Archie Remembered

Published: 2004
Pages: 24
Author: Various
Publisher: Private
Rating: 3 stars

This little booklet was commissioned to celebrate the restoration of Archie MacLaren’s grave in 2004. The grave, which is to be found at Warfield Church, Bracknell, had fallen into disrepair in the 60 years after MacLaren’s death.

MacLaren appears to have polarised historians, either they were harshly critical or praised him reverently. This little booklet is all positive, as you would expect of a publication which not only celebrates the restoration of his grave, but also his record breaking score of 424.

The score is still the highest ever made in a First Class match by an Englishman and a study of the scoring rate gives an insight to the intent and style of Archie. After winning the toss and opening the innings himself, MacLaren finished the first, 5.5 hour day, on 289 not out of 3-555.

The booklet does not contain any new writing as such. There are reproductions of articles from contemporary newspapers, from MacLaren’s biographer Michael Down from the Lancashire year book and Neville Cardus from Mayfair in 1972.

Cardus, cricket’s greatest ever writer, was an unabashed Archie Mac man and took every opportunity to defend his hero. That Cardus was a fan was a huge fillip for the legend of MacLaren, due to the descriptive prose of Cardus: ‘he did not merely cut the ball, he dismissed it from his presence’.

Archie Remembered is appropriately limited to a 424 copies and although it has been out of print for over ten years is still easy to procure and at a reasonable price.


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