THE CRANBROOKIAN of 1947 reads as follows:
“On August 16th this year we play the Old Suttonians at Sutton. If, as we hope, this fixture is played in future years, we want to add to it one or two more and so begin a modest cricket week based on the School ground. For some years Mr. F.W. L. Evans has raised a side to play the Bedford Martlets, at Cranbrook, during their Kent tour. Next year the O.C.'s will take over this fixture and it is hoped to arrange this game and the match with Old Suttonians on successive days”. From this initial idea the Club was formally started with the election of the following Officers in 1950: President - F.W.L.Evans (Master i/c Cricket), Vice Presidents - A.W.Rammell (Former Headmaster), Russell Scott (Headmaster), G.D.Durtnell (Old Cranbrookian), Joint Honorary Secretaries - E.A.Couchman (Horsley 1936 ), P.A.West (Crowden 1939), Honorary Treasurer - P.M.Groves (Cornwallis 1946).
The first Rules were agreed at an A.G.M. held in August 1953 and were modified at a similar meeting in August 1955. The inaugural match was played against Old Suttonians in 1947. From the early 1950’s a series of matches were scheduled for the 2nd week of August, which became known as the “Lynxes Week”. Lynxes Cricket has been an important part of the annual programme for Old Cranbrookians ever since. Few Old Boys Cricket Clubs can have operated continuously for such an extended period on the same ground. The Lynxes have now played cricket in the August week or in the Cricket World Trophy competition against 49 different opponents, of which 18, including The Old Cranbrookians from Sydney, Australia, have been genuine Old Boys teams,
"Joe" Evans held the position of President of the Club until shortly before his death in 1980. He was succeeded by Peter West who held the position for a further 15 years. Throughout this time the Club was run by the Officers and Committee in a fairly formal manner with members being specifically elected. The fixture list was developed with games against Cranbrook Town, Bluemantles and other Old Boys sides (such as Old Merchant Taylors and Old Roffensians). The social side of the week was always important with visiting OCs being allowed to stay in boarding houses, use the school swimming pool and tennis courts. The Windmill Pub was always much in use.
The fixture list altered somewhat over the years and in 2007 it was decided to move the “Week” to early July to better attract current students. It now begins with a game against the School and the OCA. Golf Day - but the aims are still the same: to bring together OCs of all ages (especially recent leavers) to enjoy cricket in familiar surroundings and at a reasonable cost.
Most matches are played with a 50 over per side format. Work done by a sub-committee of Jeremy Lawson (1990 A), Nick Pink (1995 C), Patrick Coyne (2007 W) and Max O’Collins (2009 W) modernised Lynxes Cricket whilst retaining its traditional values and ideals. Events with different formats included The Lynxes “Lash” (7 aside) and 30 overs per side matches.
The Club has become more open, seeking additional playing support from relations of students and OCs and in 2017 our first female player, Izzy Cloke (2018 A), represented the Lynxes.
President, Gary Marshall (Horsley 1977), Chairman, Owen Dearn (Webster 2012), Treasurer, Sam Stibbs (Allan 2012), Nick Manser (Rammell 2011) and Joe Schindler (Allan 2012).
Records and Achievements
"The Lynxes have now played cricket in the “week” or in the Cricket World Trophy competition against over 50 different opponents, of which 18, including The Old Cranbrookians from Sydney, Australia, have been genuine Old Boys teams,
Nearly 500 matches have taken place and well over 500 players have represented the Club.
In 1990, the Lynxes won the first "Cricket World" Cup knock-out competition for Old Boys teams and we were successful again in this competition in 2005.
Traditionally the Old Cranbrookians played against the School during the summer term. More recently the organisation of the OC team has been the responsibility of the Lynxes Club. H.J. (Henry John) Wybourn (1951 C) was one of the club’s most loyal members from 1952 until his death in 2010. In 2003 the Lynxes decided to introduce a cup in his name to mark his 50 years of attending Lynxes week. The John Wybourn Cup is awarded to the winning Captain in the Lynxes v School game.
Other Cups are awarded for bowling and batting performances during the “Week” in memory of former Lynxes, David Winterbottom (Crowden 1959) and Andrew Bond (Rammell 1955).
