Cricketing author and commentator Charles Wood
turns his attention to the Glories of Gloucestershire.
But although he touches on the prime
Gloucestershire years of the ‘artful old toad’ W.G.,
Wally Hammond, and R.C. ‘Jack’ Russell MBE, while
skipping over a fair share of tears and doldrums –
be warned this book is not a club history. Drawn from interviews and conversations with a
wide range of former players both professional and
amateur, club officials, broadcast commentators,
die-hard spectators and competitive tea ladies, the
content herein shouldn’t be taken too seriously
because, simply, it is often completely hilarious.
The tales are legion. Take as examples the cricketing
‘spirit’ upon Sheepscombe’s Laurie Lee Field, or
those Pratt Cup cricketers changing into whites in
the billiard room of a North Nibley mansion overshadowed
by Breakheart Hill.
Neither should one
overlook the parrot that squawked ‘GLAWSTER!’
nor the bizarre connections to be found as far
afield as the islands of Nevis and Corfu.
And now, resplendent in blue pyjamas, the County’s
cricket pros led by Captain ‘Giddo’ Gidman call
themselves ‘Gladiators’, and hope springs eternal.
Taken as a whole, the author has unearthed a
worldwide passion for Gloucestershire cricket that’s
alive and well, and full to the brim with eccentricity
and odd statistics.
A tome to be enjoyed by every lover of the
Charles Wood gave up the legal
profession, and the stress of work in
Libya and Hong Kong, yearning for the
artistic life. For the past twenty years
he has just about managed to avoid
wearing a tie to work or getting
Before turning to writing he was a
self-taught documentary filmmaker,
and also worked as a cameraman for
BBC and ITV news. In 1997 he made
Grace and Favour, Gloucestershire
County Cricket Club’s first official club
video. His film Dragons – The Story of a
Country Parson was broadcast on HTV
in 1999. And in 2005 he was the first
Englishman to win a documentary film
award in the Republic of Moldova.
Charles has also found time to be fulltime
dad of four, an illustrator, a parttimecollege
lecturer, a part-time
school teacher, and an occasional
BBC radio broadcaster.
He now admits to his enjoyment of
cricket and poddling through the
lighter side of life’s rich tapestry,
relieved that he has never been
He lives with his family in the
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 169 2, hardback, 210x148mm, 160 pages. Published September 2012.