Back in the Pavillion

Some great Vagabonds who have sadly passed on. It should go without saying, that all of these embraced the ethos of The Vagabonds not least the social side of matters. In fact it is probably be fair to say that most excelled more in this area than on the field of play !

Brian Willmott
Brian played for us in the late eighties so there will be few current members who will have known him.

I knew Brian very well and he was a highly likeable character who slotted into the Vag mould with consummate ease,
he will be sadly missed by all who ever knew him.

Brian was best known for his laid back personality and very dry wit rather than his cricketing skills though he was
an artist at the underrated ‘ dolly drop ‘ and I saw several batsmen’s eyes light up when seeing one only to look
back in horror to see their bails on the deck.

Baz

Brian Cutler
Ex Vagabond Cricket Club V P.

For those of you who remember him, Brian was a colourful character with an impish humour and his chosen epitaph pretty well sums up the man and his own view on life:

Bright days
Don’t cry that they are gone,
Smile that they did happen
(Confucious)

He greatly enjoyed good friendship, accompanied, where possible by any volume of any type of alcoholic beverage;
in short, he was the epitome of a typical Vagabond club member.
Although an avid follower of sport cricket was never his favourite activity, rugby being his main passion where
he distinguished himself in his younger years playing for, and eventually becoming Chairman of, Dorking RFC.
During the 1990’s the Vags were able to field a fair rugby side, with a little front row forward help from London Cornish RFC
( through ‘ Jack ‘ Whillans association with the CRFC ) .

This led to an annual fixture against Alresford RFC of which Brian was a founder member and principal
driving force behind the club. These were seriously fought games on the field of play but bar room convivial off it.
These lasted for four years with a 3-1 set of results in Alresford favour but the Vags always equipped themselves
well and were never trounced.

A very popular man both within his local community and in business during his working life, around 400 persons
who turned up for his funeral is testament to this fact and there is no doubt he will be sadly missed but remembered
with great affection.

Barrie

Dougal
2013

It is with great sadness that we hear of the demise of Dougal

For many years he was the constant companion to JB & proved himself to be an outstanding tourist with the Vagabonds, as shown in this photograph, taken on the Vags tour to Devon in 2011

He is sure to takes his place on Dog’s right hand in Doggy Heaven

Vicki Norfolk
It was with great sadness that in mid February Vicki’s daughter
Heidi informed me of the passing away of her mother Vicki after a
prolonged battle against cancer.

Many current vags will not know of Vicki and indeed Heidi, two
great ladies whose input to early 1990’s tours to West Wales live
in Vagabond Cricket Club Folklore.
We made several tours to Llanrhian in West Wales in the nineties
at a time when we had no trouble having 4 day tours at both the
beginning and end of season, it was also normal for at least 18 to
turn up for these , what turned out to be, highly Bacchanalian
events !

These tours were instigated by the late Eric Flynn who had a
long connection and love of this part of the world, he also arranged
accommodation at a crumbling but hugely characterful old Farm
Manor House run by Vicki and Heidi. At this point it is relevant to
point out that in a nearby hamlet an ancient pub called The Sloop
became our local watering hole for the four days we were in the area.
A scribe could be penned about this pub alone but would take too
long, for the many great stories you might refer to Steve Hyde,
Charles Bailey, Jack W, Justin,Andy K Gartie and myself to name
a few. The locals of this pub located in the tiny hamlet of Portgain
initially exhibited undisguised dislike towards this band of Englishmen
attired in effete pink and red blazers and speaking in accents that
would normally be a recipe for a disastrous communion with the Welsh !
However by the end of the first night in the pub suffice to say we and
the indigenous population had become lifelong friends and this stayed
the case during g all our following cricket trips.
Post match drinking , with all it’s accompanying ‘ amusements ‘
usually went on to 3 or 4am in the morning at which point a phone
call was made to home base and believe it or not Vicki and Heidi
arose from their slumbers, one to ferry us back from the pub, this
took several ,trips. The other to hastily prepare some urgently needed
blotting paper, usually Chili Con Carne, Beans and Cheese on Toast
and various other welcome dishes. Unfortunately this treat often
resulted in a reawakening of ‘ spirits ‘ and further ‘ activities ‘ often
took pace, tobogganing on trays down the grand staircase comes to
mind !

After some years Vicki and Heidi sold the property to Jerome Flynn,
Eric’s son, and the building went under extensive renovation, I
stayed there with Sally on one occasion and the interior was stunning
but sadly resulted in the end of it being a Vagabond hangout for
four days each year. We did have a couple more good tours to the area
but they were never quite the same without The Manor and it’s two
great ladies Vicki and Heidi.

