In 1930 we played in the Tyneside Senior League and had a reputation for encouraging young, talented players.
Between the two World Wars, Tynemouth Cricket Club encouraged young players from local schools to join the club. To this end, local schools invited boys to join the club for a season without the payment of the usual fee. Each school in the old County Borough of Tynemouth sent boys to the club. In 1930 at the age of ten years, I was selected by Queen Victoria school to join the club. I had visited the ground with my father, a keen follower of local cricket, and had played some cricket at school.
In 1930, Tynemouth had a strong first eleven with a professional, David McCreadie, a county player, and also one of the most outstanding young players in the county in Horace Lee, who had been coached at Preston Avenue, and became a county player at age 18.
Tynemouth played in the Tyneside Senior League and had a reputation for encouraging young, talented players. The new recruits from schools in the borough were given coaching lessons and played impromptu games on the outfield. I continued as a junior player in 1931 and remained a keen follower of the club until the 1936 season, when Tynemouth were crowned champion of the newly formed Northumberland Cricket League for the third successive season, this league having been formed in 1934 to improve Northumberland Cricket.
In 1936 I left the area to work in the Air Ministry in London. I joined the Air Ministry Club in 1937 season and played in the Club Cricket Conference in London and surrounding counties until 1939 season. In 1940, I enlisted in the RAF and played some Services cricket for RAF Manby, Lincolnshire. After the summer of 1940, I played only occasional cricket and had little opportunity of playing regularly until I was discharged from the RAF in April 1946.
In season 1946 I re-joined Tynemouth Cricket Club and played some 2nd XI cricket, and in 1947 I captained the club’s 3rd XI. This was the start of my 50 years plus continual membership of the club, in which I played 1st, 2nd and 3rd eleven cricket. In the mid-1960s Alan Harrison and I were asked to reorganise the Club’s junior cricket.
Since that time my main interest has been in promoting young players to improve their skills and to enjoy the game of cricket. This has been a most enjoyable task, and many players of good standard have emerged, including our present 1st XI, Captain Graeme Hallam, a talented Northumberland County player and Wayne Falla, who joined the club as an eight-year-old junior and gained a county cap in 1998 season.
The basis of all Tynemouth teams lies in the young players, who joined as inexperienced juniors and have progressed to 1st eleven and higher standard. In recent seasons both Barry Stewart and Nicky Peng, former junior players, have been selected for England XI’s at “Under 15” age level. Our junior teams have been successful in National “Under 13”, and “Under 15” competitions over a number of seasons, and continue to be an integral part of the club.
My name is Alan Morpeth, and I have the honour to be Club President, and a Life Member of Tynemouth Cricket Club. My wife, Joyce, is also a Life Member having organised Cricket Teas for many seasons until she retired a few years back. Despite that, she still bakes for Cricket Teas, with apple pie a special treat. All of my four daughters have been closely connected with the club, two of whom are members of the Ladies Committee. We look forward to our continued involvement with the Club at Preston Avenue, and its continued existence for many more cricket seasons.