FONDU C.C. 1954
Standing: Fred Pavitt, John Etherton, Dave Skipper,
George Leach, Lofty Sach, Len Payne, Peter Leach
Kneeling: George Riley, Alan Webb, Alan Shulver, Bernard
Bridge, Clifford Dean
The Lafarge Aluminous
Cement Co. Ltd. (trademark Ciment Fondu) had
a head office at 73 Brook Street, London W1, their works
being at London Road, West Thurrock. The Company provided
a sports ground in North Road, Uplands, Purfleet. It had
a bowls green and a baseball pitch, a sports pavilion
being erected in 1936. After the war the company started
to develop the remainder of the field. Part of the work
involved picking off a vast amount of stones, the stone
picking being done by employees, their families and
friends over several weekends.
The seeds of the Fondu Cricket Club were sown early in
1951. There were several men in the workshop who were
very keen to start a team and often used to play during
their dinner hour outside the workshop with a home-made
bat. With so much cricket being played during those days
by local firms it was only natural for them to ask
themselves Why not form a cricket team?
Harold Shulver was on good terms with Mr Claughton (Sports
Secretary) also with Mr Soar (Works Cashier), so he put
forward the idea to them, which was approved.
So it was that in mid 1951 the team was formed. Harold
Shulver was chairman of the section and Harry Soar was
captain. Mr Claughtons secretary Margaret Gilbey
was also very helpful in the administration of the
cricket section and right from the start a fixture card
was printed. The formation of a cricket team didnt
go down too well with the bowls and baseball teams and a
little opposition was felt by the cricketers. Bowls and
cricket matches were played at the same time during the
1950s, with the teas being taken at different times.
However, baseball and cricket were never played together
and by 1953 the baseball section had folded up.
The ground at North Road could be accessed by Stonehouse
Lane or via the Purfleet bypass and Uplands Estate.
Players walked or cycled there and sometimes caught the
bus, especially when children came along; very few
players had a car in the early days.
Part 2 of the