In 1969 Yapham won a 6-a-side competition. In the middle holding the trophy is Mike Beal. The other players, from left to right, are Brian Pearson, Dave Tinson, Stuart Craven, Paul Jackson, and Steve Johnson. (Many thanks to Dave Tinson for providing this photograph).
Mike Beal is now 84 and living in Holme-on-Spalding Moor. He was born and grew up at Sutton Farm in Sutton-on-Derwent. In 1936 he started at Sutton-on-Derwent primary school. He walked two miles each way to and from school. Aged 11 he went to Houghton School in York, travelling on an Everingham’s bus (Pocklington) at 7.30 each morning.
One Tuesday Mike arrived home from school to be told by his father, Gibson, that his elder brother James had taken a job at another farm in Ellerton. On the Wednesday Mike took a letter from his father to the Head of Houghton School explaining that he had to leave, and at 7.30 on the Thursday morning he started work in James’ place on the farm.
Mike says James was “a top class player, much better than me”. James played for Yapham for twenty years. He lived to the age of 94 (1914-2008). Their mother lived to 105!
Mike thinks that his association with Yapham CC started when Nancie Harrison (now Nancie Boyes, see below) used to come to Sutton Farm from her family’s farm at Yapham on some sort of farm business.
Mike first played for Yapham in 1947 but 1948 was his first proper season. His brother James would pick him up in “a little Ford 8 car”, then drive him home after the match.
When Mike joined Yapham CC the captain was Reg Carr. The next captain, “for years”, was Sid Fountain, another farmer.
Mike spoke at length about a significant figure in Yapham CC. Mr Fred Cooper played first class cricket for Essex (10 matches, 170 runs, 8 wickets). He moved to Bridlington before the war, then to The Balk in Pocklington. Fred Cooper joined Yapham CC, perhaps, thinks Mike, through his friendship with Mr Eldred, a teacher at Pocklington School. Mike says Mr Cooper was very gentlemanly and well spoken: “A lovely old man. He was the boss”. He used to say of the square at Yapham, “Man never played on a better wicket than this”.
Mike Beal cherishes his memories of his time playing cricket at Yapham and was delighted to be at the club’s open day in August 2015.