Vicki became an Honorary Member of the club in 1998 and came
to our Annual Dinner that year in Alresford. She will never be
forgotten by those who knew her from our tours, nor will Heidi to
whom the club offers it’s heartfelt commiserations on the loss of her
wonderful mother.

BDW

Tony Gray
Peter Knatchbull-Hugessen
Peter was an honorary member of the Vagabonds C.C. and a great enthusiast of the club and its ethos. As stepfather to Will,Hugh, and Alex Crichton- Stuart he often turned up at Bentworth to watch Will and Hugh play.

I fondly recall the times we lunched with Peter and Anna Rose prior to our Ropley CC fixture, and in particular the occasion I asked whether he would like to become an honorary member of our club. His reply was decidedly in the affirmative. I then produced a Vags tie for him whereupon he wrenched off his MCC tie, tossed in the direction of the swimming pool, and wore it from then on at every Vagabond occasion, and apparently at Lords too !

I know that Peter was well into his 90’s when he died so he had, as we say, a good innings. He will always be remembered by those ho knew him as the personification of a ‘gentleman’, impeccably mannered, kind, hospitable, and courteous to a fault : he belonged to a bygone age and represented the best of it.

His was a good life.

Barrie Walshe February 2008

Many current vags will not know of Vicki and indeed Heidi, two
great ladies whose input to early 1990’s tours to West Wales live
in Vagabond Cricket Club Folklore.
We made several tours to Llanrhian in West Wales in the nineties
at a time when we had no trouble having 4 day tours at both the
beginning and end of season, it was also normal for at least 18 to
turn up for these , what turned out to be, highly Bacchanalian
events !

These tours were instigated by the late Eric Flynn who had a
long connection and love of this part of the world, he also arranged
accommodation at a crumbling but hugely characterful old Farm
Manor House run by Vicki and Heidi. At this point it is relevant to
point out that in a nearby hamlet an ancient pub called The Sloop
became our local watering hole for the four days we were in the area.
A scribe could be penned about this pub alone but would take too
long, for the many great stories you might refer to Steve Hyde,
Charles Bailey, Jack W, Justin,Andy K Gartie and myself to name
a few. The locals of this pub located in the tiny hamlet of Portgain
initially exhibited undisguised dislike towards this band of Englishmen
attired in effete pink and red blazers and speaking in accents that
would normally be a recipe for a disastrous communion with the Welsh !
However by the end of the first night in the pub suffice to say we and
the indigenous population had become lifelong friends and this stayed
the case during g all our following cricket trips.
Post match drinking , with all it’s accompanying ‘ amusements ‘
usually went on to 3 or 4am in the morning at which point a phone
call was made to home base and believe it or not Vicki and Heidi
arose from their slumbers, one to ferry us back from the pub, this
took several ,trips. The other to hastily prepare some urgently needed
blotting paper, usually Chili Con Carne, Beans and Cheese on Toast
and various other welcome dishes. Unfortunately this treat often
resulted in a reawakening of ‘ spirits ‘ and further ‘ activities ‘ often
took pace, tobogganing on trays down the grand staircase comes to
mind !

After some years Vicki and Heidi sold the property to Jerome Flynn,
Eric’s son, and the building went under extensive renovation, I
stayed there with Sally on one occasion and the interior was stunning
but sadly resulted in the end of it being a Vagabond hangout for
four days each year. We did have a couple more good tours to the area
but they were never quite the same without The Manor and it’s two
great ladies Vicki and Heidi.

Vicki became an Honorary Member of the club in 1998 and came
to our Annual Dinner that year in Alresford. She will never be
forgotten by those who knew her from our tours, nor will Heidi to
whom the club offers it’s heartfelt commiserations on the loss of her
wonderful mother.

BDW

Andy Geach

Andrew James Geach
28th May 1971 – 11th June 2007
Vagabond Member from 1995 to 2007

Vagabonds CC Tour: Brancaster 2000

I regret it is my duty to write this obituary for I fear that I may never find the words that truly convey both my own sense of loss, and that of all the club’s members who felt so much affection and respect for this remarkable man.

Andy’s admission to hospital a couple of years back for a suspected appendicitis, that on his awakening from surgery turned out to be advanced terminal cancer, was a horror story too difficult to imagine : ” Oh well, I’ve always wanted to go to Disneyland ” was his immediate reply to his surgeon ! This was typical of Andy, not bravado, but an attitude that rode any ill luck that life threw at him with his usual brand of sharp humour backed by no little courage.