In such a club there are always a few real stalwarts. Notable contributors include:
Gary Marshall (1977 H) – current Chairman of the Club, over 150 matches played and over 4,500 runs scored.
Tim Spelling (1972 H) – former Chairman of the Club, 260 wickets taken
The Lynxes CC are in London too,participating in the Last Man Stands 8-a-side league which takes place in Regents Park on Sundays.Contact Owen Dearn on 07855 788254.
A dinner was held on Saturday, August 19 th., 1972 at the Willesley Hotel, Cranbrook Frank Evans (President) was in the chair with over 40 Lynxes attending. Official guests of the Club were Peter Rowe, Charles Russell-Scott and Derek Hickmott. Derek Hickmott was presented with a Lynxes tie in appreciation of the good wickets he had prepared over many years. Frank Evans spoke and Peter West made a brief reply. The following day The President’s XII played a game against Peter West’s and Eric Couchman’s XII, which ended in a draw.After the game Mr and Mrs Peter Rowe invited Lynxes and their families to School House for drinks.
A dinner was held at the Willesley Hotel, Cranbrook on Saturday, August 8 th., 1987 after an internal game was played on Bigside. Frank Evans (President) was in the chair with over 40 Lynxes attending and Hopper Levett (Kent and England) spoke. The Dinner was attended by the following Lynxes: J.G.Barham, T.R.G.Barlow, J.D.J.Bluett, M.C.Bowles, A.L.Congreve, N.R.G.Defrates, J.D.Ericson, R.W.Fisher, R.A.Fry, J.A.Fryer, P.H.Hawkins, R.C.Holliday, A.Isbister, M.J.Jenner, R.E.Lane, A.W.King, J.D.Kitchin, S.A.Kitchin, R.T.Nye, D.K.Penfold, J.Philpot, M.H.Richards, D.E.Robathan, J.W.W.Taylor, P.R.Thompson, W.Tipples, J.A.H.Townsend, P.A.West, S.A.West, S.E.West, T.J.M.Wilson, H.J.Wybourn. The guests were: Ian Larkin (Cranbrook Town), Ron Dawkins (Windmill Inn), Ian Bunker (Old Suttonians), Nigel Wheeler (Scorpions)
A dinner was held at the Weald of Kent Golf Club, Headcorn on Saturday, August 9 th., 1997. John Taylor (Chairman) was in the chair and Nigel Wheeler (co-founder of the Scorpions C.C.) was Guest of Honour. The Dinner was attended by the following Lynxes (some accompanied by their with lady guests): T.Allen, J.G.Barham, T.R.G.Barlow, J.D.J.Bluett, D.Firminger, R.W.Fisher, M.C.Foreman, R.A.Fry, R.C.Holliday, C.W.Jenner, M.J.Jenner, J.Jowers, T.R.M.Keefe, M.A.Rayfield, M.H.Richards, S.R.O.Shearburn, T.R.E.Spelling, R.M.Stancombe , C.Thompson, J.Thompson, P.R.Thompson, J.A.H.Townsend, H.J.Wybourn, H.Youngman
A dinner was held at the School on Saturday, August 21st 2007.Jeremy Barham (President) was in the chair and Tim Spelling (Chairman) spoke on behalf of the Club. Nigel Wheeler (co-founder of the Scorpions C.C. and High Sheriff of Kent) replied. Philip Humphreys (Master i/c Cricket) was a Guest. Richard Hillier ran an auction after the Dinner to raise money for Club funds. The Dinner was attended by the following Lynxes (most accompanied by their with lady guests):
T.Allen, T.R.G.Barlow, D.Firminger, R.W.Fisher, J.Furminger, R.C.Holliday, M.J.Jenner, A.W.King, J.Lawson, J.Lintott, G.Marshall, G.May, J.Philpot, J.Posgate, M.H.Richards, S.R.O.Shearburn, J.W.W.Taylor, C.Thompson, P.R.Thompson, J.A.H.Townsend, S.A.West, S.E.West, H.J.Wybourn,
A dinner was held at the School on Saturday, July 15th2017. Gary Marshall (President) was in the chair and Jeremy Barham (Past President) acted as “Master of Ceremonies”. Desmond High (Old Suttonians) proposed a toast to the Lynxes and Gary Marshall replied. A slide presentation and a video, courtesy of Jeremy Barham and Nick Manser respectively, were shown during the evening, which was attended by the following Lynxes (many accompanied by their lady guests): T.Allen, S. Anthonisz, T.R.G.Barlow, C. Barrett, J. Barron, M. Bates, L. Bertoli-Mitchell, W. Chuter, O. Dearn, J. Durtnell, D.Firminger, J.Furminger, G. Gibbons, D. Gordon, R. Hillier, M.Jakob, A.W.King, J.Lawson, N.Manser, P. Manwaring, G.Marshall, J . Marshall, T. Mullins, P. Newman, J.Philpot, N. Powell, A. Presnell, M.H.Richards, J. Schindler, T. Seagrim, J . Senneck, F Skarbeck, S. Smith, T. Spelling, S. Stibbs, J.W.W.Taylor, P.R.Thompson, J.A.H.Townsend, T. Wilson, R. Wickham, K. Wookey.
