This year's Remnants annual dinner was held on Friday, November 22, at the Burleigh Arms pub on Newmarket Road. We managed to up last year's superb turn-out of 25 people by breaking the 30 barrier this year, and the general sense was that we might have found a home for this event for some time to come.
After Sadie (not named after the Beatles song, as both her parents worked on Rolling Stones tours) and her team provided us with our body-weight in terrines and lamb shanks, it was time for Geoff Hales to put us out of our misery by revealing the answers to his particularly cryptic quiz:
(To see the answers simply highlight the region below the questions with your mouse by dragging the cursor across the screen with the left button held down.)
Strolling a single (1 run each)
Eli Ellwood, who'd dislocated it going for a catch.
Looking for two (2 runs each)
John Richer and Olly Rex
Felix Serby and Harvey Hughes
Faruk Kara and Richard Rex
Phil Watson (101) and Geoff Hales (4). (Although there was some suggestion that this question was unfair as almost all Remnants players could be considered veterans.)
Andy Owen and Kiran Sakhamuri
Tom Serby, who'd taken 6/15 against The Pretty Boys back in 2008
Big penultimate over
Gonville and Caius, because it had a hump at each end (like a camel)
Ferdi Rex, Olly Rex, Maximus Rex, Felix Serby, Samuel Serby, Mihir Chandraker, Harvey Huges and Olly Hastings (which, yes, is actually eight, and that's not even counting John Gull)
Dave Green and Sarah Pelham
Ten to make and the match to win
Julius Rix, Dave Williams, Andy Bell, Andy Owen and Tom Serby
Collete Bell, Lauren Bell, Catherine Owen, Jess Norman and Sarah Pelham
Complete the following verse:
Here lies our old opener Nick
Who was hit by a lorry (3-ton)
The dash to the pavement he didn't quite make
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
"To the last a poor judge of a run" was the intended answer . . . which, it transpires, was eerily similar to the tie-breaker from the 2006 quiz.
The winner was the team of Dave Green and Ferdi Rex, who scored 35/49, and so won a lovely box of chocolates . . . which they chivalrously presented to Bettina Rex as a thank you for her efforts in supporting Remnants CC (primarily through creating a goodly fraction of the team list).
Geoff then moved on present the Champagne Moment Award. Candidates included Eli Ellwood for some stunning catches and Ferdi Rex for his outstanding batting, but it proved impossible to go past Julius Rix for his unstoppable innings of 85* off just 49 balls.
Les Collings's pickled eggs also proved to be unstoppable, this time going to Dave Norman for both his on-field contribution to Remnants and his contribution off the field for Remnants.
The final award was the Phil Watson Memorial Trophy, which Rob Harvey managed to rid himself of by invoking the family nature of Remnants, in the end handing it off to the entire Serby family.
Phil himself, while now living in the West Country, keeps a careful eye on the destination of his eponymous trophy, and so is always present at our dinners in spirit, if not in person. That was particularly the case this year as we'd just heard the very sad new from him that his wife, Kate, had died a few weeks ago after a long illness. She'd been very much a member of the "extended Remnants family" before they both moved away and so it was very poignant to listen to a short message from Phil about love and cricket:
Kate in all the time we were together always encouraged me to play cricket, and even came to watch me play occasionally, especially when we played in far-flung parts of Shropshire, where she could indulge her fascination for interesting churches, as well as the cricket. She also on one notable occasion turned out for a very short Romsey Town team in 2006.
Her encouragement to me even went as far as to let me play for Springhill the day after our wedding (we married on a Friday). Quite a few cricketers from Trysull and Springhill were present at her funeral this week. Kate occasionally did teas for both clubs and her cakes were highly thought of. (Little did anyone know that it was actually me that baked them!)
Kate especially enjoyed the post-match beer sessions, probably more than watching the cricket itself. Kate rather enjoyed real ale and both clubs benefited from her wide knowledge of pubs selling decent beer in the oddest of places.
There was also an additional benefit for me post match. Kate would happily relieve my aching legs and back with her healing massage hands.
And so with the rather disturbing image of a naked Phil Watson in our heads we raised our glasses - preferentially filled with real ale - to Kate Waller, 1960-2013.
By the time the formalities had finished and the (giant) deserts had been scoffed it was pushing 11pm, but the evening showed no signs of slowing down . . .