Canterbury Tales – Memories of Canterbury Week

Wednesday 8th August 2012

Men’s First Team

We invite Kent Cricket supporters to send us their memories of Canterbury Week during this, the 161st Cricket Week – the oldest cricket week in the world. We will add more memories to this page as they are received, andthe top four submissions will be awarded a Shepherd Neame 'Keep Calm and Celebrate' t-shirt. Please send your memories to

Memories of Cricket Week

My father took me to Canterbury for the first time on 1st August 1959 when I was still just 9 years old. I have been a supporter from that day. As it happens, Kent had a poor day, being skittled out for just 80 by the Hampshire bowlers. Colin Cowdrey madeonly 4 runs, though he redeemed himself on the Tuesday with a century in the 2nd innings. The great Godfrey Evans in his final season made 15. He hit a boundary close to the spot where we were sat.

Later, when Hampshire batted, Roy Marshall and Henry Horton dug in and passed Kent's meagre total with only one wicket down. However, they were slow-clapped by the crowd for their pedestrian batting. Fred Ridgeway and Dave Halfyard spearheaded the Kent attack, with Godfrey Evans majestic behind the stumps.

I enjoyed many days at Kent cricket in the 1960s and during the glory years of the 1970s. The last time I managed to make Canterbury week was in 1982. As I now live at the far end of the country in County Durham, it's difficult to get down for Kent games.

However, I always look out for the Kent score and follow the team's progress whereever I am. Kent County Cricket Club has always been my only true sporting loyalty. As I discovered on that first occasion so long ago, Kent cricket matches, especially at Canterbury, have an atmosphere I have not found elsewhere. Long may that be so.

David Rolfe, County Durham

My memory is not of a cricketing highlight but of the Memorial Service held at the Colin Blythe Memorial in 2009.

Rob Key had the 'mounted ball' ready to lay at the foot of the memorial.

Noticing a mark on the ball, he couldn't resist licking his finger, moistening the ball and giving it a rub to shine it.

David Addley

My most treasured memory of Canterbury week remains my first visit. Kent v Yorkshire in a tent by the tree, 1971. I remember a steady stream of Yorkshire batsmen coming in and getting out. We bowled them out twice in a day – 10 for Deadly Derek. I was six and I didn’t want to miss a ball. I’ve felt the same way watching cricket, particularly Kent cricket, ever since.

John Winnifrith

My dad was groundsman in the 50's and I was 10 years old. My job was to collect the waste paper at the end of the day One other great memory was the newspaper seller "Dasher Hart" he was eventually banned for being too noisy.

Ken Blissett