Other OCs, having played their first Lynxes cricket during the afternoon, also came to the Dinner, including: Alex Behling, Alex Hodgkins, Andy Powell, Gus Powell, Rich Scully, Ben Steel, Josh Waterworth.
The 75th Anniversary of the Lynxes was celebrated on July 15th 2022 when a dinner at the school, organised by Gary Marshall, President of the Club, was attended by about 50 people, including Will Chuter (Headmaster), David Firminger and Alex Presnell (former Heads of P.E.) and Lynxes players from the late 1950s to the present day, with several being accompanied by their partners.
Gary welcomed all the attendees and mentioned that some notable people could not attend due to illness or other personal reasons, including the Guest of Honour, Robin Mayes (Fleet Street Exiles C.C.) Honey Barras and fellow Lynxes Richard Fisher, John Furminger, Roger Tapping, Philip Thompson and John Townsend,
Gary announced that Graeme Edmonds (Head Chef), who is leaving after 17 years in charge of catering for the school, would be presented with a new style Lynxes shirt, monogrammed with his initials to mark the gratitude of the club for his services to and the Lynxes. Gary then invited some members of the Lynxes club to speak.
Tim Spelling related how much enjoyment Lynxes cricket had given him over many years. He spoke of his willingness to devote some of his summer holidays to come back to Cranbrook to play a high standard of cricket amongst friends and enjoy the rivalry with regular opponents such as The Racqueteers. He invited more of the younger players to contribute to the Lynxes Memories section of the OCA website. Jeremy Barham described how the club operated in its early years under the watchful eye of Frank “Joe” Evans and how, inspite of much change, the central purpose of the club remained the same. He thanked Gary, Owen and the current Committee for keeping the club going through the recent difficult years and urged younger players to add their support in the future.Tim Barlow described some of his own special memories – his first game against the Old Suttonians; the off-field exploits of visiting members of The Racqueteers; and a very personal contest when he scored three successive boundaries off the bowling of the England player, Bob Woolmer. Tim’s description of each of these shots was cheered on by younger members of the audience. Will Chuter, Headmaster and Lynxes player, said one of his aims would be to provide future Lynxes players. He confirmed that, under the guidance of Mike Parr (Master i/c cricket), the standard of junior cricket was improving rapidly and he was optimistic for the future of senior boys and girls. Among the latter, Maisie Wright is already representing Kent. Will confirmed that the school would be re-installing practice nets on Bigside and also has a long term project to develop a new cricket ground and pavilion on Cornwallis field.
Owen Dearn called on his contemporaries and others to support the club and said that he was determined to ensure that Lynxes cricket continued for many years to come. Then, in his closing words, Gary Marshall announced that the Lynxes would be donating £ 1,000 to the School’s project to relay the square on Bigside. A raffle raised further funds for the club.
