HORN Fair day dawned bright and clear with the promise of a hot outing to Ebernoe for the annual cricket match and celebrations.
It is widely accepted from historical documents that the fair was revived 150 years ago in 1864 and has continued annually, with the exception of the war years (1914-18 and 1939-45) when cricket did not take place as many of the men were unavailable.
This year’s invited opponents were Lynchmere CC, playing in their third horn fair and hoping to make this third time lucky.
The two clubs show many similarities – both play friendly fixtures rather than league cricket,
Lynchmere have an oak tree inside their ground, while Ebernoe have a road through the outfield and both have been going as a club for more than 150 years – Lynchmere will celebrate 200 years in 2019.
The traditional procession carrying the roasted sheep made its way across the ground from the sheep roast pit to the pavilion, accompanied by Simon Knight and his wife, representing Lord Egremont, and the new vicar of Ebernoe and Northchapel, the Rev Peter Hayes, with the cricketers from both teams.
While Sam Williams of Lynchmere had an excellent game, with the highest score of the day of 102 runs, the horns trophy has to go to the highest-scoring batsman on the winning side. Simon Knight passed the horns to Matthieu Fauvet for his winning score of 74.
Matthieu is the grandson of Eric Simpson, who won the horns 50 years ago to the day in 1964 – his great-grandfather Jeff Simpson also won the horns in 1939 and 1959.
Ebernoe captain Richard Stemp made a special presentation to Ivan Wadey, who this year clocks up 50 years as president of Ebernoe CC. RealisingIvan, who has given so much to the club over the years, was unlikely to win the horns, he was given his own set in recognition – a refurbished set earlier won by great friend and colleague Colin Stemp who passed away in 2009 – leaving Ivan almost lost for words, which for those who know him is a first.
Visitors came from far and wide, with two mini-buses from Bournemouth bringing some of the Wessex Pilgrims – this team play at Ebernoe every August bank holiday Monday and played at the horn fair in 2010.
The youngest-ever winner of the horns was Chris Duncton in 1960, aged 16 years and six months exactly. Oliver Rose is the second-youngest, being 16 years, six months and three days when he won in 2011.