Baxter Park Hosts an Unusual Game

09 Sep

A very unusual cricket match was played at Baxter Park, Dundee on Sunday 24th August. Unusual? Well it’s reckoned that there hasn’t been an organised game of cricket at Dundee’s 150-year-old park for the best part of 75 years.

This despite Baxter Park pre-1939 being home to no fewer than SIX Dundee cricket clubs.

But most unusually, one of the XIs was dressed as....CLOWNS!

Why? Well in September 1879 at Baxter Park a game of cricket was played - in front of 15,000 spectators! – between Mr Paul’s XI & Mr Watson’s Circus Clowns XI.

Apparently in the late 19th century the ‘circus comes to town’ would have been a common occurrence. Mr Watson’s XI were dressed in their professional clowns’ costumes. Mr Paul’s XI was a select drawn from 5 local clubs.

‘Friends of Baxter Park’, a voluntary organisation who promote & care for the Park, thought of re-enacting the game 135 years on. And so with the help of the local cricketers of Dundee HSFP and Norwood the re-enactment duly took place under sunny skies.

It was the DHSFP players from their adjacent home ground at Dalnacraig who volunteered to visit local fancy dress shops etc and dress as clowns.

It was embraced full-on which produced a very colourful scene, and ensured it was looked upon by about 100 specators, a crowd somewhat smaller than  the 1879 game! But adding the dog-walkers and interested bystanders would have at least quadrupled the attendance.

The result was a tie! DHSFP Clowns 110 all out in 19.3 overs, Norwood 110/7 in 20 overs & so it was the whites-clad Norwood who collected the Clubsport Clown Cup by losing fewer wickets than their colourful opponents.

An excellent cricket promotion. Anyone for next year?!

View other news from September 2014

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