Book Review - All Wickets Great and Small

Book Review - All Wickets Great and Small

Joined: 02 Apr 2009, 12:57

24 Oct 2016, 10:52 #1

All Wickets Great and Small
John Fuller
Pitch Publishing 2016

In my experience it’s never too early to start dropping hints about Christmas books and John Fuller has helpfully provided us with a book that will delight and entertain any Yorkshire cricket fan through the dark nights of Winter.
At its simplest, it’s a charming one man odyssey through the more picturesque, entertaining or downright strange backwaters of Yorkshire Club Cricket. We visit a variety of clubs selected at random and get a charming first person account of the club, ground and - most importantly - the people who keep the clubs going. It’s the people that make the book – the groundsman who has the near-mystical ability to start the mower and the countless women dispensing tea and cakes with stoic humour and kindness.
Its written against a slightly depressing backdrop – while the author has managed to find one new club – there are many more who have closed or who are hanging on to survival by their fingertips. There are depressing stories about clubs being burgled or vandalised – and struggling to attract players into their youth teams. And yet – I suspect – if Old Ebor or Jim Kilburn had written similar books at any point over the last hundred and fifty years there would have been similar tones of doom and gloom and regrets that things weren’t as good as they used to be…
Some things are certainly not the same however. One small and ironic change is that the influx of Muslim players means that some clubs can no longer rely on bar income as a major source of income – and it’s difficult to imagine what Old Ebor would have made of the game between Imams and Vicars which this author enjoyed in Dewsbury.
This is a refreshing picture of the Yorkshire we all know and love – stormy clouds rolling across a brooding landscape at Queensbury – but it’s also a fascinating insight into the World of public transport! I’m amazed that the Author has such patience and perseverance – especially given that the vagaries of the timetable means that he rarely – if ever – manages to see the end of any game. Alongside the transport information, history and cake reviews – it would have been nice to hear a little more about some of the games he watches. It also seems a shame that while have we several references to transporting camera equipment none of the actual photos are included. I appreciate that this is obviously a cost consideration – but this is a book that is crying out for pictures to accompany the prose. Next time perhaps.
These are very minor quibbles about a book that had me laughing out loud at times. There are so many clubs in here that it would be unfair to single out any individuals but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the chapter about watching Yorkshire at North Marine Road. The author manages to put into words what many of us feel about this very special and unique place – and that alone makes it worth adding it to your festive list.
Merry Christmas reading everyone…
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Joined: 18 Oct 2013, 20:29

24 Oct 2016, 13:07 #2

My God Steve! Cant remember when you last posted so much text. Have you been saving all this up whilst restricting yourself to a year or two of pithy two-liners.
Enjoyed reading this account almost as much as I enjoyed the book itself- (covered in a book thread a few weeks back).
John is certainly a man you'd want by your side if ever you find yourself stuck in a bus shelter in the middle of nowhere.
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Joined: 20 Aug 2013, 11:26

24 Oct 2016, 14:51 #3

Well written Steve. A lot of effort gone in to the review. No longer a man of few words!!
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Joined: 22 Oct 2013, 14:47

26 Oct 2016, 10:42 #4

All Wickets Great and Small
John Fuller
Pitch Publishing 2016

In my experience it’s never too early to start dropping hints about Christmas books and John Fuller has helpfully provided us with a book that will delight and entertain any Yorkshire cricket fan through the dark nights of Winter.
At its simplest, it’s a charming one man odyssey through the more picturesque, entertaining or downright strange backwaters of Yorkshire Club Cricket. We visit a variety of clubs selected at random and get a charming first person account of the club, ground and - most importantly - the people who keep the clubs going. It’s the people that make the book – the groundsman who has the near-mystical ability to start the mower and the countless women dispensing tea and cakes with stoic humour and kindness.
Its written against a slightly depressing backdrop – while the author has managed to find one new club – there are many more who have closed or who are hanging on to survival by their fingertips. There are depressing stories about clubs being burgled or vandalised – and struggling to attract players into their youth teams. And yet – I suspect – if Old Ebor or Jim Kilburn had written similar books at any point over the last hundred and fifty years there would have been similar tones of doom and gloom and regrets that things weren’t as good as they used to be…
Some things are certainly not the same however. One small and ironic change is that the influx of Muslim players means that some clubs can no longer rely on bar income as a major source of income – and it’s difficult to imagine what Old Ebor would have made of the game between Imams and Vicars which this author enjoyed in Dewsbury.
This is a refreshing picture of the Yorkshire we all know and love – stormy clouds rolling across a brooding landscape at Queensbury – but it’s also a fascinating insight into the World of public transport! I’m amazed that the Author has such patience and perseverance – especially given that the vagaries of the timetable means that he rarely – if ever – manages to see the end of any game. Alongside the transport information, history and cake reviews – it would have been nice to hear a little more about some of the games he watches. It also seems a shame that while have we several references to transporting camera equipment none of the actual photos are included. I appreciate that this is obviously a cost consideration – but this is a book that is crying out for pictures to accompany the prose. Next time perhaps.
These are very minor quibbles about a book that had me laughing out loud at times. There are so many clubs in here that it would be unfair to single out any individuals but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the chapter about watching Yorkshire at North Marine Road. The author manages to put into words what many of us feel about this very special and unique place – and that alone makes it worth adding it to your festive list.
Merry Christmas reading everyone…
Hi Steve, I wanted to thank you for the generous and in-depth book review of All Wickets Great and Small.
Glad you liked it. With Pitch being a niche publisher, photos would have shunted the cover price beyond the reasonable but I have a huge archive now so a future book with photos is an option.
Looking forward to exploring more cricket grounds in 2017 and tackling the Yorkshire transport system. Thanks again for taking the time to review it.
Anyone interested can buy a copy from me: http://cricketyorkshire.com/allwickets/
Best wishes, John
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Joined: 14 Apr 2014, 04:57

27 Oct 2016, 06:58 #5

After such a great review from Steve I've treated myself to an early Christmas present and bought the book ! Also added Daves Sweet Shires as well so I can read while my better half watches Corrie over Christmas
Formerly known as Egham Tyke :-)
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Joined: 22 Oct 2013, 14:47

28 Oct 2016, 08:58 #6

Winging its way to you Egham Tyke, let me know what you think.
Sounds like you've stocked up for Christmas!
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Joined: 14 Apr 2014, 04:57

28 Oct 2016, 09:27 #7

Cheers John, will do. Be prepared is my motto, there's a Bake Off Special on as well
Formerly known as Egham Tyke :-)
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Joined: 28 Dec 2003, 02:48

28 Oct 2016, 14:34 #8

Dave Morton's "Sweet Shires" and "All Wickets Great and Small" are certainly on my Christmas list.

Alex
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Joined: 11 Apr 2014, 14:11

07 Nov 2016, 09:47 #9

I was browsing around Waterstones a few days ago and brought ' All Wickets Great And Small' on a whim after the good reviews on here.
Was a really excellent read and would be surprised if anyone on here didn't enjoy it.
Found it quite balanced as the author wasn't gushing in praise of every club and site he visited. But overall was a love letter to club cricket in Yorkshire but maybe not the public transport system.
If I have one criticism is none of the clubs visited were in my neck of the woods in South Yorkshire and there being no photos but understand why with the explanation above.
8 out of 10, hope it sells well.
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Joined: 12 Apr 2008, 12:42

08 Nov 2016, 00:16 #10

Is this a paperback?book.
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