OCs Attending: Tom Allen (W 1986), Simon Anthonisz (R 1970), Jeremy Barham (C 1960), Tim Barlow (H 1965), James Barron (C 1991), Luca Bertoli-Mitchell (W 2012), Will Chuter (W 1996), Louis Cox, Owen Dearn (W 2012), Roger Eltringham (C 1957), George Gibbons (R 2012), Jake Hornsby (R 2010), Finn Hulbert (C 2014), Josh Humphreys (R 2014), Ian Klemen (H 1960), Tom Laver (2021), Nick Manser (R 2010), Gary Marshall (H 1977), Giles May (C 1991), Toby Mullins (R 1979), Toby Russell-Vick (A 2014), Joe Schindler (A 2012), Jeremy Senneck (H 1958), Peter Senneck (H 1958), Matt Simpson (A 2014), Tim Spelling (H 1972), John Taylor (A 1967), Hugo Youngman, (A 1983).
The Pavilion was built in 1963, funded by Old Cranbrookians. The Honours Board inside the pavilion bears the following text:
“THE EVANS PAVILION
A gift to the School from Old Cranbrookians
This games pavilion was opened by Mr F.W.L.Evans, Vice-Master, on 13 th July, 1963, and it is named after him as a tribute to one whose inspiring contribution to Cranbrook sport is outstanding. It replaces the pavilion given by him to the School in 1935. “ In 1977 the Lynxes presented Frank Evans with a limited edition print of Colin Cowdrey to mark his 50 th year of association with cricket at Cranbrook. The pavilion was completelyr efurbished in 2017, thanks to the generosity of a parent.
The club’s original flag was designed by Robert Overy (Art Master at the School) in 1955. A replacement flag was introduced in 2003 but (due to the absence of a flagpole) it can no longer be used.
With thanks to past groundsmen
1947 - 1957 W.Y. Carter, 1949 – 1991 Derrick Hickmott, 1957 - 1959 Bob (“Pip”) Sawyer, 1994 - 2001 Roger Sage, 2002 – 2006 Terry, 2007 - Steven Hooper
Note: a seat by the pavilion bears the following inscription: In Memoriam: D.C.Hickmott October 1949 – June 1991
With thanks to past umpires
Many have kindly offered their services for umpiring over the years. Amongst these the following deserve special mention: Frank Evans, Cecil Baker, Eric Hardcastle, Philip Hawkins, David Firminger, Roger Burgess, Ted Bunch
With thanks to the Windmill Inn
The Windmill was for many years the venue for lunches and post-match drinking and in the early years committee meetings were also held in the pub. The landlords, whose names will be familiar to Lynxes over the years include: David and Ivy Protheroe(David Protheroe was elected an Honorary Member of the Lynxes. He died in December 1954), Mr and Mrs B.C.Bishop(1960), Mr and Mrs John Tyerman, Mr and Mrs Gifford, Tony and Pat Collinge, Mr Lees, Ron and Lyn Dawkins(1975 – 1994), Chris and Francis Archer(1995 - 2002)
F.W.L.Evans - Staff (1947 – 79)
P.A.West - Crowden 1939 (1979 – 98)
J.G.Barham - Crowden 1960 (1979 – 2015)
F.W.L.Evans - Staff (1950 – 65)
E.S.Couchman - Horsley 1936 (1966 – 68)
J.G.Barham - Crowden 1960 (1969 – 85)
J.W.W.Taylor - Allan 1967 (1986 – 96)
H.Youngman - Allan 1983 (1997 – 2003)
T.R.E. Spelling - Horsley 1972 (2004 – 09)
G.H. Marshall - Horsley 1977 (2010 – 14)
Nick Pink - Crowden 1995 (2015 – 20)
Past Vice Presidents
