With all the gold medals Great Britain are winning in the Olympics recently, and quite a high percentage going to my home county of Yorkshire, it got me thinking about a gold medal won by my paternal grandfather.
Nothing as high ranking as an Olympic gold, but still a worthy medal in its own right.
Cricket, the bane of my childhood.
The endless Sundays when I was plonked in a deckchair after being dragged along to watch my dad play for some local team.
The fear, when I saw my dad collapse, after being hit in the face by a speeding cricket ball, and later being rushed to hospital, minus his teeth.
It never put him off the game. He played until age took its toll, then he continued to ‘play’ every test match that was televised.
He’d tell me about his days while in the army in India, when he’d played alongside the famous Denis Compton, who was also stationed out there.
In fact, my dad is probably still playing cricket in the wide blue yonder somewhere.
It was in his blood, or so he’d say (I obviously never got my dads blood), going back for generations.
Which brings me to my grandfather, his father.
In 1908 at the age of seventeen while playing for Hull 2nd he performed this amazing feat:
and an engraved gold medal.
When my dad died in 2000, my mum dug out the ball and medal from a drawer it had been hidden away in, and gave them to me.
I recognised the achievement, but not having any interest in cricket at all, I thought long and hard about what I should do with them.
It seemed such a shame, that something that had meant so much to my dad and granddad, would carry on being hidden away in a drawer in my home, also, looking into the future, who would I pass them on to, my two girls had no interest at all.
Suddenly I had an idea………so, first checking with my mum that dad would approve, I approached The Yorkshire County Cricket Club, to ask if they had a museum, and would they be interested in the items for a display.
I was a bit embarrassed to start with, approaching such a big concern, with something, that although happened in Yorkshire, wasn’t anything to do with the County club, but I needn’t have been.
They were at the time extending a museum area, and my offer was greatly accepted.
A few months later I received a handwritten note, and this photograph, explaining the items were now on display in a glass cabinet in the museum.
I hope my dad and grandfather would have approved of my action, but deep down I’m sure they do. 🙂