Enid Todd, daughter of Harold speaking in 2001
Enid Todd, daughter of England Cricketing Legend Harold Larwood, spoke to me earlier today regarding some exciting news that will ensure Harold’s name will continue to live on for many years to come….
When I visited the U.K. last year I was invited by the Kirkby Portland Cricket Club to visit the Nuncargate Cricket Ground, which they had purchased in 1990. This being the ground on which my father, Harold Larwood, commenced his cricket career, I was obviously very excited.
At that time they had applied for a grant to build a new pavilion to honour the memory of “this local illustrious sportsman, who was one of the legends of the 20th Century”. The club has now received the grant and are hoping that the pavilion will be ready for the commencement of the cricket season in 2002.
A small function was held at the Cricketers Arms Pub, which is adjacent to the ground, and I was able to meet lots of people who had many memories of Dad to tell me. One legend is that because my father had such a long run when bowling, he had to start in a neighbouring field and run through a gap in the hedge. Imagine what a terrifying sight this would be to the batsman! Everyone wanted to talk to me and some of the old gents sneaked a kiss!
Also at the function were members of the Kirkby in Ashfield council with a small model statue of my father, which they are hoping to erect in the town centre this summer. About half of the money needed for this venture has been raised and donations are still required. When finished, it will be a life size bronze statue depicting Larwood about to release one of his fearsome deliveries.
Kirkby Portland is Kirkby’s only remaining senior cricket club and they are hoping to build the new brick pavilion and training nets at the Nuncargate ground to help keep the sport thriving in the town.
The Nuncargate area is rich in cricketing history. The local school , Kirkby Woodhouse Primary less than a mile from the cricket ground, boasts five Nottinghamshire and England cricketers amongst its former pupils. They are; William Whysall 1887-1930, Sam Staples 1892-1950, Harold Larwood 1904-1995, Bill Voce 1909-? and Joe Hardstaff 1911-?. The four sporting houses at the school are named after WHysall, Larwood, Voce and Hardstaff.
Terry Barrett the club chairman said, “We want to try and make sure cricket survives in this community. We also want to expand even more as regards youth. We have teams from the under 10’s and involve children from local schools. But we’re expanding on that by having a tournament with all the Kirkby primary schools involved. The Nottingham Disabled Cricket Club also wish to play on the ground when the facilities are in place”
I have been unofficially invited to open the Larwood Pavilion next year and I will be delighted to represent my family at this exciting event.