Perthshire’s Proud Place in Scottish CricketMartin Chandler |
Author: Barlas, James
Publisher: Richard Miller
Rating: 3.5 stars
I have been exchanging occasional emails with Richard Miller for some years now, and we have a bit of banter from time to time on a forum where cricket tragics with saffron coloured blinkers tend to congregate. Like me, but unlike most of our fellow tragics, Richard understands there is much more to collecting cricket books than the annual contribution to the game’s literature from John Wisden and Co. But I never realised until a few weeks ago that he harboured publishing ambitions himself.
A canny Scotsman and, I suspect, the owner of as large and comprehensive library on Scottish cricket as anyone, Richard has done no more than republish an article that originally appeared in 1937. It is an interesting piece which I read with interest, but the way in which he produced the booklet is noteworthy as well.
As far as the content of the booklet is concerned it is probably more interesting to me as I know so little of Scottish cricket. I certainly didn’t know of the rise of Perthshire in the early years of the game’s development north of the border, nor the subsequent decline, so much so that the author of the original article had concerns as to whether the game would survive at all, and that is the rather bittersweet ending.
Although Richard makes no attempt to update the story, he has subsequently told me that Pertshire cricket did recover, before eventually going backwards again and the county club finally folding a few years ago. Perhaps he should have included an up date to the story, although hopefully he is saving that for a history of the game in Scotland, a full account of which is long overdue. In any event the essay is an interesting one.
The booklet itself is very nicely produced. Richard has included a number of photographs from his own collection. He has had to do all the legwork himself, but he clearly has considerable typographical skills as the final product is very easy on the eye, printed on good quality paper and with full colour card covers. I was curious as to how much it had cost Richard to put together this limited edition of 25 copies, but felt I didn’t know him quite well enough to ask. Fortunately for me he volunteered the information – the answer was 84p per copy, which I find remarkable. As we know anyone can start a blog and publish their work on the internet – we now know they can go into print as well – it is the best news for the future of the printed word that I have heard in a long, long time.