Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Hole

To most members of go ahead Edinburgh cricket club Carlton, last Saturday was notable for being the date of the first friendly of the season. And highly successful for the home side it was too, as they overwhelmed visiting opposition from Northern Ireland.

Carlton's Redoubtable Membership Secretary is renowned for his commitment to Carlton and his concern for the health of Scottish cricket.  Fantasy Bob had never associated him with having a passion for the works of Bernard Cribbins, the celebrated actor and comedian.  But it seemed to FB that this was the only explanation for the RMS's behaviour last Saturday.

Last week marked the 50th anniversary of the highest position in the pop charts of the classic song Hole In the Ground sung by Bernard Cribbins. Hole in the Ground reached number 9 on 31 March 1962 and held its position for 2 weeks. The song was written by Ted Dicks and Miles Rudge and produced by none other than the man about to become the 5th Beatle, George Martin. It was released on the Parlophone label, as were the Beatles' records. Noël Coward chose Hole in the Ground as one of his records on Desert Island Discs, saying he would pass the time on his desert island by translating it into French. While the popularity of the song may have been overtaken by its follow up Right Said Fred, there is therefore a link with musical greatness.

So, as Carlton's batsmen refamiliarised themselves with the work of Carlton's Doughty but nameless Groundsman, FB and the other hardy spectators watched as the club's Redoubtable Membership Secretary went to work in what seemed to FB extreme lengths to mark the anniversary of the song. He took up his shovel and in a strategic position on the boundary carefully began to dig.

Several spectators admired the RMS's excavations and offered the passing suggestions that he shouldn't dig it there but elsewhere, and observed that it was round when it should have been square. But the RMS is nothing if not resolute and he persevered until his hole had reached what he deemed to be the requisite depth.  At the end of the day, a very satisfactory hole emerged - for in the words of the song, you can't put a hole where a hole don't belong.
There was I diggin' this hole................
As usual, FB had got the wrong end of the stick, for which he apologises.  The RMS's efforts had nothing to do with any regard for the works of Bernard Cribbins but were for a serious and excellent purpose.  A lime tree has now been planted in the hole in memory of Alistair Scott, a longstanding member of the Grange Association.  It joins a number of young trees that have recently been planted round the ground which complement the longer serving trees and provide so much of the character of the ground.  Well done RMS.


  1. Admittedly peripheral to the main point of this post, but FB seems to have missed the small print in this year's Carlton Membership Booklet which names the Head Groundsman. The DG's world wide fan club will, however, have to pay a subscription to obtain the booklet, and thus have access to this utterly useless information.

  2. FB has yet to receive his copy of this invaluable document. He assumes that holders of this document are constrained in the use they can make of such sensitive, even if useless, information. He assumes also that the booklet gives the named individual his proper title Doughty Groundsman.