My Generation, by Keith Taylor (snr)

My first game for carlton 2nd XI was at Whitehall Printers in 1960. It was a game to remember but not for the right reasons. Four of us made our debut that day - John Ward, Stuart Crowther, David Bancroft and myself. We failed to impress as we all failed to score, although John was not out.

My dad Fred Taylor was captain at that time and, like myself, played from his teens well into his 60's for Carlton. He was 1st and 2nd X1 captain in his day and was also chairman of the club for 15 years before handing over to Ken Oldroyd. I played along side him for a couple of seasons. It was the beginning of a new era at that time and there was a feeling of something special in the air.

My favourite game was from that era, although I didn't play in it, was the 1961 Hepworth Cup final, played at Headingley against Lofthouse. Carlton was only an average team at this time and spent some seasons in the second division of the league, not having won a trophy for 20 years. I think the match was rained off on the Saturday and was resheduled for the following Monday and Tuesday nights. Non of the leagues played league or cup matches on Sundays in those days, which was a good thing for the youth at Carlton as we played a lot of competative friendly matches on Sundays which had a big influence on our progress as cricketers.

Our opposition in the final was local rivals Lofthouse, you had to play in these matches between the two clubs to appreciate the 'dislike for each other' - it was a bit like Leeds and Manchester United in todays terms.

Lofthouse batted first and scored a mammoth 206 for 6 which was a big score in those days. It was interesting that Jack Field was Carlton's most successful bowler taking 3-31. Jack was only an occassional bowler wiith captain Arthur Sweet only turning to him as a last resort but it turned out to be an insprational decision in the context of the match. Carlton in reply on the following night got off to a steady start, but lost wickets at regular intervals until Jack Fox snr came to the wicket at no.6. Then Carlton began to get a foothold in the game. He scored a typical 67 and with the Carlton tail wagging it was left to the last pair Alan Wright and Peter Clayton to add 28 for the last wicket in a nerve racking final few overs.

That night, not for the last time, we found the hepworth cup held 19 1/2 pints. With it being a night match it was late when we got back to the village working mens club (the old wooden hut) for the celebration and with licensing hours being more strict in those days, it was decided to have a 2nd 'proper' celebration on the following Saturday.

This match was a turning point for the club because as the old team broke up during the next couple of years a new group of mainly teenage players emerged, Geoffrey Gray, Brian Ramsden, Harry Smith, Paul Stanyard, John Ward and myself became regular team members, and this group became the backbone of the club for years to come. At the same time, due to the dedication of Paul Stanyard and Jack Field, a thriving junior system was put in place and a regular stream of young players (too many to mention) came on tap to take their oppprtunties when they arose. They first passed through the 2nd XI which had become a force in itself and the club went from strength to strength, with Ken Townsley, David Stacey and others carrying on the good work with the juniors.

I've also been lucky to play with both my sons, Keith and Thomas on several occassions. One time we were playing with the 1st XI at Poole when a car full of players went missing en route. 10 year old Thomas became a substitute fielder for a few overs until the missing players appeared. On arriving late they quickly disposed of the "Brian's fish and chips" boxes, changed and vey sheepishly entered the field of play!

Finally, during this period the club thrived in all departments and had a committee led by Ken Oldroyd that was second to none. Another unsung hero of the time was tea lady Winnie Fox who was already established long before I started and was there at the end.