b'Old Age CricketM ike & Kate Pratt thirteen but fifteen local gentlemen who It is well known that in June 1927 Bishopwould be eligible for membership of a team Wilton threw out a challenge in the Yorkshire and Hullsuch as the gallant cricketers of Bishop Times to play any eleven from any village in EnglandWilton sought.not exceeding 1000 population, the total ages of theTHE LOCAL LISTteam not to be under 850 years. [A list of 15 men living in or around With no member less than 70 years of age andSheepridge is included in the article with including a reserve and an umpire, the total age ofages ranging from 70 to 83]the prospective Bishop Wilton team was 995 years.This list was promptly taken to Canon After posing for numerous publicity photographs andWhorlow, with a request that he would basking in the fame arising from the challenge, if thecaptain the team, and communicate to the Bishops werent really expecting any response theyBishop Wilton secretary an acceptance of must have been surprised when a team from the Westthe challenge.Riding village of Sheepridge, near Huddersfield, rose to the challenge and agreed to a match on July 27thYOUNGER MEN1927, at Bishop Wilton, with the proviso that thereHe wrote away and there arrived back a was to be no speed limit between the wickets! letter, in which the honorary secretary of the What we knew of this match and a subsequentBishop Wilton team (Mr R. Sandland) said: one in Huddersfield was based on East YorkshireWe claim the first match at Bishop Wilton, press coverage that gives a predominantly Bishoppreferably on a Wednesday afternoon. As Wilton perspective. Wondering if the matches loomedto the return match, we can fix it up when as large for Sheepridge as they did for Bishop Wilton,we meet. We have thirteen men, but we we took a trip to Huddersfield Reference Library towould leave two out, or you could include see what their local papers had to say. two more on your side.There, in just one paper, the Huddersfield DailyHe added that, should Sheepridge find Examiner , the other side of the story unfolded,that some of their older gentlemen could starting with an article on July 8, 1927 from whichnot undertake the journey, and they had extracts are reproduced here: to substitute younger men, Bishop Wilton SHEEPRIDGE ACCEPTS A CHALLENGE would not mind so long as the younger Old Age Cricket men were seventy years old or more.PLAYERS WHO ARE TOO YOUNG ATThe letter was followed by a telephone SIXTY-NINE message but Canon Whorlow was unable definitely to agree to a match.From Bishop Wilton, which is a smallIn an interview with an Examiner village surrounded by the Yorkshire woldsrepresentative to-day Canon Whorlow a few miles from Pocklington, there hassaid he would be unable to accede to the issued recently a world challenge. Andrequest that he should captain the teamSheepridge, from its height, has interceptedhis health, he said, would not permit it.the challenge and flung it back. Its originMeanwhile, however, it is said that a lay in the discovery by a newspapercollection has already been started in correspondent of a team of thirteenSheepridge to defray the cost of a fifty miles cricketers (including an umpire and ajourney to Bishop Wilton. There will be a reserve) whose combined age totalled 995meeting on Monday, when the question will years. Feeling, it appears, that their lightbe further thrashed out.was being hidden under the village bushelIt is interesting to learn of Sheepridges intention he made known their existence to theto have Canon Whorlow as their captain, health world, and added that they were preparedpermitting, as the Rev. George Stock had been to play any team who might come along,chosen to captain the Bishop Wilton team. Sadly, on one condition. The condition was thatalthough Canon Whorlow did eventually play, the Rev. the combined ages of the members of thatGeorge Stock died suddenly on the Saturday before team should not be less than 850 years. the first match.The news reached Sheepridge and thereA brief item in the paper for 13th July says that was an important meeting at once. In veryCanon Whorlow has written suggesting a date for the short time someone had written upon thefirst match at Bishop Wilton and that the subscription back of an envelope the names of notopened to defray the cost of the journey to Bishop 156 BULLETIN 10'