A piece of cricketing history returns to Derbyshire town

Langley Mill CC 1904
Langley Mill CC 1904

A piece of cricket memorabilia commemorating a legendary  Langley Mill cricketer has been returned to the town after 119 years.

Langley Mill Cricket club were bowled over when they were sent a pewter tea pot presented to Arthur West in 1900 for scoring the most 20s in a season for the club.

Pewter teapot presented to Arthur West

Pewter teapot presented to Arthur West

Arthur West helped Langley Mill to become the top club in the area and was reckoned by many to be worthy of a County call up, before he left to achieve great things for another team in Scotland.

The trophy recently arrived at the home of Langley Mill’s Steve Brown.

Steve said: “Something like this just cements the club’s place in the history of the area.”

Club president Andrew Ball said he was amazed that someone had taken the time to pass the keepsake on to the club.

The trophy came with a letter from West’s grandson (age 85), also called Arthur who wrote that he wanted the keepsake returned to its rightful place.

In a letter to the club he added: “I am single and I couldn’t bear the thought of a stranger emptying my house and throwing it away”.

West who lived in Marlpool and worked as a miner, was lured to the East coast of Scotland to become the club professional for Clackmannan County Cricket Club.

Apart from the offer of one trial match which he had to turn down due to work commitments, the County call had never materialised.

Clackmannan is a small town in the central lowlands near Alloa nestling in the Forth Valley. Quite a different setting for Arthur, wife Eliza and his young family however he soon adapted to become the bed-rock of the club, playing for them for many years and finally calling his playing days over at the age of 60.

In a ten-year period playing for the club between 1920 and 1930, West scored over 1,800 runs and took a total of 550 wickets, helping the Clackmannan outfit become the premier club in the area, winning several area championships whilst playing against many other city-based clubs including Aberdeen Cricket Club.

His home county of Derbyshire hadn’t forgotten him.

In 1908 a glowing tribute appeared in the local papers bemoaning the loss of West to Scotland, describing him as “a sterling all-rounder” and “an instance of strength, honour and reputation lost to the County”.

In his adopted country the newspapers praised him as playing with “freedom and skill” and a “punisher of bowling with great ease.”

Langley Mill are due to celebrate their 150th anniversary in 2020 and are hoping to develop their club house this Winter where the newly acquired trophy will be on display take pride of place along with the memory of a slice of local history returning home.