A new extension to the facilities at Cobden Hill included the Club’s first showers – this might also have had something to do with the arrival of new players and a dramatic improvement in results!
The firsts beat 15 clubs in 1958 losing eight and drawing 15 – its best season up until then. That they went on to greater heights was due both to an emerging wealth of playing talent and astute captaincy.
King was an introvert but one who inspired by example. He was probably the Club’s most outstanding seam bowler, but he sometimes let others open the bowling to give them a chance.
From 1958-64 Radlett had five Herts county cricketers – Colby. Dexter, King, Blackburn and Victor Wild, an all-rounder. Alan Brown joined c. 1958 and members used to come out to watch him bat in the nets, he was so good. Miles Connell could throw the ball to the keeper on the full from anywhere on the boundary (meaning the hedge).
Stan King who shared the new ball with Leslie King took 100 wickets twice in that period. Says John Clark: “He used to stand upside down in the pavilion, drink a half pint of beer, and talk while he burped!” Brian Standring was another Phillips signing who carried on the long tradition of first-rate Radlett keepers.
The transformation in the seconds was embarrassing – so weak in the early ’50s and so strong five years later.
A young Mike Dexter, son of Chris, began scoring prolifically for Radlett while still at school. He and school-mate Robin Johns – who later went on to play first class cricket – put on an hour-long partnership in an amazing game v. Mill Hill in 1958; Dexter scored 16 out of 21 all out, Johns 0 not out. In the interval the confident Mill Hill captain suggested a ‘beer match’ – limited overs game – afterwards. But Michael Robertson, another new recruit, opened the attack for Radlett with Ken Smith, and between them dismissed Mill Hill (though down to nine men) for 19.
Ivor ‘Ivories’ Golby and Chris Smith began their sing-song evenings in the ’60s – Golby on the piano, Smith on the trombone. Visitors ‘hacked’ their way home late at night with no fear of the breathalyser. Bar profits soared.