Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Dull and Boring

There is much mirth on the pages of nation's news organs that the village of Dull in Perthshire is trying to get itself twinned with the town of Boring in Oregon.  Neither location has a cricket team.  Other than that they appear to have little in common apart from the semantic link.  And the weather apparently.  It is dull and boring in both places.  So the twinning might not happen.  That would be boring.  And dull.

The nearest cricket club to Dull is Breadalbane CC who play in Aberfeldy about 5 miles away. The club was established in 1869 and plays in the Strathmore and Perthshire Union.   The nearest cricket club to Boring is in Gresham about 8 miles away.  The club was a founder member of the Oregon Cricket League in 2005.  It now has 8 active clubs.

So which location is likely to be less Dull or Boring for the cricketer?

While the village of Dull has an ancient history and is reputed to be the site of a monastery which in the 11th Century was the first seat of learning in Scotland. The town of Boring is of more recent origin being named after William H. Boring Civil War veteran who had moved out to Oregon after the Civil War. Its name was confirmed when a Post Office was built there in 1903.

Edwin Boring
The name Boring is of ancient origin coming to England with Normans in 1066 when they played a significant role in the Battle of Hastings.   There have been several eminent holders of the name, the most prominent of whom is familiar to Fantasy Bob from his days studying psychology.  Edwin Boring was Professor of Psychology at Harvard University from 1928 to 1949 and the author of the highly influential book The History of Experimental Psychology.  Having read it, FB has to acknowledge that the name of its author was aptly given.

There is no cricketer called Boring.  Nor is there any cricketer called Dull.  If there were, it would be essential to get them in the same IPL team - so reporters could comment on the 100 runs scored from 40 deliveries in a dull and boring partnership.

However Boring as a name is related to a couple of other names that do mean something to cricketers. One such name is Barrington. The great Ken Barrington's Test average of 58.67 is the highest of any post-war England batsman. His game became increasingly attritional and many might have deemed him a boring batsman, but he saved England time and time again. He was never dull. A related name is Berrington - Richie Berrington is one of the brightest emerging stars of Scottish cricket. The Scottish allrounder is rarely dull or boring.  But do they share some similar genetic material from 1000 years ago?  What did the Borings bowl at Hastings?


  1. Ken Barrington was once dropped from the England side for scoring a Test century too slowly - how times have changed. Geoffrey Boycott would surely have been an honorary member of Dull CC, had such a club existed, and FB will no doubt be able to suggest a few other candidates.

    1. FB wonders how you will sleep tonight having defamed Sir Geoffrey so. He can think of no other candidates and Chris Tavare certainly didn't come to mind. Isn't he boring to be so reticent?

  2. Bill Lawry, described by Ian Wooldridge as a corpse with pads on, is a strong candidate. Mudassar Nazar, compiler of the slowest-ever Test century, which even Sir Geoffrey found boring, would be another.

    1. Yes FB is certainly slipping off to sleeeeeeeee.......