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Brind pitches in at Worcester The Guardian, Monday May 16, 1989.
OBITUARY: Brigadier James Brind Probably the Times in 1996.
Private Lives: Start your search The Guardian, Monday December 28, 1998.
OLD CONTRACT OF SALE Dabchick, December, 1998.
Squash: Brind wins through Daily Telegraph, November 6, 1998.
Kenneth John Brind Dabchick, October 1998.
William Bunce (by Tony Brind) Dabchick, October 1998.
OBITUARIES: Mr Hugh George Brind Isle of Wight County Press, June 29, 1998.
5-hour operation puts dog back in the saddle Daily Telegraph, May 26, 1997.
Graphology Guardian, April 5, 1997.
Star trash, junk in space Guardian online, February 20, 1997.
Censoring the internet Guardian online, May 16, 1996.
Jonathan Brind's job in Bourne UK Press Gazette, February 26, 1996.
Survivor's guilt still there 53 years later Dabchick, August 1998.
An Inspector calls, cricketing stories about Harry Brind Electronic Telegraph 1997.

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Brind pitches in at Worcester

Harry Brind, the pitches consultant to the Test and County Cricket Boad, will investigate the Worcester wicket on which the Australians tumbled to a two-day defeat on Sunday.

He was contacted by Mike Vockins, Worcestershire's secretary, soon after the match finished with a three wicket defeat for the tourists. The county may take extra measures in the preparation of pitches for the rest of the summer.

Tim Lamb, the TCCB's cricket secretary, said: "We welcome Worcestershire's swift response and initiative in seeking Harry Brind's co-operation.

"Clearly the pitch used for the match against the Australians fell short of the standard expected for such a match and it fell short of Worcestershire's own expectations of it. Worcestershire and the board are rightly concerned.

"Their groundsman Roy McLaren has worked hard during the winter months endeavouring to improve the condition of the entire square but there are some inherent problems that will take time to overcome."

Meanwhile Malcome Marshall, who has rejoined Hampshire after being on Test dury in the West Indies, has a fractured right wrist and could be out of action for a month.

Curtly Ambrose, Marshall's team mate in the series against India, may play for Northamptonshire against Yorkshire in their Britannic Assurance Championship match at Northampton starting today.

The Guardian, May 16, 1989.
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OBITUARIES

Brigadier James Brind


Brind escorting the Queen at Worcester in 1957

BRIGADIER JAMES BRIND, who has died aged 86, was awarded a DSO when commanding the 4th Somerset Light Infantry and the 5th Wiltshires in the North West Europe campaign in the Second World War. Brind was second-in-command of the 4th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry in Normandy from August 1944. He took over command for short periods on several occasions before being posted as CO of the 5th Battalion, the Wiltshire Regiment. in February 1945, when they were just west of the forest of Kleve.

The 5th Battalion had suffered heavy losses during the advance to the Goch escarpment, and the men were affected by battle fatigue. But Brind decided to continue the attack at night, without artillery support, in order to exploit the element of surprise. The manoeuvre was successful, and though the battalion had by then lost 200 men, they and the 4th Wiltshires had gained a firm foothold on the vital high ground south-east of Bedburg; they held it. in spite of desperate German counter attacks.

James Lindesay Brind was born on Aug 29 1909, the son of General Sir John Brind. He was a kinsman of Major-General Sir Robert Sale (also a Somerset), who commanded the garrison at Jellalabad from 1841 to 1842. His uncle was an admiral, and his younger brother became a major-general.

Young Brind was educated at Wellington and Sandhurst, and in 1929 was commissioned into the Somerset Light Infantry. After regimental service in England with the 2nd Battalion, he was posted to the 1st Battalion at Poona. where his father was GOC. He returned to England in 1940.

He attended the Staff College, Camberley, in 1943 and after a period on the staff joined the 4th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry.

After the end of the war in Europe, Brind was appointed Commander of the 4th Devons, which he began training at Maresfield. prior to the expected assault on Japan. But the capitulation of Japan in August 1945 meant a reassignment of tasks. In 1946 Brind took the 4th Devons to Austria, where they had to help to restore order. His next postings were as Instructor at the School of Infantry, Warminster, until 1948, and then four years on the staff at HQ Middle East Land Forces.

In 1952 Brind took command of the 1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry at Wuppertal, in Germany, and at the end of the year took the battalion t9 Malaya, where they engaged very successfully in anti-terrorist operations in the jungle. In 1955 he was given command of 159 Infantry Brigade TA, at Worcester, before his final posting as Deputy Commander. Rhine Army District. in 1958.

After retiring from the Army in 1961, Brind worked for 11 years as a retired officer at the Proteus Army Training Camp, near Ollerton.

An exceptionally modest man, James Brind was an accomplished composer and musician (mainly piano), and the author of several novels and children92s stories, as well as a musical. In the Army he wrote the music for amateur dramatics and pantomimes. He was a member of the Songwriters92 Guild. In his youth he was a good middle-distance runner, and a useful member of regimental teams. In final retirement he continued his musical and literary output, and tended his extensive rose garden. Brind married, in 1946, Elizabeth Mann; they had a son. Brind escorting the Queen at Worcester in 1957

Probably the Times in 1996.


