The first general meeting was held on April 28th in the Working Men’s Club room – on the approximate site of today’s Barclay’s Bank. And here the lines were firmly drawn – and a tradition begun which did not really die until after the Second World War. The first minutes read: “C.T. Part (in the chair) – owner of the Aldenham Lodge on the site of the present Lodge End development, E. Thomas and G.B. Thomas, Esqs. and Messrs. Picton (coachman to Part), Tansley, Fred Watson (grandfather of Roy), Forfeitt (the schoolmaster), Andrews, Illotson and Thompson”.
But for the record, Charles Part was elected president and treasurer, E. Thomas vice-president, G. Marsh ‘sub’ captain and ‘Dicky’ Forfeitt secretary. Fred Watson was one of the four elected committee members. The club got off to and inauspicious start. The ‘Challenges’ were sent to Munden Park, Childs Hill, and Letchmore Heath cricket clubs which were not taken up. Other matches were arranged but rain stopped play before Radlett could bowl a ball in its very first match on May 25th.
It lost its next match against Midland Railway, Elstree could not raise a team after losing to Borehamwood and Park Street, Radlett won against Elstree in a return fixture. First season’s results: played nine, won three, lost six.
The summer was a very dry one. So the tent which was hired from Shenley for between 5/- and 7/6d a match was more for shade than for shelter. Proceeds came from subscriptions at 1/- a head. Other costs incurred were in transport by brake or wagonette to away matches. It was 12/- to Park Street and back including stabling and detouring through Shenley to pick up players, and 7/- return to Elstree.
Even with the grand total of £20 6s 2d from subs and donations, the Club was careful with its money. Frequently through the season, second hand cricket balls at 2/- each were bought for special matches and the club accounts even mentioned cricket ball repairs!
But whatever the changes in process, Radlett has not changed in one respect. Old records state that the away teams rarely missed supping the local brew, not arriving home before none o’clock. And so Radlett survived its baptism.
All out for 7 in 1885
THE HERTS ADVERTISER reported the following match between Radlett and Frogmore, played at Park Street on July 4, 1885 (Radlett gained revenge a few weeks later in beating Frogmore at Newberries on August 22):
FROGMORE v. RADLETT. – A match was played on Saturday between these teams on the ground of the former at Park Street, and ended, after a very one-sided game, in favour of Frogmore by an innings and 51 runs, Radlett went first to the wicket, but no stand was made against the bowling of F. Johnstone and A. Boff, the whole team being dismissed for the small total of 7, of which 3 were extras. Johnstone took 7 wickets for 2 runs, and A. Boff did the “hat trick”, getting rid of the last three batsmen with successive balls. Frogmore afterwards batted and scored 75 runs, of which Gentle made 17 in good style. Radlett at their second attempt, fared but little better than at first, the score only reaching 17. Johnstone again bowled well, taking 7 wickets for 8 runs.
1st innings 2nd innings
Norris. b Johnstone………… 2 c White 1
Birchnall, b Johnstone 0 b A.Bof 1
Forfeitt. lbw. b Johnstone …… 0 b A.Boff 0
Marsh, c Gentle, b Johnstone 0 b Johnstone 4
Chalkley, b Johnstone………. 0 not out 3
Briers, b Johnstone………… 0 c & b Johnstone 1
Tansley, b Johnstone……… 2 c Gentle, b Johnstone 0
Tabboth, c Gentle, b A.Boff 0 C J.Beatty b A.Boff 0
Philipson, b A.Boff………… 0 st G.Boff, b Johnstone 6
Bayliss, not out……………. 0 b Johnstone 0
Archibald, st G.Boff, b A.Boff.. 0 c A.Boxall, b Johnstone 0
Extras 3 1
Total 7 17
G. Boff, b Forfeitt………….. 3
White, c Birchnall, b Forfeitt 13
Johnstone. lbw. b Briers…….. 19
Gentle, b Forfeitt ………….. 17
A.Boxall, b Birchnall……….. 8
A.Boff, b Marsh ………….. 3
W.Boxall, b Briers…………. 2
Williams, not out…………… 6
G.Beatty, c Chalkley, b Forfeitt.. 0
Lea, c Norris, b Briers ………. 0
J.Beatty, b Forfeitt………… 3