All the following are sadly deceased
A.W.Rammell - 1885 (1950 - 55)
C.Russell Scott J.P. - Head Master (1950 – 80)
A.L.CongreveB.E.M.- School Staff (1954 – 88)
J.MacG.Kendall-Carpenter - Head Master (1964 - 90)
F.J.G.Shearburn - Horsley 1940 (1964 - 75)
J.P. - Crowden 1931 (1957 - 94)
G.D.Durtnell - Allan 1920 (1950 - 88)
E.G.Skelton - School Staff (1960 - 88)
E.S.Couchman - Horsley 1936 (1966 - 98)
P.H.Hawkins - School Staff (1977 - 98)
H.J Wybourn - Crowden 1951 (1978 – 2010)
Past Honorary Secretaries
E.S.Couchman- Horsley 1936 (1947- 62)
P.A.West - Crowden 1939 (1947- 62)
E.S.Couchman- Horsley 1936 (1963- 65)
D.J.Winterbottom- Crowden 1959 (1966 – 74 )
M.J.Jenner - Horsley 1967 (1975 – 80)
J.Philpot - Webster 1977 (1981 – 91)
E.Hussell - Cornwallis 1987 (1992 – 94)
J.C.Thompson - Webster 1991 (1995 - 2004)
Past Assistant Honorary Secretaries
- Crowden 1951 (1966 – 74)
- Horsley 1937 (1975 – 78)
Allan 1967 (1979 – 80)
P.R.Thompson - Horsley 1963 (1981 -98)
C.N.Thompson - Webster 1994 (1999 – 2003)
Past Honorary Treasurers
P.M.Groves - Cornwallis 1946 (1950 - 70)
R.C.Holliday - Horsley 1966 (1971 – 85)
R.W.Fisher - Rammell 1967 (1986 – 95)
H.Burrough - Horsley 1987 (1996 - 98)
S.P.Drake - Rammell 1993 (1999 – 2003)
C.N. Thompson - Webster 1994 (2004 –15)
Past Honorary Match Secretaries
P.A.West - Crowden 1939 (1963 - 64)
T.E.F. Gunter - Horsley 1961 (1965 – 67)
D.J.Woodford- Crowden 1954 (1968 – 72)
P.A.West - Crowden 1939 (1973 – 78)
T.R.G.Barlow- Horsley 1965 (1979 – 81)
J.W.W.Taylor- Allan 1967 (1982 - 85)
R.A.Fry - Webster 1984 (1986 – 87)
H.Burrough - Horsley 1987 (1988 – 94)
T.Allen - Webster 1986 (1995 – 2015)
Past Committee Members
J.D.J.Bluett - Rammell 1948 (1953 – 54)
J.R.C.Webster - Crowden 1953 (1953 – 54)
R.T.Nye - Horsley 1949 (1954 -69)
F.J.G.Shearburn - Horsley 1940 (1955 -63)
H.J.Wybourn - Crowden 1951 (1957 – 62)
J.A.H.Townsend - Cornwallis 1956 (1959 – 62, 64, 79 – 83)
A.E.S.Bond - Rammell 1955 (1964 – 73)
C.J.Edwards - Horsley 1937 (1964 – 69)
J.G.Barham - Crowden 1960 (1965 - 68)
R.V.Harding - Horsley 1958 (1965 – 69)
D.K.Penfold - Crowden 1952 (1971 – 74)
S.A.Prall - Cornwallis 1960 (1973 – 80)
J.W.W.Taylor- Allan 1967 (1970 – 78)
C.J.Edwards - (1970-74)
T.R.G.Barlow- Horsley 1965 (1970 – 78)
M.J.Jenner - Horsley 1967 (1941 – 74 and 82 – 83)
T.R.E.Hartley- School Staff (1974 -75)
T.J.Allen - School Staff (1976 – 79)
G.H.Marshall - Horsley 1977 (1979 -83)
J.Furminger - School Staff (1980 – 83, 86 – 90 and 97 – 98)
R.W.Fisher - Rammell 1967 (1982 – 83)
H.Youngman - Allan 1983 (1984 – 96)
T.Allen - Webster 1986 (1986 – 90)
C.Edwards - Rammell 1980 (1986)
G.Watson - Horsley 1983 (1986)
J.C.Honey - Webster 1989 (1990 – 96)
A.Presnell - School Staff (1991 – 96)
J.C.Thompson - Webster 1991 (93)
N.Byrom - Crowden 1995 (1997 – 98)
S.P. Drake - Rammell 1993 (1997 – 98)
W.A.Chuter - Webster 1996 (2001 – 14)
N.Pink - Crowden 1995 (2009 – 14)
O.Morkel - Allan 2005 (2009 - 19)
P.Coyne - Webster 2007 (2011 - 19)
Paul Morkel - Allan 2004 (2011 - 19)
Max O’Collins - Webster 2009 (2013 - 19)