From day one Andy fought his cancer and later was fortunate enough to find love with his nurse Catherine who in turn loved and cared for him until the end : I am sure everyone is aware of all the hard work they both did for the NET Patient Foundation Charity, and how physically taxing this must have been for Andy at the time.

Andy was a tremendously enthusiastic member of the club and loved it’s ethos, his own contribution as a player and social member was incalculable, on the field of play he will best be remembered for his canny bowling, and his great wit, from which no one was immune ! For him cricket, and it’s aftermath, was fun, and he made it so for everyone who played alongside, and against him – he undoubtedly epitomised the vagabond club spirit more so than any other member ever had, or ever will, and that is saying something !

Affectionately known as Aardvark to his friends, Captain Courageous, or Mister Mischievous would have been equally applicable – some of my fondest memories when wandering down Vagabond Lane are of the many 90’s cricket tours we enjoyed,and of the post match drinking and clowning in favoured watering holes, with Andy nearly always being the central character to all the wild and humorous
activities one associates with Vagabond cricket tours.

For myself it still hurts to think of him, yet I feel honoured to have known him and counted myself a friend of his, Andy’s life was tragically short, but very full, he packed a lot in and created a happier world for all who knew him. His sort are very rare and we are all a little richer for the knowing of him, Andy, thank you for all you gave, you will never be forgotten.

Barrie.

Joey Lonsdale
A founder member of the VCC, his main loves were were shooting and fly fishing, Not exactly a skilled cricketer, but his exuberance on the field was highly infectious.Someone once said, when Joey walks into a room, it’s as though all the lights have come on !
Joey died suddenly through a building accident. He was in his late forties.
Sir Derek March
VCC Vice President with a huge love of cricket and rugby. Diplomatic service, he finished as U.K. High Commissioner in Uganda. The epitome of an English gentleman, he died from Leukemia in his early sixties.
Chris Lentz
VCC wicket keeper & bat in the eighties, his main interest revolved around motoring. Finished 9th in 11000 mile World Cup Rally in 1974. Wicked humour, rough if you were on the end of it ! Died suddenly aged 59
Eric Flynn

