The Grey Ashes came to Bucks
13 Jul 2023

When all the players were asked to help sponsor the Grey Ashes, I asked our President Trafford Matthews at Hawridge and Cholesbury CC to see if his firm HG Matthews Brick Company would help, knowing his interest in Sport especially West Ham. I explained the situation and how the company would benefit with national exposure and to add to the experience for the Australians coming to Thame for the first ODI how we could lay on a quintessential English experience for them which included a trip to see his vintage car and agricultural tractor collection stored in his barns at Dundridge Manor. In addition his cousin who is the landlord at the Full Moon in Hawridge agreed to lay on a meal as they travelled to the match at Thame from Chelmsford. The Australians arrived at a pub which was originally built in 1693 and with a windmill behind it making it an idyllic site for pictures and experience real England and its rich history.Local, County and England Management supported the event and to add to the experience we asked a local man of 100 years old who flew with the Australian airforce in World War 2 in North Africa to the event. He stood for 10 minutes and relayed his time with the Australian airforce and the jokes they played on him and being shot down and having to bail out of a burning aircraft with only 1000 feet to ensure his parachute opened. He signed his book and gave the Australian party a copy each and received a standing ovation. After the meal at the pub we went to see the collection at Dundridge Manor where a house first stood in 1197 but was rebuilt in the Tudor period with barns, full moat and drawbridge as entrance to the property. Overall we were there for around an 1 and half hours with time spent in the gardens, seeing the collection and Traffords Mum Katherine in her 80s making tea. When the Australians left to go to Thame they thanked us for showing them English Heritage and hospitality and took away a memorable experience.