Skip to main content

Lardy Cake: Pimperne Cricket's Secret Weapon!

 

Village cricket in Dorset goes back many years. Dorset County Chronicle reports a cricket match between the villages of Pimperne and Chettle which took place in August 1867. In the 50s and early 1960s, the Pimperne club played at Langbourne on a concrete batting pitch overlaid by matting. Cow pats were a particular hazard as the pitch’s more normal use was for dairy cattle.

If there was one match in the 1960s the Pimperne club was determined to win, it was against a village that it would be politic not to name. Their team, which seemed to consist mainly of members of the same family, were masters of gamesmanship. If Pimperne’s tail end batsman was a youngster, they would collectively seek to undermine his confidence. While the Pimperne scorer had to keep an eagle eye on the recordings of his opponent’s counterpart! 

Yet Pimperne in their tussles with this opposition had their own secret weapon…lardy cake. This calorie laden, greasy, fatty delight had a key tactical part to play in this inter-village battle royal. If these opponents were due to take the field after tea then they would be fed extra portions of lardy cake to slow them down. Its main ingredients were large quantities of lard and sugar. Tasting better than it sounded, a complete lardy cake could contain more than 4,000 calories.  

Located opposite the Farquarson Arms public house, lardy cake was a speciality produced by Pimperne bakers, Reeves. Indeed, Pimperne Cricket Club gained an excellent reputation for its teas. The club’s umpire, Les ‘leather’ Meaden gave those who turned up for tea, but did not play, the nickname of the ‘tea timers’. However, how Les gained his own nickname is not known.

There was only one occasion when the Pimperne teas were bettered and that was when the village played a friendly match with the Army Catering Corps!

(Illustration: Reeves of Pimperne – purveyors of fine lardy cake.)


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Tarrant Rushton's Nuclear Secret

Tarrant Rushton was a large RAF base used for glider operations during World War II. It was then taken over by Flight Refuelling for the conversion of aircraft for the development of aircraft in-flight refuelling. However, between 1958 & 1965, the Tarrant Rushton airfield had a much more secretive and less publicised role. This was in support of the nation’s nuclear bomber deterrent, as Tarrant Rushton airfield became a QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) dispersal unit.   During 1958, contractors Costain reinforced the main runway and carried out other work to ensure the giant bomber aircraft could be accommodated. At times just a few miles from Blandford, there would have been up to four RAF Vickers Valiant bombers at Tarrant Rushton ready to become airborne in minutes charged with nuclear weapons. The bombers were from 148 Squadron at RAF Marham in Norfolk. As there was no suitable accommodation at the airfield, an old US Air Force Hospital building at Martin was used. At the time, the

Shapwick Sea Monster

On a Tuesday in October 1706, a travelling Poole fishmonger was wheeling his cart on the outskirts of the village of Shapwick. Unknown to him, a large crab fell from his barrow. This was to cause panic and alarm among the Shapwick villagers. Living inland, and perhaps in the 18 th century not having travelled beyond Blandford, the Shapwick villagers had never before seen a crab. Trudging home and exhausted by his day’s labour, a Shapwick farm worker discovered this crawling creature by stepping on it. So strange was its appearance, he believed it was the devil himself. Running on to the village, he told everyone excitingly of his horrid find. Fearing it was the work of the devil, the villagers armed themselves with pitchforks, sticks and stones. Knowing not what to do, they decided to consult the shepherd Rowe considered by many to be the local wise man. Sadly, the aging oracle was now past his prime and for the last six years had been confined to his bed. The old man was as infirm as

Bravest Village Controversy

A Dorset village was once recognised as the bravest in England. That village was Shillingstone in North Dorset. After the outbreak of World War I, the newspaper the Weekly Dispatch inaugurated a competition for the village that sent, in the first six months of the war, the highest percentage of its population into the British Services. According to local newspaper, the Western Gazette Shillingstone sent 90 men out of a total population of 565. (Western Gazette Friday 26 th September 1919) Across the country,  365 other villages sent in their returns. However, the competition would not prove to be short of controversy. The award was made to Knowlton in Kent which with 39 inhabitants and six houses had sent 11 men. However, the Rector of Shillingstone, Dr Cooke protested that Knowlton was too small to be a village and in fact was a hamlet. The matter was referred to the Attorney General, Sir Frederick Smith who held that the original decision should stand as no minimum population ha