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OBITUARIES

Mr Hugh George Brind

A RYDE BORN man who, in 1976, was made an OBE for his services to engineering, died in Africa on June 11, aged 90.

Mr Hugh George Brind, who latterly lived in Africa, was born in Ryde and educated at the then Sandown Secondary School.

His grandfather, Charles Brind, was a stonemason involved in building St Thomas's Church, Newport, and various other churches around the Island.

Mr Brind was an apprentice for three years at the engineering and surveying department of Shanklin Urban District Council and was then employed by a firm of consulting engineers at Chippenham, Wiltshire, on several sewerage and sewage disposal projects, as well as water supply schemes.

He held a number of engineering posts around the South of England and in 1937 became assistant and later senior engineer in the trunk roads section of the Berkshire county engineers department.

During the second world war he serve with Royal Hampshire Regiment and was in charge of the IW anti-aircraft guns. He was also involved in the D-Day landings.

He was a member of the Territorial Army and achieve the rank of major. He was awarded the Territorial Efficiency Decoration (TD) with first class.

In 1950 he was appointed as an executive engineer in HM Colonial Engineering Service and posted to Tanganyika, East Africa, achieving the position of senior executive engineer. In 1954 he transferred to the Gold Coast Ghana region, where he attained the position of principal deputy engineer in chief.

He retired from the colonial service in 1960 and became deputy director of public works in Sierra Leone, then assistant director and acting director of roads and aerodromes for the Tanganyika and Tanzanian governments.

In 1968 he was appointed director of roads for the Republic of Malawi. He was the co-ordinating engineer for the £44 million Kamuzu International Airport, opened by president Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda in 1982, the year in which he retired.

In his younger days Mr Brind was a member of several football teams, including the Ryde Sports, Ventnor, Chichester City and Clacton Athletic FC. He also captained the Berkshire County Council Cricket XI from 1947 to 1950.

He was a fellow of the past Institution of Municipal Engineers and the Institution of Civil Engineers.

A funeral service was held in Natal, South Africa, on Monday.

He is survived by his wife, Valerie Betty, his children, Claire and Anthony, and give grandchildren.

Isle of Wight County Press, June 29, 1998.

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Survivor's guilt still there 53 years later

Ken Brind sips his coffee and tells me, eyes gone far away, that he still feels guilt, still wonders if he could have made a difference. Two days before Christmas in 1943 , Ken was snug in an English hospital bed recovering from minor surgery. His closest friends and fellow Lancaster bomber crew were over Berlin, dead or dying as their mortally stricken four engined aircraft fell from the sky. Ken, now living in Brentwood Bay, first contacted me when I wrote about a Lancaster bombing mission to Stuttgart in July 1944, from which New Zealand pilot Flight Lieut. Jim Archibald returned as the sole survivor of aircraft PB253/AZ, from 575("Carpe Diem") Squadron.

Ken called to say he was on the same mission, and to tell me later over coffee how well he understood Flying Officer Archibald's life long feeling of guilt that he had survived. And to show me a copy of his modest memoir-- a diary of those times. "Survivor's guilt," he said. "Even today I wonder"-- about a decision to undergo minor surgery for a recurring sinus problem. His memoir notes that before he could return to duty his aircraft and crew were assigned to target Berlin with a replacement navigator in Ken's place on the flight deck. "[Sergeant Pilot] Geoff [Clark] and the boys .... were forced to commence operations without me and were shot down... on December 23, 1943. They were all killed. I never met my replacement as navigator, but I have always had guilt feelings that I should have been with them. Had I been there things might have been different..." Dirty Targets Before the war ended Ken flew a complete tour-- 30 missions over occupied Europe, many of them over what bomber crews called dirty targets where anti aircraft fire and German night fighters took heavy tolls. It was on his 14th mission that, as navigator of one of 494 Lancaster bombers, he became a distant and unknown companion of Jim Archibald in the night sky over France en route to Stuttgart. The first wave of Lancs left England at 9.15 p.m. Ken was airborne at 9.20. Jim Archibald, flying in a formation towards the tail of the massive strike force was probably airborne before 10 p.m. For Ken is was the second trip to Stuttgart in three days: "We returned from our long haul against Stuttgart (eight hours and 35 minutes in flight, most of it over enemy territory) in the early morning of July 26, had a day off on the 27th and were detailed for the same target on the 28th. Whilst we appreciated the necessity of follow up raids on some targets... those of us called on to make the trip were not too enthusiastic. You may get away with bearding the lion in his den once, but not twice in three days, so we expected strenuous opposition." Flak and fighters And strenuous opposition is what the 494 Lancasters and two accompanying fighter bomber Mosquitos got, long before they reached Stuttgart. "There was moderate flak in the target area," Ken writes. "But there was intense fighter activity from the south west of Paris all the way to and over the target... things were pretty quiet on the way home." It was before Stuttgart that New Zealander Archibald fell victim to a night fighter, lost a wing and was blown or sucked through the front perspex wing of his Lancaster to survive the crash which claimed the lives of the rest of his crew. Roaming the bombing lanes over France that night was German night fighter ace Martin Becker-- credited with 58 kills, four of them recorded for the night of July 28-29.

