Barrow Gurney CC recently lost another of its former stalwarts, Bill Nutt, and we extend our condolences to his family and friends. Geoff Saunders writes with some personal memories of Bill….
Bill and his late brother Colin played for Barrow in the 1950s until he retired in the very early 1970s.
There are still some of us old boys, about 8 of us, who remain associated with the club, and are in our 70s and were young men when we started playing with Bill. Memories dim over the years and the modern technology of the day was a Brownie 123 camera and roll film so that photographs were few and mainly of the whole teams at the time.
Bill was always a fun chap to play with but sometimes his colleagues did not share his sense of humour as he developed an enviable record of running between the wickets with calling such as “Yes, no, sorry”. A new kind of dance was named because of this known as the “Barrow Shuffle”. But Bill was a fine local player bowling off spin and off cutters
One of Bill’s more memorable sayings at the end of this playing career occurred on a day when us “young bucks” wanted to play on in a miserable wet day to get a result and Bill was heard to say (rather unkindly to us, or words to the same effect) “ I wouldn’t work in it and so I’m not going to play in it”
I met Bill last year at Colin’s funeral and arranged a visit to our beautiful ground which has changed out of all recognition since Bill played. In his day the club had the minimum of facilities – no water being one of them and Bill had to take his turn, trudging down to a house, some 200 yards away to fill 2 water urns and returning with them full, arms aching and whites covered in soot from the bottom of the water urn. Mind you Bill often kindly delegated this task to us “young uns” at that time. We also had no electricity, no toilet, few catering facilities and a very small hut for the 22 players to change.
In those early days we sometimes struggled to field just one side each weekend so quite often when we were short of players. Bill and Colin used to collar some unsuspecting members of Bishopsworth British Legion to play, with words like “Do you like cricket – if they answered in the affirmative, he would continue that’s good you are playing for us today”.
Bill’s visit to the club on a super day with a couple of us who had played with Bill was full of joy for him when coupled with a beer and a wall full of photos of yesteryear, so much so that we were to repeat the visit this year but a combination of cold and wet weather and logistics prevented this up to the end of June, and now following his death at 95 sadly did not take place as I had hoped.
Bill was the oldest living member of the club and his successor to that title, the Club President, Brian Mayled, is a mere 85 years old.
So Bill, this is a fond farewell and thank you from all your friends at the club