Friday, 8 August 2014


Prompted by a piece in the popular press which told him that it was first published 200 years ago on 7 July, Fantasy Bob has been reading Sir Walter Scott's novel Waverley.

Has nothing to say
about the station.
It is a disappointing read - it has nothing to say about the station. FB supposes it has this much in common with Trainspotting.

Not that FB is particularly interested in stations. Cricket is more his thing and neither novel really delivers much in that area either.

A cricketer’s pulse might be stirred in the first paragraph of Scott’s romance where he writes ‘Would not the owl have shrieked and the cricket cried in my very title-page?’ He should not get his hopes up. This is a tease. The next 600 pages make no further reference to cricket crying or otherwise.  In this it has much in common with Trainspotting.

Waverley was Scott's first novel and was a sensation - as in its day was Trainspotting. 

..and no cricketing interest
Waverley quickly sold out and went through multiple editions. It is generally reckoned by those who know about these things to be the first historical novel in the English language - without it Game of Thrones would not have been possible. So there. 

It is not clear, at least to FB, why Scott chose the name for his central character - a young Englishman with romantic ideals who finds himself in Scotland at the start of the 1745 Jacobite Rising and becomes part of it.  He might as well have named his hero Bradman, or Hammond, or Tendulkar.  

At that time the only Waverley was a ruined abbey in Surrey, and the adjacent borough. But so massively popular was the novel that a significant number of places were named after it, Edinburgh's principal station most of all. 

There is a Waverley in New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia. There is a Mount and Glen Waverley in Melbourne. There are 2 Waverleys in New Zealand and 3 in South Africa. 3 areas bear its name in Canada. There are several listed mansions of that name in the US, and over 30 locations with the alternative spelling Waverly.

Robson - a link to Waverely
Nor is Waverley without resonance to the cricketer. Easts CC play on the Waverley Oval in Sydney, close by the SCG and Bondi Beach – the club was formerly known as Waverley CC.  Its head coach is Michael Bevan and it is where current England opener Sam Robson learned his cricket.

It is here that similarities between Waverley and Trainspotting end. There are no cricket grounds named after Trainspotting.
Cricket at the Waverley Oval, NSW


  1. Having a bound set of the Waverley Novels on the bookshelf at home as a child, I was tempted to wonder why Scott should have named his works after a station in Edinburgh. This reminds me of a story told against himself by the global adventurer Chay Blyth. Some years ago, in recognition of his endurance exploits, he was awarded the Freedom of the Burgh of Hawick, his native town, where Chay Blyth Place had already been named in his honour. As the crowd gathered to witness the ceremony, a young boy was heard to ask his mother "Why would someone be named after a street?". Sir Chay Blyth tells this story with relish, as only a true Scotsman would, but sadly for FB there is little cricketing interest here either.

    1. Many thanks, sadly, Fantasy Bob has yet to have any street named after him.

  2. Although possibly a doocot - Phantassie?

  3. The Phantassie Bob Doocot - I wonder if the NTS would go for that........