With Sir Vyvyan Bartington-Phypps KBE
Paulin Ground, Winchmore Hill Sunday 2 July 2017
Greetings, fellow Corinthians
One must express some regret as to the considerable time lapse since my last appraisal, but much has occurred in the meantime, not least the fact that HM has kindly conferred a KBE on oneself, for services to industry and cricket, as readers may have gathered from one’s new designation. Fully deserved, what, what!
In addition, and somewhat in the debit column, Lady B-P unfortunately apprehended oneself en dalliance, as it were, with Ethel, the well upholstered downstairs parlour maid (Oooh, you are awful, sir!) and promptly ejected oneself from Bartington Hall. Subsequently, she has taken up with Bellowes, the rough and uncouth (but apparently well endowed) head gardener, the errant pair having eloped together to a life of I-don’t-know-what. Consequently, one has decamped to palatial rooms in Maida Vale to live the life of the bachelor gay, though not in the modern colloquial sense, one hastens to add! Ahem.
Also, one is still recovering somewhat from considerable quaffing with Binky Allsopp-Brown at Poodles, following Woolwich’s magnificent victory over Mister Mosely’s blueshirts in the Association final tie at the Empire Stadium, thanks to a well placed noggin bobbler from the Welsh wizard Alfredo Ramsbottom. Oh, how we quaffed!
Now, to the matter in hand. One arrived at the Wynchgate this Sunday last to find the Tigers in much disarray, having now finished second in nine of their twelve fixtures this summer. One feels for The Reverend, who has had to contend with shepherding a different eleven each week, many of his stalwarts being non-attendant for much of the time, most notably his senior batsman, Lord Frederick Wright-Herbert. Ever the mercenary playboy, his Lordship has been lured away to the continent by some devil promising wine, women, song and occasional cricket. Consequently, depleted elevens have needed to be bolstered by Saturday players, sprogs and any strangers happening to be passing at the time. One understands an emergency meeting of the Committee has been summoned to deal with this and other urgent matters.
Sadly, all this defeatism appears to be taking its toll on His Reverence, arriving at the ground by omnibus, dressed in rags, and looking for all the world about to relapse into his former dissolute life of drink, drugs and debauchery. Nevertheless, the Tiger eleven compiled a reasonable total of 200 in their allotted overs, much due to a most attractive 82 from the team’s nascent stumper, a Mister Pat Garrett, aided by an equally seductive 45 from His Skippership, in a collaboration of some 92 of the queen’s runs for the fifth wicket.
However, none of this style had much effect on the Tigers’ opponents, a motley crew of bumpkins from Lincolnshire, though splendid yeoman fellows for all that, who promptly attacked the bowling from the very first ball in a most brutal and inelegant fashion. Despite losing the occasional wicket, they surpassed the Tiger score with ten of their overs unconsumed. By early evening, The Judge, who earlier had an emotional reunion with his long time companion Senor Albanian, recently released from confinement after smuggling illegal recordings into the country, was in hanging vein, foundering in the heat and patrolling the perimeter, muttering about the incongruity of it all as he observed a number of full bungers and long hops, served up by a battery of occasional bowlers, disappear around him.
This is not the way to play cricket, totally unknown to Tiger connoisseurs, with the possible exception of the unfledged Master Atkinson-Cruise, who will doubtless encompass the more subtle arts of batsmanship over the course of time.
Naturally, one would much like to assist the eleven in their current period of strife, but sadly the Lord’s Test, Wimbledon and Henley are currently on one’s social agenda in the coming weeks.
Best of luck.
V B-P KBE RSVP