Thanks to the influence of Leo Reid, four minor counties matches were played at Radlett’s ground at Porters Park (picture left taken around 1931) between 1929 and 1934. Other Radlett men to be honoured by the county included steady R H Baucher (ex-captain of Harrow), dashing Peter Woodbridge and R Postill, a very fast bowler who taught at Aldenham school.
At the end of the lease in 1937, the ground was required by Shenley hospital for the use of its own staff and the club was without a home. Miles Brunton came to the rescue by buying some land on Cobden Hill for £1,000 and letting it to the club for 99 years at a most favourable rent. A fair was held which raised £100 and enabled work to begin on a new pavilion. That rough field has now become our fine cricket ground, admired by the Australian test team when they played on it in 1993.
The early 30s were a lean period. Shortage of players had much to do with the 20 first team wins out of 99 games played — and only two wins in 1931 and in ’32. But this did not stop some players from blossoming, notably R. Postill, a master at Aldenham School, who was “the fastest bloke I’ve ever seen” according to a new recruit in 1934, 17-year-old Ivor Golby who in 1984 played his 51st season. And there were also the Woodbridges — father Bob and son Peter.
Competition for places was keen. Fielding was generally much sharper and, with no TV, enthusiasm was higher. “To play cricket was really something to look forward to,” recalls Golby. “So you put your heart and soul into getting picked. We played to get a game next week. There was always someone else ready to jump in.”
Often on Sundays during the ’30s, Radlett would field teams under a member’s name so that players could sometimes be imported. The Club was often too weak to put up strong enough teams from its own ranks. Miles Brunton would just ring up Lord’s and a couple of Middlesex players would come down for the afternoon—there was no first-class cricket on Sundays then.
Generally the ’30s were disastrous, despite strong individual performances from Tom Down, chief wicket-taker for five consecutive seasons. Run-making became increasingly difficult: in 1933 the first team scored 3,891 runs against their opponents’ 4,296 from 23 games, while in 1935 it was 2,576 versus 2,792 from 20 games.