On joining the Middlesex County cricket staff, at Lord’s, in 1962, I can well remember my first day. I was shown around the great ground by one of the senior members of staff and then taken out through the Grace Gates, up Park Road to Warsops Bat Factory. I was introduced to a very old gentleman, or so he seemed as a young 17 year old up from Norfolk, although he was probably the same age as I am now!
His name was George Hunt and he proceeded to lead me up some very steep rickety old stairs, which certainly would not pass Health and Safety requirements these days, to reveal a mass of cricket bats. The bats were in various stages of being made by three very skilled craftsmen who had been making bats for many years. On display were bats they had produced for the great Denis Compton and if they were good enough for him I certainly had to have one. The deal we struck was two bats for the price of one (19 shillings and sixpence). They were bats that served me well for the first couple of years.
The only other time I saw old George was when he used to come into the Middlesex dressing room. He would commandeer the captain’s chair, wheel it round to the door of the balcony, and watch the cricket from there, Apparently, he did this once during a Test match but found the England captain sitting in it and George informed him that it was his chair and would he mind vacating it!
Clive Thornton Radley MBE is an English former cricketer, who played eight Tests and four One Day Internationals for England. He was selected as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1979. On his retirement as a player, he served as the 2nd XI coach of Middlesex (1988-1990) until his appointment as MCC head coach in 1991where he remained until his retirement in 2009. He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours for services to cricket. He was elected to serve for a two year term as the 22nd President of Middlesex County Cricket Club at its 149th Annual General Meeting at Lord’s in April 2013.