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News > Archives & History > MCC History at Bishops, of the 1966 Schools Tour from the UK.

MCC History at Bishops, of the 1966 Schools Tour from the UK.

A great friend of Bishops, David Walsh reminiscences about his visit as part of the touring team in January 1966.
David Walsh a member of the tour, second row in the middle of the photograph.
David Walsh a member of the tour, second row in the middle of the photograph.

David Walsh and ODA Paul Murray met when David was writing the definitive book, Public Schools and the Great War - the generation lost (Anthony Seldon & David Walsh, Pen & Sword, Barnsley, 2013).  Basil Bey was working in the archives at the time, and there was the request from the authors to provide information of Bishops' war effort in WWI.  Paul and David have stayed in touch ever since.  David subsequently came to Bishops and addressed some societies, and later they met on the Battlefields Tour of 2017.  More recently they have been in contact over school matters.  

David shared some important information that will excite cricketing aficionados.  He recently attended the Bishop's alumni lunch in London and was seated next to Waine Lawton (1965F) whom he last encountered in the Nuffield Cricket Week 1966 playing for WP Schools and for SA Schools and David, for the MCC Schools touring from England.

David reports that his team stayed for the week in Birt House ... sadly the SA Schools match was rained off but he still kept a couple of items from his scrapbook.

The meeting with Waine was extraordinary after nearly 60 years, not least because both followed the same profession. David writes the following specially for our website:

'There was an extraordinary meeting at the Bishop's London Alumni lunch in March between Waine Lawton and David Walsh, who led the battlefield memorial tour in 2017 and was a guest at the lunch. They had not met for 58 years. In January 1966 Waine was playing for Western Province in Nuffield Week, held in Cape Town, and David was captaining the visiting MCC Schools side which played as guests in  the week. MCC Schools was selected after the customary schools' representative matches at Lord's in the days before age-group cricket was effectively professionalised as England Under 19. MCC Schools had the better of the game against Western Province at Newlands but the big match at the end of the week between MCC Schools and SA Schools was frustratingly rained off. Waine had been selected for that SA Schools side, which was captained by Hylton Ackerman and included Tony Greig, Bruce Groves and Norman Featherstone. MCC Schools stayed for the week in Birt House, where they were well looked after by Peter van der Byl and by Peter le Mesurier. Coincidentally both Waine and David went on to follow the same profession. Waine taught in prep schools and became a headmaster while David taught most of his career at Tonbridge School, from which he retired as Second Master in 2009. This is the only MCC Schools tour there has been to South Africa and came, of course, at a delicate time politically. The first leg of the tour in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe had to be scrapped after UDI was declared, while no official MCC/England side was to tour South Africa again until 1994, but David has some wonderful memories of that tour and especially the experience of playing in Nuffield Week and, of course, boarding in Birt House!'

See below, this is an arial photograph that was taken at the time the MCC side were lodging at Birt House (a boarding house in the prep school at the time).

Further below, the card signed by the players - SA Nuffield and MCC Schools (1966).

[All the images used in this article have been supplied by David Walsh].



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