With the Cricket season well under way at the College a timely addition entered the Archive this week: an informative cricket instruction manual written expressly for the College by cricketer and coach Mr Harold Pickthall.
Known as ‘Hal’, he was born in Lancashire in 1896. He played in the Lancashire league before the First World War and then went to Monmouthshire CC in the 1920s. Moving to first-class cricket, he played for Marylebone CC and carved out a successful career as a left-arm medium pace bowler by getting 25 wickets in 12 matches. He later came to Epsom College to coach in the 1930s.
The depth of Pickthall’s experience and the effective use of clear instructional language to describe the steps to successful technique make it appear that even the most novice would be well on their way to the First team having read the manual. Liberally scattered with encouraging phrases, much like you would hear on the pitch, he finishes in his own cheerful style “Think it over, won’t you? And-GOOD LUCK!”