The way we were,
Memories from Roger Bacon
The area between Harvey, Ernest, Manor and Stanley
Roads at the Rectory Road end was a waste ground during the 30s and 40s
called Spion Kop**
This was our playground as children. The boys played
football and cricket. Some of our games were Upstreeters and Downstreeters.
If you lived above the Park Hotel, you were an Upstreeter and below the
Park Hotel were Downstreeters. Spion Kop was our home ground.
During one of the cricket ‘Test Matches’ it was
rumoured that if you joined the Mrs Loveless Bible Class, she was going to
take the boys next summer (1946) to Lords to see England play India and to
meet her nephew, Denis Crompton. Rather like Paul of Tarsus we had instant
conversion and joined the Bible Class, attending throughout the winter.
Sure enough, in June 1946 we went to Lords and we met
Denis Crompton. He apologised to us for getting a duck, and said if we
ever came back he would try to do better. He was bowled by Amarnath (a
right arm bowler who bowled off the right foot). What a thrill for us boys
as we walked through the gates of Lords with Denis Crompton, and the crowd
held back by the police.
However we were loyal and continued attending the
Bible Class. Next year we went to the Oval to see England v South Africa
and we met Leslie Crompton.
Many of these boys later went on to play for Wivenhoe
Town Cricket Club for years to come. They had a firm foundation
remembering that we played on Spion Kop with a hard ball with no pads,
gloves or helmets.
**Spion Kop was the nickname for a tented camp during
World War l.