Coalmining Representation in the Heritage Sector of the East Midlands

Coalmining Representation in the Heritage Sector of the East Midlands

The Ashes – Nottingham Playhouse

Tonight I am going to the final evening of the play “The Ashes” at Nottingham Playhouse.  The play has been at the Playhouse since 2nd September and a special performance was held on Tuesday 13th September which raised funds for the Belvoir Castle Cricket Trust, a charity which helps youngsters get into cricket.

The Ashes, written by Nottinghamshire writer Michael Pinchbeck, documents the life of former Nottinghamshire miner and England fast bowler, Harold Larwood, especially his role in the controversial Ashes tour on 1932-33.   After suffering humiliation at the hands of Australian batsman Don Bradman in the previous Ashes test, Larwood and fellow Notts bowler Biil Voce , were central to the theory of “bodyline” bowling in the return 1932-33 test.  By bowling fast and accurately on the legside and by making the ball pitch short,  the ball could be made to bounce upwards towards the batsman body or head.  The theory worked as England regained the Ashes with a 4-1 victory.  However, several Australian batsman were injured and the bodyline technique caused such uproar that diplomatic relations between Australia and England were put under serious strain.  The Australians considered the tactics unsporting and at one stage they even considered pulling out of the Ashes series.

Larwood from Nuncargate, worked at Annesley Colliery where his father and brother also worked.  He is in the signing on books for the 1920′s working on the pit-top as a bank-lad. His father, Bob, was union secretary for the Spencer Union at Annesley Colliery.  A statue of Larwood, in bowling stride,is proudly placed in Kirkby-in-Ashfield town centre.  A plaque is erected on the door of the Larwoods former home at 17 Chapel Street, Nuncargate.  Pat Jarvis, a retired train driver, now lives at the address.

Larwood controversially emigrated to Australia in 1952 dying there in 1995 at the age of 90.  Alan Smith, Chief Executive of the Test and County Cricket Board at the time, described Larwood’s death as “the passing of the last central English link to a distant era of high drama”.

 

Comments

  •  

    David Amos September 25th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Finally a play in which they got the local Kirkby accent authentic!

 

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About this Sponsor

The MuBu Coalmining Project took place from April 2010 to the end of March 2012.  The remit was two-fold - firstly to see how the once vast coalmining industry in the East Midlands was represented in the Heritage sector and secondly to bring aspects of social media to that representation. The Coal mining project was funded by Renaissance East Midlands (REM) and the Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS) at the University of Nottingham. The Bursary holder was Dr. David Amos who completed a PhD on the 1984-85 Miners Strike in the Nottinghamshire Coalfield. David is an ex miner, having worked in the deep mining coal industry at Annesley Colliery for 24 years.

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