more than a mink coat…

Women: central to a cricket club?

Women: central to a cricket club?

Something that has struck me in listening to the Taking the Field stories is how central women have always been to most of the clubs, these days clubs have thriving girls and women’s teams but in the past women were also important as spectators, administrators or for under taking the vitally important role of making the cricket tea!  Here at the MCC women have not had such a central role for quite as long as shown in this very sweet letter found by MCC archivist Robert Curphey among the secretaries correspondence.

lady letter 2

A copy of the reply was found along side.

lady reply 2

I’m not sure I like the way he agrees that her ‘friends are entirely correct’ – thus she is foolish!  Guess she’s had the last laugh as Betty Archdale, Edna Barker, Audrey Collins, Carole Cornthwaite, Jackie Court, Rachael Heyhoe-Flint, Sheila Hill, Norma Izard, Diana Rait Kerr and Netta Rheinberg became the first honorary lady members in 1999.

It makes me feel very sad that women had to wait until 1999 to be allowed to become members of the MCC, but I suppose perhaps I should just celebrate that we got there in the end, though I wish it had been in time for Madeline Gale to get her dearest wish.

Hear some happier tales of women and cricket at  http://www.takingthefield.com/ . My Favourites include :

The sky’s the limit –  http://www.takingthefield.com/stories/skys-limit

The girls and girlies of Spondon C.C. –  http://www.takingthefield.com/stories/girls-and-girlies-spondon-cc

The tea ladies and Royal Hill Road –  http://www.takingthefield.com/stories/spondon-ccs-grounds-1-tea-ladies-and-royal-hill-road

(Letters supplied by Robert Curphey at the MCC Archive.  Photograph of ‘Miss Cricket Queen’ from Yorkshire County Cricket Club: American tour 1964, supplied by MCC Library).

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6 Comments

Filed under archive, Cricket, lady members, Librarianship, MCC, women's cricket

6 responses to “more than a mink coat…

  1. Alex Britten

    Excellent post! Although it does make me sad that my beloved cricket was archaic in its views on women and their role in cricket clubs, as you quite rightly say, women are as important as men at a cricket club. My dear old mother was honoured at our Annual dinner the other week for her services to the club in a scoring capacity, what a forward thinking club we are eh?!

  2. what a lot of information a couple of letters can convey! it is loathsome how this woman wrote in an almost apologetic way–look at how she is practically grovelling and presenting herself as ignorant and foolish. i also am glad that we got there 🙂

  3. This brings two things to my mind: one is how long women fought just to receive the right to vote, and February being Black History Month, there was slavery and there were long fights just to be free! I am just so thankful for these brave people of the past that fight for our rights! :). Great post!

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