The Victoria and Albert Museum Cricket Club was founded in 1975 by some arty types from the V&A, the sort who do not get chosen when teams are picking up sides in the playground
Our first games were against the Arts Council and the National Trust, fey types who did not frighten the effete curators of the V&A. Most of the original pansies left and the V&A is now a virile team of mixed ability and age, with some new members under 30 who can throw over-arm. Players are lured to Stonor, our delightful home ground from which we rarely stray, by the beauty of the pitch and the valley.
We play at Stonor Park through the generosity of The Hon. William Stonor. We are also grateful to Stonor CC, and to their recently retired groundsman Tony Fisher, who maintained the pitch and outfield so beautifully.
The match fee is £200 for the visiting team (including players’ friends and family), worth it for the sight of Lord Camoys’ great house and park, the kites and the deer – if not the cricket. Facilities in the pavilion have been refurbished, including a separate Ladies lavatory with marble floor, floral bouquet and Old Master paintings.
Regular V&A players are 'invited' to pay an annual subscription, giving them preferential selection and reducing their match fee.
Captains agree the type of game to be played but as we rarely manage more then 14 overs an hour innings of 35 are customary. But whether limited overs or declaration, teams looking for fierce gladiatorial competition may be disappointed.
Teams wanting to play against us at Stoner should contact our Fixtures Secretary, as should anyone wanting to play for us; you will undoubtedly enjoy some delightful lunches and teas. Players returning from Colonial Service abroad find the view, conversation and menu reassuringly familiar.
V&A in Stats
Most beautiful pitch in the UK
We play on the most beautiful ground in England (nominated by Test Match Special)
We have been going exactly 40 years
Balls used (and about the same amount lost)
What is so special about the V&A?
- Tiresome oppositions who lose gracelessly or win gloatingly, or whinge in the pub about our tea lady’s tea have also been ruthlessly weeded out, as has the tea lady
- We do not play league cricket so the result is irrelevant
- Lunch is taken outside the pavilion and served by respectful white-gloved staff. Dress is optional, but blazers and cravats are preferred. Conversation about football in the cricket season is not popular
- Our pavilion is the most sumptuously appointed in Oxfordshire, with showers and a library and a fridge/freezer and a Ladies Lavatory fit for a lady if we had one
- The V&A team, or squad (about 50 players with perhaps 15 regulars) is an inclusive and eclectic mix of competent, incompetent, old, young, able and disabled and embraces the arts (mostly), the wine and antiquarian book trade, actors, writers, a battlefield guide, a rat catcher, with some people who just make up the numbers and talk and eat
- We have as our President the distinguished Ted Dexter CBE, and the list of our Vice Presidents includes Lord Camoys of Stonor Park opposite, Jeremy Paxman who lives up the road, Boris Johnson, John Major and the cricketers Doug Walters, Phil Edmonds and the great Keith Miller who is alas dead, but that does not disqualify anyone from being a VP or indeed playing for the V&A it would seem