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Cricket Club - League Champions 1955
The 1955 season saw the Bank's team winning the Corporation's Inter-Department Cricket Competition. This was the team's first (of five) league championships that were won in the thirty-one seasons from 1947 to 1978 - details of the 1955 season are reproduced in the Cricket Club section of this website. A celebratory dinner was held at the Crown Hotel, Birmingham on November 24th 1955. Of the seventeen players who played that season, fourteen are present for the photograph - absent players were Tony Green; Keith Haslam; and Tony Morris. The non-players include Ernie Spencer and Frank Kirtland (umpires); Jack Raftery (Vice-Chairman); Norman Monk (scorer); Fred Parsonage (Chairman); and Harold Carver (President).
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Left to Right:
 
Back: Alan Hockridge; Malcolm Smith; Eric Bignell; Les Bellmore; Lew Instone; Ernie Spencer
 
Middle: Jim Allkins; Neville Alsop; John Eyre; Maurice Eley; Frank Hood; Jack Raftery; Norman Monk
 
Front: Alf Young; Horace Williams; Fred Parsonage; Harold Carver; Ken Whittaker; Frank Kirtland; Ray Lovell
 
(Photograph submitted by Norman Monk)
 
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A report by Fred Parsonage of the evening's events, at which the above photograph was taken, appeared in the Christmas 1955 edition of the Bank's staff magazine, News Letter:
 
Members of the Staff who have read the September News Letter, know that the Bank Team finished at the head of the Municipal Officials’ Cricket League. This achievement brings with it the honour of holding the “Collins” Cup, which was presented to the League by a former City Treasurer, the late Mr Arthur Collins, and will, in due course, be presented to the Club.
 
In the meantime the Cup was lent to us for the evening of the 24th November, when it graced the top table at a Supper the Club held to celebrate the winning of the League.
 
A very enjoyable time was spent by the forty-five members and guests who attended at the Crown Hotel in Corporation Street. Among those present were - the President of the Club, Mr Carver; Mr Betts and Mr Price, the Chairman and Secretary respectively of the Municipal Officials’ Cricket League; Mr J A Smith, Mr Selwyn and Mr S F Jones - Vice-Chairman, Treasurer and Hon-secretary respectively of the Staff Association, and Mr Robottom representing the Bank Golfing Society.
 
Mr Betts in ably proposing the toast of the Club said that the honour which the Team had won this year had been accomplished by good cricket and good team work, and he hoped that the team would win further honours in the years to come. The Chairman of the Club thanked Mr Betts for the way in which he had proposed the toast and said that although this was the first occasion that the Bank had won the League, personal honours had been taken by former members of the Club, and they were the Bowling Prize in five years as follows:
 
 Mr Cheattle (1923);  Mr Price (1931); Mr Turner  (1932); Mr Spencer (1938); and Mr  R W Davis (1954)
 
The Chairman also referred to the excellent cricket which the Team had played during the past season, and referred particularly to the Captaincy of Mr Whittaker. He also paid tribute to the Bank’s Umpires and Scorers, mentioning, in particular, Messrs Spencer and Kirtland as Umpires and Mr Camwell as Scorer. Everyone present was delighted to see that Frank Kirtland had recovered sufficiently from his illness to be present - (the bottle of brandy that was sent to him on behalf of the Staff must have done the trick).
 
The Chairman was pleased to announce that due to the generosity of well-wishers of the Team and the Staff Association, it was possible to make presentations of Pewter Tankards to the members of the Club who had played in the Bank’s Team during the season. As Mr Instone, the Chairman of the Staff Association, was a playing member, the tankards were presented by Mr Selwyn, Treasurer of the Staff Association; and Mr Hood, on behalf of the Team thanked the Donors for their gifts. The efforts of Mr Instone in this connection are greatly appreciated. Mr H G Williams, one of the older members of the Club and a fine cricketer, on behalf of the playing member of the Team, presented to the Chairman a pewter tankard also. This grand gesture seemed to have the Chairman stumped!
 
Mr Whittaker, Captain of the Team, who proposed the toast of the Municipal Officials’ Cricket League, referred to the excellent work which Mr Betts and Mr Price were doing for the League. Mr Price ably responded to the toast.
 
Mr Jones, on behalf of the visitors and the Staff Association, tendered his congratulations to the Team, and the proceedings terminated after the President in an apt little speech expressed his appreciation of the efforts of the winning Team, and the Chairman saying that he hoped we would have a similar function next year!