Act 1 Scene 4 – Early Days. Cricket with club and school
Peter’s early development as a cricketer by James his older brother.
This is recorded in the script of the book “My Family and Other Disasters” that Peter and Dad had co-written. Peter had intended to edit and publish it. The chapter ‘Tales from Bath’ has several amusing anecdotes. Here I’ll just try to give a brief outline of events relevant to Peter’s cricket development.
Peter aged 5 became a youth member of Bath Cricket Club. Each summer weekend, whenever possible, he went down to the Ground, took some sandwiches, and sat on one of the benches. He left at the time he had been told, and walked home. Mum and Dad had agreed that the time could be a bit flexible, according to state of play.
Soon Peter began chatting with elderly Club Members who came and sat by him. They were so impressed by his cricket knowledge, that he was soon asked to take over the scoreboard. It was not long before he also became the official scorer for some of their matches. On one famous occasion he had to do both!
Meanwhile, close to the Bath Cricket Club, Peter Wight had set up his Indoor Cricket Net, where he coached, and had started sessions for youngsters. Dad asked him one day if he’d ever had a six- year old to coach. (Dad thought that Peter would soon give up when facing a hard ball!)
On advice, our Peter, aged 9, transferred to Lansdowne Cricket Club, which had a renowned Youth Team Policy. He was soon in their Under 19 Team. Aged 10, he travelled with the team to Millfield to play against their Senior Colts Team (under 17). Peter was a skilful leg-break bowler by then, and the story went round the grape-vine that Millfield Senior Colts had been ‘bowled out by a 10 year old kid’.
The Headmaster of Millfield was a cricket enthusiast, and was watching the match. He spotted Peter. Later, my family moved to Street. Peter, and my younger two sisters, started at Millfield (Senior or Junior School). Paul was too young, but moved there later. Rosalie was due to start at University. I was already away at University by then. When I came home for holidays, I was still sharing a room with Peter, this time in the attic!
Peter Wight was a great coach. He certainly helped me, and two of my sisters became players in his junior County Ladies Team. And he gave our Peter a wonderful start. Mum and Dad invited him to Lords when Peter received the ‘England Under 17 Young Player of the Year’ award.
The little lad with the red cap and his bat; Lansdowne Under-19 Team, with the coach Mr. Read at the back