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Tolethorpe Cricket Club roller inspires ‘then and now’ photo





A photo from the Rutland and Stamford Mercury’s front page in 1959 has been recreated by members of a cricket club.

The picture, which features the club’s old grass roller in front of the pavilion, was found among some old scorebooks by Tolethorpe Park Cricket Club chairman Andy Bullimore.

He decided to investigate, and recruited the help of volunteers from the Mercury archive, based at the newspaper’s offices in Cherryholt Road, Stamford.

The original photo from the front page in 1959
The original photo from the front page in 1959

They helped track it down to the front page of the Mercury on July 24,1959 along with the story of the new roller, ground and pavilion.

Andy said: “It was built from scratch by cricketer Ron Knight, from two hand rollers, parts donated from various old vehicles and farm machinery, and was powered by a petrol engine from an old van.

“The roller remained in use until about 10 years ago, when the diesel engine that had replaced the petrol one gave up the ghost. It remained parked by the side of the pitch unused and unloved until last year.”

The roller had been out of use for a decade
The roller had been out of use for a decade

Andy approached Brian Knight, son of Ron, with a proposal that if the club bought a new engine would he consider renovating it.

Brian, who is more used to renovating vintage cars and tractors, agreed to take it on - and soon realised it would be a big job.

An old Ransomes mower was bought from a club in Yorkshire, and eventually a nearly new Kubota engine. Parts that couldn’t be salvaged were made by Brian from scratch. A video of the re-build can be found on Brian’s YouTube channel ‘Casterton Vintage’.

The ‘new’ roller was delivered last month and is already in full use.

The newly working roller with current club members recreating the original picture
The newly working roller with current club members recreating the original picture

To celebrate the achievement, a new photo was taken at the weekend, 65 years after the front page image.

The photo shows the rebuilt roller in front of the current pavilion with players and supporters.

In today’s picture are Brian Knight and his wife Sheila, and several who were in the original photo - club president Arthur Hinch, Rosemary Hinch, Richard Hinch, Frank and Hazel Hinch, and Robert and Philip Sharpe.

Then and now
Then and now

Tolethorpe Park Cricket Club plays a full Sunday fixture list of friendly cricket from May to September as well as midweek 20/20s. New players of all abilities are welcome to join and can contact Steven Beacham by emailing tolethorpepcc@gmail.com



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