My name is Pete Skinner and I have been Chairman of Porchfield Cricket Club since approximately 2010.
My own involvement with the club began in 1974 when still in the sixth form at Carisbrooke and I have many happy memories of playing at our previous ground in New Road. We played on a farmer’s field with an outfield where the grass often approached a foot in depth with a liberal splattering of cow pats often in evidence and we changed in little more than a cow shed. We enjoyed super teas from Wray and Sons and had some great times.
However in the mid 1980’s we decided it was time to move on and thanks to the sterling work of many at the club, notably Mike Cox, Ron Willis and Ray Hayward we purchased (with the aid of various grants) a field off Coleman’s Lane. We proceeded to construct an access road, a pavilion and develop the field itself in to a cricket ground culminating in our Grand Opening weekend in June 1987. Whilst researching this piece I noted that our Chairman at the time (the late John Hayward) commented in our Grand opening brochure that ‘’we were the first cricket club to own their own ground and pavilion on the Isle of Wight’’. Quite an achievement!
Since moving to Coleman’s Lane, the club has gone from strength to strength. Partly owing to more and more Island teams playing league cricket we have sought fixtures further afield (pun intended!) and now the majority of our games are played against touring teams from the mainland. Apart from a brief foray into league cricket in the mid 1990’s we have always exclusively played friendly fixtures however it must be stated these are extremely competitive and I like to think that the phrase ‘’hard but fair’’ sums up these games in which Porchfield are often up against some very strong sides. This is what I feel embodies the essence of Porchfield Cricket Club – a great bunch of people working tirelessly on and off the field for the good of the club. We have a sterling committee of which I am privileged to be the Chairman and since moving to our present ground we have extended the original pavilion to provide an enlarged kitchen and function room, acquired a ranch which we have converted into a licensed bar (recently refurbished), linked the ranch and pavilion with a covered way and built an umpires hut and storage areas. All of this has enhanced our facilities and we have accordingly been invited to host Island representative games in recent years.
One thing which deserves a special mention are our cricket teas. I can honestly say in all my years of playing and umpiring I have never had a better tea than those served up at Porchfield and visiting sides frequently complement us on them.
In closing I would like to sum up the Porchfield way which is to play friendly, recreational cricket, primarily against mainland touring teams in a lovely setting.
Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, since retiring from playing in 2004 and having taken up umpiring, I would like to stress that the most important thing about any cricket match played by Porchfield is that the players adhere to the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ which we have always endeavoured to do throughout our proud history.
In 2018 Porchfield Cricket Club celebrates 125 years since cricket was first played in the village. All I can say is – here’s to the next 125!
The Spirit of the Game
Cricket is, in a sense, warfare in minature and a cricket match should be fought out by both sides with all the resources of spirit and technique at their command. At the same time it should always be a recreation, a game to be played, not only according to written laws but in harmony with an unwritten code of chivalry and good temper.
A cricket team should feel that they are playing with, as well as against, their opponents. The home side sould remember that they are the hosts, the vistors that they are the guests, and both should realise that the true greatness of the game lies in combat and comradeship combined.
Every endeavour should be made to establish a good relationship bewteen players and umpires with a mutual respect for one another.
Quite naturally, players expect the highest standard of umpiring but, like all of us, umpires are not infallible and occassionally make mistakes. Players must accept the umpires decision and show no dissent, as such conduct on the field does immense harm to the spirit and well-being of the game.
It must be appreciated by the players that the umpires are not "enemies" but are there to ensure fair conduct of the game.
Anon - found in 1960 scorebook