Eric’s Obituary from the Daily Telegraph
ERIC FLYNN, who has died aged 62, was a fine male lead in many West End musicals, including Irene, Side by Side by Sondheim, Calamity Jane and Annie Get Your Gun; he was the original Bobby in Stephen Sondheim’s Company and became known to a wider audience when he played Ivanhoe in the BBC’s television adaptation of 1970.
Company – entirely set in the moment that Bobby, a bachelor who could not commit himself romantically, took to blow out the candles on his birthday cake – was one of the most innovative musicals of the 20th century.
Flynn was immediately at home in the part, forming afterwards a special affinity with Sondheim’s work. He also shone in revivals of more traditional shows.
Over the years, Flynn numbered Julia McKenzie, the American pop singer Suzi Quatro and Barbara Windsor among his leading ladies. Eric William Flynn was born on December 13 1939 on Hainan Island in China, where his father was a Customs officer for the Hong Kong government.
After the outbreak of war, young Eric spent his earliest years interned with his family in a Japanese prisoner of war camp in China – an experience which he was to revisit 50 years later when he played a British prisoner in Stephen Spielberg’s film Empire of The Sun.
Eric returned to Britain at the age of 13, and was educated at Chatham House School, Ramsgate, from which he gained a scholarship to Rada, where he met his first wife Fern. After Rada, Flynn was awarded a contract by Granada and presented and sang in shows which featured many of the early popular recording artists.
In 1961 Flynn began his stage career with the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing Amiens in their production of As You Like It, starring Vanessa Redgrave as Rosalind. In 1962-3 he worked at the Old Vic with Tyrone Guthrie and Michael Elliott and played Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice.
He produced a fine performance in the RSC’s production of Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle (Aldwych, 1962) and the following year appeared alongside Charlie Drake at the Palladium in The Man in the Moon.
In 1964, he was engaged by an unlikely group of angels – the Moral Rearmament Association – to play a Christ-figure in Mr Brown Comes Down the Hill at the Westminster Theatre, which the MRA then owned. It was filmed the following year.
After The March Girl (Leatherhead, 1965), the next year Flynn returned to the West End as a caddish, lecherous drunk in The Professor at the Royal Court, and appeared in the comedy Sweet Fanny Adams at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, with Ronnie Barker.
By this time, Flynn had already appeared in a number of films, and was constantly in demand. He had taken roles in The Avengers and Dr Who and, in 1962, Dr Syn and The Silent Invasion.
He was also engaged, in 1966, by Anglia Television for a part in Weaver’s Green, a short-lived rural competitor for Coronation Street, in which Flynn played the eager young partner of a country vet.
Despite this promising scenario – later to prove such a success for All Creatures Great and Small – the series did not prosper. That year, his “believable blend of baffled irritation and sympathy” in Richard Lortz’s The Others (Leatherhead) was much admired.
In 1970, Flynn played Larry, the politically conscientious lead in Terry Hughes and Alan Fluck’s musical version of Love On The Dole at Nottingham Playhouse, and burst on to television screens as Ivanhoe.
The series – broadcast during the BBC’s prime slot for costume drama, tea time on a Sunday – was their first such programme to be shown in colour, and Flynn proved an “agile and resourceful hero”, according to The Daily Telegraph. The Radio Times billed him as “a knight to remember”.
Flynn’s subsequently concentrated on musicals, in which his fine baritone voice was always in demand. As well as Company, he appeared in Irene (Adelphi, 1975) with Jon Pertwee, and his rendition of Anyone Can Whistle was one of the highlights of Ned Sherrin’s 1978 production of Side by Side by Sondheim at the Garrick.
He played Wild Bill Hickock alongside Barbara Windsor in Calamity Jane at Croydon in 1979, and again put on a cowboy hat as Frank in Annie Get Your Gun (Aldwych, 1986), opposite Suzi Quatro.
In 1989, he was much admired as the Count in a revival of Sondheim’s Little Night Music at Chichester, which transferred to the Piccadilly Theatre.
Flynn, usually known to friends as “Paddy”, lived at Ide Hill, near Sevenoaks, for more than 20 years and was a stalwart of the village cricket team, batting and bowling with the same carefree spirit in which he played the swashbuckling Ivanhoe.
He also discovered the north coast of Pembrokeshire, where he had a holiday home and where the peace was disturbed only by Ide Hill’s riotous bi-annual cricket tours.
Flynn met his second wife while touring in South Africa, where he lived and worked for five years in the early 1980s. They then settled in Pembrokeshire, where they restored a Georgian mansion, which Flynn intended to run as a guest house and pottery studio.
The peace there and his annual retreats in India enabled him to face his final illness with great fortitude. He married, first, in 1959, Fern Warner; they had two sons, the actors Daniel Flynn and Jerome Flynn – who, with Robson Green, scored a number one hit with Unchained Melody – and a daughter.
After the marriage was dissolved in 1980, he married, secondly, in 1981, Caroline Forbes, with whom he had a son and a daughter.

(Note: son mentioned in last line is Johnny Flynn musician and actor)

George Kempster
A founder member of the VCC, the original lovable rascal who could be highly volatile but would help anyone in trouble no matter what the cost. A keen gardener, George provided much veg to go with some meat which the club would raffle every Sunday in our local pub. The proceeds helped finance our club set up costs. George passed away in his early sixties.
David Owens
Founder member and later became a VP. A gentle man and a gentleman: a big man in every sense. Dave’s main love was music and he was a most accomplished musician running his own band for many years. He also ran Alton Hospital Radio bringing music and humour to the residents. Dave fought cancer for quite some time before he lost the battle. He was only 53 when he died.
Janet Chaffey
Wife of Stan (a club founder member and captain for 7 years) and mother to Mark and Raymond, both of whom played for the Vagabonds.

Janet provided teas for the club for some 10 years and set the high standards that Gareth later emulated. Janet displayed a deep affection for the Vagabonds Cricket Club members and loved the concept that inspired it’s inception. Janet passed away in 1994 after a long battle against illness during which time she showed great fortitude and spirit – I do not know her exact age but suspect she was in her early fifties.

I was one of many priviged to have known her …she was a true Vagabond soul.

Bryan Lacey
VP and treasurer for many years, Bryan loved rugby and tennis, but came to appreciate cricket through his time with The VCC. A great tourist, Bryan made friends wherever he went. Though his somewhat xenophobic and highly Churchillian manner did not always gain immediate respect, his overall genial nature and love of people would win through in the end. A terrific ambassador to the club, Bryan died suddenly at work in 2004; he was in his mid sixties.
George Barratt
Known as ‘Badger,’ George, a Roofing Thatcher, was a founder member of the VCC and one of it’s great early characters. He supplied much of our initial kit which he had saved from a previous, but now defunct, cricket club. Not the greatest of cricketers but a wonderful character to have around. George actually passed away in the eighties from kidney failure; he was in his early fifties