at the same time." (1967 in Arlott on Cricket 1985)

1908 24 year-old John Badcock from Bournemouth took 26 wkts in six matches at Southampton and 212 wkts in three seasons but never played again after 1908.
1907 Wicket-keeper James Stone scored 97* in the victory v Derbyshire
1906 J Greig who later became a priest opened the batting v Derbyshire. The Rev WV Jephson appeared in the same match.
1905 AJL Hill's scored two centuries in the match v Somerset (only Mead 1913, Richards 1976 and Hayden 1997 have equalled the feat at Southampton)
1904 Webb scored 162* v Somerset in his benefit match
1903 The victory against Derbyshire was Hampshire's only success of the season
1902 Author Hesketh-Prichard took 6-39 in the Sussex total of 72 but Hampshire lost by 8 wickets.
1901 South African CB Llewellyn hit 216 for Hampshire v South Africa in the tourists' first match in England. Hampshire made 538 and Hill and Greig also made centuries. Lewellyn also took 14-171 v Worcs, the only instance of 14 wickets in a match for Hampshire on the ground.
1900 Hampshire lost the services of Wynyard, Poore and Heseltine to military service in the Boer War
1899 ER Bradford was called for throwing in the match v Australia
1898 The match v Yorkshire was Hampshire's lowest-ever match aggregate (235 for 30 wickets). It was Harry Baldwin's benefit match but finished in one day and Baldwin made a loss on the event.
1897 Bainbridge & Diver of Warwickshire did not bowl in the match v Warwickshire - (all eleven of Hampshire bowled)
1896 EG Wynyard scored 268 for Hampshire v Yorkshire
1895 The match v Derbyshire was particularly significant because it was Hampshire's first home match in the County Championship. Walter Mead (Essex) took 17-119 - record match figures on the ground
1894 The victory v Sussex was the first in any match after opponents had declared
1893 Future Club President AJL Hill joined Hampshire as a batsman
1892 Dr.Russell Bencraft became captain of the side
1891 Winchester won the Challenge Cup for the second consecutive season
1890 The leading batsman and bowler (Wynyard and Barton) were both Military Officers
1889 The groundsman's donkey disappeared, leading to a 10/- reward
1888 Tom Soar was engaged as the new groundsman
1887 FE Lacey's innings of 323* v Norfolk remains the highest on the ground and in a minor county match
1886 Lt Col J Fellowes was Hampshire's player-secretary
1885 Hampshire moved to Northlands Road from the Antelope Ground in Southampton.
1879 The County Club was reorganised with Russell Bencraft as secretary
1876 W Mycroft (Derbyshire) took 17-103 on the Antelope Ground - a record against Hampshire.
1865 First first-class victory v Surrey at Antelope Ground Southampton
1864 Formation of the modern county club.

Dave Allen HCCC Heritage 2000

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