Baggy caps presented to Lincoln Cricket Club's long-time members

Left to right - Craig Crawford (Lincoln Cricket Club president), Wal Scott, Eion Barclay (brother...
Left to right - Craig Crawford (Lincoln Cricket Club president), Wal Scott, Eion Barclay (brother of Gavin), Bruce Tweedy (son of Errol), Greg Jones (son of Wyn). Photo: Supplied
Lincoln Cricket Club has honoured long-time contributors with life membership caps.

The club awarded the monogrammed Lincoln Cricket baggy caps to Wal Scott and the family of three deceased members, Wyn Jones, Gavin Barkley and Errol Tweedy. The men will have plaques on a new honours board in the Lincoln Rugby clubrooms.

Lincoln entered the senior competition in 1947 and started a golden run of championship wins through the 70s and 80s. By 1985 the club had won outright or tied for the Ellesmere competition 12 times.

Wal Scott joined Lincoln in 1966 and his first bit of silverware came in the 1968/69 season, when the senior team won the P V Bailey Memorial Cup. Wal, captain and opening the batting, had a top score that season of 165 not out. The following season the team won the Ellesmere Cricket Association Shield.

“It was a lot of fun and we tended to have pretty intense competition against Leeston; they were always a pretty strong team in those days,” he said.

“To be fair, we had a pretty good team. We had four or five what you’d rep cricketers for the sub association, and then we had three or four guys from Lincoln High who all left together – and they were all rep players. So, you’re bringing these young fellas in, plus another couple and all of a sudden you’ve got quite an outstanding side.”

In 1970, Wyn Jones moved into the district, down from Dannevirke for his work as a school teacher. It didn’t take Wyn long to prove his abilities and he quickly established himself as a valued member with his bowling and batting.

In 1972, Gavin Barkley made his debut for the seniors As. He was a strong hitting middle order batsman who went to play about 12 seasons for the side until 1984/45. At the life membership ceremony it was recalled Gav was also known to enjoy a cigarette, roll-your-owns usually, and there was a fair bit of smoking that occured while out fielding.

The life members are all standing in the middle row, starting at second from left - Wyn Jones,...
The life members are all standing in the middle row, starting at second from left - Wyn Jones, Errol Tweedy (in red suit), Gavin Barclay and Wal Scott. Photo: Supplied
Wal recalled a game played against Leeston. Gav was fielding on the square leg boundary, rolling a fag. Wayne Nordstrom hit the cover off one straight towards square leg. Gav stuck up one of his big paws, caught an absolutely screamer, while still rolling the cigarette in his other hand.

Errol Tweedy, one of the club’s original recipients of a life membership, was an opening batsman and wicketkeeper who started his cricketing career with Dunsandel before World War 2.

Recalling his father’s contribution, Errol’s son Mark said: “Like so many young men of his generation, Errol’s cricket was interrupted by World War 2 when he headed off to North Africa and Europe. While this derailed the careers of many promising sportsmen, for Errol it had the opposite effect and it seems like this served as a four-year stint at an overseas cricket academy because his batting really took off when he returned home and started playing for Springston. Mum has been though Errol’s letters home from war and it’s clear that there was plenty of time for cricket, as well as the small matter of winning a war.”

Errol featured frequently in The Ellesmere Guardian, where they used phrases like “Tweedy batted forcefully”. One report reads: “Tweedy fought for the runs but in an attempt to hit a full toss into the Springston township, he missed, the ball dropping in flight, descending onto the wickets with the wreckage of a bomb.”

In the 1960s Errol moved to the Lincoln, where he played for the next few years, still picking up the occasional half century. His contribution to Lincoln was mostly off the field though. As well as coaching at Lincoln High School, Errol became club president in 1964 and remained in that role for 31 years.

His successor as president, Greg Hills, told a story at Errol’s funeral in 1998.

He said that he had run into Errol a couple of months earlier outside the shops in Lincoln and mentioned that they were struggling to get a senior team together.

Errol’s son Bruce was playing for the team and they’d had to bring in Bruce’s son Ryan, who can’t have been older than 12 or 13, to play as well. Errol, who was 78 at the time, jogged in off three paces, rolled his arm over and declared himself available for Saturday.

When Errol joined Lincoln he started a family tradition that has seen either him, or at least one of his children, grandchildren or great grandchildren playing or contributing off the pitch uninterrupted for the last 58 years.

-By Tim Fulton

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