Vintage Cricket: The 1900 Olympic Games

Poster advertising the Olympic cricket match between France and England (1900)

Poster advertising the Olympic cricket match between France and Great Britain

This is a poster advertising the only game of Olympic cricket that has ever been played. It happened over two days between France and Great Britain (referred to in this contemporary advert as England) at the 1900 Games in Paris.

It was a slightly odd match in the context of an Olympics which was a bit of a bizarre event in its own right. Held over five months as part of the World’s Fair, the Games almost seemed like an afterthought. So little effort had been put into promoting them that many of the athletes involved genuinely didn’t know they’d competed in them!

The cricket competition was one such. It was also somewhat ramshackle in other ways. For a start, despite being an Olympic match, it was not considered to be an official first class international since both teams fielded twelve players each instead of the regulation eleven, and it only lasted two days.

Then there was the fact that the two sides were not France and Great Britain as we would know them in the modern era – Great Britain were represented by a public school-dominated touring club from the West Country, and the French team were mostly British expats living in Paris.

Whatever happened over those two days, it was always going to be a British victory on French soil it seems…

And it was – Great Britain, who are still technically Olympic champions 119 years later, won by 158 runs with a mere five minutes to spare. Mostly ignored by both the French and British national media, this was in many ways an anonymous triumph.

Four years later, the Olympic cricket competition at the Games in St Louis was cancelled at short notice due to a lack of competitors and facilities. It has never been an Olympic sport since.

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Happy 10th Birthday, Another Kind Of Mind!

Kittens and a birthday cake (1914)

Kittens and a birthday cake (1914)

Remember the grumpy Victorian kittens who popped by a few Christmases ago? Well, they’re back, they’ve put on their best frocks, and they’ve brought a cake to celebrate Another Kind Of Mind’s tenth birthday!

Grumpily, of course. And they’re particularly grumpy since I think they shouldn’t really blow the cake candles out – scorched whiskers are not a good look…

Spoiling the kittens’ fun aside, I’m amazed to have reached ten years of this blog. With everything that has gone on in my life during those ten years (particularly healthwise), it’s a real achievement to have got this far.

Of course, I couldn’t have done it without you, dear readers. Almost 100,000 of you have visited from almost every country on Earth in that time, which is pretty astonishing for a personal blog with very little SEO and very basic promotion. You’re all amazing. Thank you.

Here’s to the next ten years!?

Recommended Reading: Books on Music (The Another Kind Of Mind 10th Birthday Edition)

pile of assorted title book lot selective focus photographt

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

A few years back, I asked for your suggestions for a library of brilliant books on the subject of music. You certainly didn’t disappoint!

Since this week marks the tenth (!) birthday of Another Kind Of Mind, I thought I might revisit a post from the past to celebrate – and the music booklist seemed to be a good choice for that, since my musical library has certainly expanded since it was first posted in 2014…

So, have you got any suggestions for a list of great music books? What did I and my Twitter followers miss on the previous lists (see below)? What are your favourites?

Get in touch here or tweet me!

My original list

Twitter/Wordpress crowdsourced list

Update

Quote of the Day: On Peter, the Lord’s Cat

Havana Brown cat

Sadly, there are no photos of the real Peter… so this beautiful boy will have to do!

Since it’s the cricket season and we’re in the middle of the Ashes Series, I wanted to share this lovely quote from the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. Peter the Cat was the much-beloved feline resident at Lord’s Cricket Ground in North London during the 1950s and 1960s, and it’s clear he was quite a fan of the sport.

When his “ninth life ended” in 1964, Peter was given a singular tribute, becoming the first and only animal to receive an obituary in the cricketing bible Wisden – a real honour, and testament to his reputation at Lord’s:

Cat, Peter, whose ninth life ended on November 5, 1964, was a well-known cricket-watcher at Lord’s, where he spent 12 of his 14 years. He preferred a close-up view of the proceedings, and his sleek brown form could often be seen prowling on the field of play when crowds were biggest. He frequently appeared on the television screen. Mr SC Griffith, Secretary of MCC, said of him: “He was a cat of great character and loved publicity.”

I reckon he would be great friends with the modern-day Barmy Army

Sadly, it appears there are no actual photos of Peter himself in existence, despite his many television appearances, so you’ll have to make do with a picture of a rather handsome model cat instead!

Quote of the Day: Dreaming of Electric Sheep

Roy_Batty

RIP Rutger Hauer

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die. – Blade Runner (1982)

Get out and VOTE!

Ladies in polling booths.

Short and sweet. British friends, this is really, really important. Get out there and vote in the European elections today. Polling stations are open between 7am and 10pm, so you have no excuse not to…

Oh, and if you see any particularly excellent examples of a dog (or dogs) at your polling station, do let me know!

Pick that one out!: the oddity of the goalscoring goalkeeper

Goalkeepers are strange people, especially when they have their scoring boots on. Here’s a recent piece on the subject by me from And Still Ricky Villa, the football blog I edit.

'And still Ricky Villa...'

CB writes…

Picture the scene. It’s deep into injury time of a crucial cup match, and you’re desperately in need of a goal to take the game into extra time. The opposition have conceded a corner, and you’re all up in the box to try and scramble a goal – and by all up, that means your goalie too. The corner arcs in and rattles round the box until your keeper leaps high into the air, his head making contact with the ball…. and it’s in the back of the net!

It is often said that goalkeepers are a breed apart, and they certainly seem to be made of different stuff to your average primadonna of a centre forward. For a start, they have to have a thick skin since they will frequently be blamed for losses (as ex-England goalie David ‘Calamity’ James once put it “It’s not nice…

View original post 1,376 more words

Kitchen Birdwatcher: Spring with the Toon Magpies

IMG_0363

Exciting news from the Toon Magpies – they’re building a new nest! It’s in the same tree they used last year, as you can see from the photo above (the 2018 nest is top right, this year’s is top left), which means I’ve had a grandstand seat in my kitchen for the building process again.

The new nest is looking a bit scruffy, but it’s large and I am sure it will be perfectly cosy for the forthcoming eggs. The recent unseasonably warm weather in the UK has increased the building activity to the extent that I now actually think that TWO nests are being built in adjacent trees, by two different pairs of magpies!

Spring is very nearly here…

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The Last Train to Clarksville has left the station: RIP Peter Tork

The Monkees - May 1967

The Monkees – May 1967

So many celebrity deaths in recent years, but this one has really hit me on a very personal level. On the surface, the Monkees might have been a manufactured band with a daft TV show, but their music had a very profound impact on me as a child.

When my sister and I were little, we were given our dad’s old record player when he got a new one. It was one of those old-fashioned boxy turntables with a built-in speaker, and one of the very first records we had to play on it was a Monkees greatest hits album.

We must have driven our parents mad with how much we played it – it ended up much loved and completely scratched to death (we weren’t very good at looking after our vinyl at such young ages!).

Indeed, listening to ‘A Little Bit Me A Little Bit You’ on YouTube this afternoon, my brain still anticipated the point in the song where our record always used to skip. The fact that my subconscious does that more than thirty years later says a lot about the impact that record had on me!

With that battered old slice of vinyl, Mickey, Mike, Peter and Davey instilled in this music mad little girl a love of pure melody, harmony and perfect pop that remains to this day, and for that I am profoundly grateful.

Peter Tork, you will be missed.