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A distinguished company of cricketers and friends of cricket gathered by invitation in the Committee Dining Room at Lord's on Friday, April 2, 1971, at a special luncheon held in honour of Mr. Norman Preston to celebrate his 21st anniversary as editor of Wisden. It was also publication day of the 108th edition of the almanack.
The Iuncheon was given by Mr. William Gray, Managing Director of John Wisden & Co. The publishers, Sporting Handbooks, were also represented. Apart from some special guests, those present were confined to those who had contributed to or assisted in the production of Wisden in recent years. Some forty persons attended, though unfortunately sir Neville Cardus was kept away at the last moment, being confined to bed on what was his 82nd birthday. Three former England captains -- Sir Leonard Hutton, G. O. Allen and D. B. Carr -- were present, as well as the Chairman of Selectors. A. V. Bedser.
Tribute was paid to Mr. Preston by Mr, William Gray, who spoke on Wisden the Company and Wisden the Book. G. O. Allen said: "Norman Preston and Wisden have stood for all that is good in the game, and without ever stooping to the sensational or the sordid -- which is more than can be said for a lot of cricket writers -- he has maintained the standing of Wisden as the Bible of Cricket." Turning to the editor, he said: "You have never been anything but helpful and considerate, although occasionally over the years I have not made it easy for you."
J. H. Morgan, a former Lord Mayor of Cardiff, stood in at the last moment for Sir Neville Cardus, and recalled his association with the editors of Wisden over the last fifty years, having reported Glamorgan cricket since the county first entered the Championship in 1921.
In his reply Norman Preston declared that he had been born into Wisden, his father having become connected with the almanack in 1895. He himself was born eight years later and he could remember the book from his earliest days. "While I have only now come of age as editor, I have worked on Wisden for nearly forty years and I have enjoyed almost every one of them."
Those present at the luncheon were: Mr. and Mrs. Norman Preston, Lord Constantine, Sir Cyril Hawker (President, M. C. C.), Sir Leonard Hutton, Harry E. Abel, G. O. Allen, L. E. G. Ames, J. A. Bailey, Alex Bannister (Daily Mail), A. V. Bedser, D. B. Carr, W. S. Conder, T. W. Cooper, G. A. Copinger, L. T. Deakins, J. G. Dunbar, E. Eden, Paton Fenton (Oxford), W. H. Frindall, William Gray, S. C. Griffith, R. J. Hayter, Horace Hutt (Bristol), Philip Jurd, J. C. Laker, Dudley Moore (Kent), J. H. Morgan (Glamorgan), A. L. Newberry (Gray-Nicolls), G. W. Parker, Miss Netta Rheinberg, Harry Richards (Nottingham), Irving Rosenwater, Leslie Smith, J. M. Solan (Birmingham), F. H. C. Tatham (Sporting Handbooks), E. M. Wellings, David Whitaker (Sporting Handbooks), Haddon Whitaker (Sporting Handbooks) and Ian Wooldridge (Daily Mail).