Ray Savins and his grandfather's cricket bat.
Ray Savins and his grandfather's cricket bat. The Northern Star

A bat with quite a history

IT HAS a few chips and dings in it, but an otherwise remarkably preserved cricket bat, belonging to Nashua's Ray Savins, has probably brought up a ton of its own

With the cricket season just around the corner, imagine the stories of sporting folklore this bat could tell, if only it could talk.

Savins, 76, said the bat belonged to his grandfather, William, who moved to Nashua in 1904.

Although some of the wording on the bat has worn away, or is a little obscured now, it's clearly stamped made by 'Shaw and Shrewsbury of Nottingham'.

This sporting goods company was founded by one-time English captain Arthur Shrewsbury and his partner Alfred Shaw in the late 1800s.

It was later bought out by HJ Gray and Sons which then merged with LJ Nicolls in the 1940s to become the still-famous cricket company of today, Gray-Nicolls.

Savins said this fine piece of sporting memorabilia had never been seen by any cricketing experts, nor had it ever been valued.

“It has never been taken anywhere,” he said.

“It has just been sitting here in the cupboard as a family keepsake.

“It has some chips off the side of it, some of the binding has started to come away and it is a bit knocked about.

“It has my grandfather's name on it, and my grandfather moved to Nashua in 1904. I'm not sure when he started playing, but I would say it's when the Nashua cricket club started in 1907.

“My father certainly used it in the 1920s and it has his name on it as well.”

The Savins have a very strong association with cricket in Nashua and the wider region.

Five generations of the family have been involved with the sport, starting with William.

Ray's father Arthur was, by all accounts, a handy batsman and perhaps the best fieldsman in the district.

“Nothing got past him,” Ray said.

As for Ray himself, he was a useful all-rounder, who bowled medium pace and spin, and could also wield the willow with some skill.

He played cricket for Nashua from 1946 to 1968, then South Lismore from 1970 to 1980 and Bangalow from 1981 to 1994.

Ray's son Gary played junior cricket in Lismore and then for Bangalow from 1978 to 1995 and now his grandson, Matthew is playing for Clunes.

No doubt the bat and stories about the Savins family's cricketing prowess will abound at the Nashua community cricket day and picnic on 'Johnston's pitch', which is on Ken and Pauline Trimble's property, on October 26.

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