The Reminiscences of Robert Dunsmore 1926Martin Chandler |
Author: Miller, Richard (Editor)
Rating: 4 stars
In years gone by books on Scottish cricket have been occasional diversions rather than regular offerings. That is about to change however as Richard Miller, whose work we have reviewed before, here and here, has gone into overdrive. This booklet is one of six that he has just released, with a promise of more to come in 2021.
The formula is similar to that for Perthshire’s Proud Place in Scottish Cricket in that Richard has selected a long forgotten series of newspaper articles for republication. This time he has not moved far from Perth, but future booklets do cover the rest of Scotland. The difference this time is that Richard has penned a two page introduction, and the addition of the context that provides is very welcome, as are a number of illustrations that have been added to the original text.
The ‘series’ covered is not a long one, consisting of three articles that first appeared in a Dundee newspaper, The Courier, the first being perhaps the best of the three. Robert Dunsmore was a Perthshire cricketer of some note, and the first instalment of the interview deals with his recollection of a match between his county and the MCC in 1876, so half a century before the account first appeared. To give a little context to the game’s prospects a couple of years previously the Marylebone Club had defeated fourteen of Perthshire by an innings, so a match played on even terms was not one they were expected to win, especially with two well known professional bowlers in the opposition ranks, William Mycroft and Arnold Rylott.
In the event Perthshire turned the game on its head by dismissing their opponents for just 32 in their second innings, and then scraping home by two wickets. On a personal level Dunsmore achieved little in the match, but the two runs that he did contribute were the winning hit. Unsurprisingly even in the autumn of his years his memories of the match were fresh, and the unnamed ‘Special Correspondent’, writing with just the hint of a Scottish accent, puts them into a very readable narrative. The two subsequent instalments are not much inferior, dealing as they do with some of those who Dunsmore played with and against, and then how the game was played in Scotland in Dunsmore’s time.
The only problem with The Reminiscences of Robert Dunsmore 1926 is that I suspect Richard may have been, as I suppose is only to be expected from a canny Scot, a little too cautious. He has produced only 25 numbered copies of this one which, at the very reasonable price of £7 each including UK postage and packing, I suspect he may well sell out of rather more speedily than he expects. Anybody interested in acquiring a copy is advised to contact Richard straight away. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.