War clouds were spreading rapidly across Britain in 1939, but for Radlett Cricket Club the season began an upsurge in fortunes which was to make it one of the strongest Clubs in Hertfordshire in the ’50s and ’60s.
Leslie King – future first team captain from 1950-63 – started playing and proved one of the Club’s best ever all-rounders. In his second game he scored 83 and look 5-33 against Mill Hill with his seamers, and later took 7-30 v. Harpenden, who totalled 65 to Radlett’s 58, 7-47 v. RAF Uxbridge, and hit 60 v. Old Blues.
He topped the bowling and followed Peter Woodbridge in the batting averages; but he was not the only successful bowler. Fred Green took 9-1 for the seconds against Old Albanians “and put the remaining batsman out of action”. Chas. Burton became a regular first-teamer, often sharing the new ball with Tom Down when King was absent in 1939.
Freddie Taylor, a fine gully field and currently the Club’s president for the past 25 years (in 1984), also joined. Mostly playing in the seconds he unfortunately had his first team debut at Cobden Hill in a debacle v. Hemel Hempstead, who rattled up 230-3 dec v. Radlett 57 all out. “I used to play better away,” he says wryly.