"It wouldn't surprise me at all if Becker was responsible [from PB253/AZ]." Thirty nine Lancasters were lost of the Stuttgart raid of July 28-29, their crews of 273 young men, killed or captured. "If [Archibald] was shot down by a fighter on the way in, I'd bet it was Becker," says Ken, now 75, as he recalls just one of the 30 missions flown with 626 ("To Strive And Not To Yield") Squadron between his 21st and 22nd birthdays. He calls his memoir "A Year in The Life". It could read "A Lifetime in a Year". As indeed it was.

Jim Hulme's column appears here (The New Islander, Canada) every Sunday.

Re-printed in The Dabchick, August 1998.
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What a pen and ink

Graphology has previously been revered only by personnel managers and the feeble minded. Some years ago the Guardian ran a lengthy investigation into the connection between zodiac signs and jobs. This discovered (shock, horror) that birth dates were evenly spread for jobs which employed large numbers, but that jobs which employed small numbers could have a relatively high proportion of births during a short period.

This was, of course, a perfect description of probability and completely debunked the theory. Perhaps you will do the same for "graphology". Then we will only have to worry about palmistry!

Jonathan Brind

Letter printed in The Guardian, April 5, 1997.

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FEEDBACK

Star trash

It would be ironic if the first deep space craft was destroyed by a collision with a small assemblage of junk, including the ashes of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry (Soundbites, February 13).

Far too much junk already orbits the planet at high speed. There is no case for putting anyone's ashes up there to join it. A more fitting memorial for Mr Roddenberry would be a contribution towards a mission to get rid of the rubbish up there.

Jonathan Brind

Letter printed in Guardian online, February 20, 1997.

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MAILINGS

David Capitanchik (Offline, May 2) is absolutely right that the best practical means to censor the Internet is via the service providers. But even so, it won't work. Any Nazi who wants to put across a racist message will still be able to do it. The message may have to be coded and it might even have to be changed every few hours, but it will be possible to send it. All that would happen is that the service provider would frequently face the full rigours of the legal system. Why should Nazis care?

On the other hand, I would be concerned and so would everyone who uses the Internet.Service providers would have to go to great lengths to get rid of this sort of material. Services would become more expensive (or the price would do down more slowly). Large service providers would also have a commercial advantage in that they would withstand costs of legal action a lot better than small companies. Less competition would drive up prices again.

To give service providers the right to censor the internet is like giving the telephone companies the right to censor the phone lines. The major difference is that the internet will be much more important in the 21st Century than the phone system was in this century. That is quite a lot of power to give to a small number of organisations. It could be used in unpredictable ways.

The threat is much more real and plausible than any danger which might occur from allowing the ravings of a few right wing nutters to be given an airing amongst the vast clutter of material on the internet.

Jonathan Brind

Guardian online, May 16, 1996.

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Brind builds on his career

Jonathan Brind, editor of the Harper Trade Journal's monthly Solid Fuel & Fireplaces for the past 12 years, joins Lincolnshire based Master Builder on 26 February.

Brind, 43, will edit the magazine, published by Warners, which is the journal of the Federation of Master Builders. He will also edit another Warners title, Roofing.

UK Press Gazette, February 26, 1996.

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Private Lives

Start your search

The Guardian has/had a problem page called Private Lives. Readers are invited to submit a dilemma, then other readers are invited to submit helpful suggestions. This is The problem "I am an adopted child rising 40 and am wondering whether to try to trace my natural mother, or to find out whether she has made inquiries about me. I am in poor health and have not achieved much careerwise. All I have to be proud of are two lovely children, so I would be a great disappointment to my natural mother. She was only a teenager when she had me and probably has her own family, who may not know, but she must wonder about her 'daughter'. What do people think I should do?"

If my experience is anything to go by, natural mothers always think about their adopted children, especially at birthdays, Christmas and other key life stages. I know this for a fact as I got to know my natural mother in my teens and we kept in touch, with my adopted parents' support, until she died this year.

Natural relatives always wonder about each other because there is that "gap" in their lives. To fill that gap, from either side, needs courage because there is always the fear that one party could reject contact. If you decide to trace your mother, bear this in mind, just in case.

Assuming that your two children know that you're adopted and can support you, there are two reasons why I think you should try to trace your mother. First, for any parent who feels the "gap" adoption brings, it would be enough to know about you as a person in your own right. In turn, I have no doubt it would be immensely pleasing to your natural mother to know about her two lovely grandchildren. With an achievement like that, forget about being a "disappointment".

Second, and most importantly, your letter tells me that you already know what you want to do. In making your comments about your career and health, you seem to be trying to find obstacles for ignoring your need. Be nice to yourself, make a resolution for 1999 to accept your feelings and start your search because you'll regret it if you don't Good luck.

Steve Brind

Herts

Letter printed in The Guardian, Monday December 28, 1998.

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Squash

Brind wins through

By D J Rutnagur in Stuttgart

Competitors in the Women's World Open Championship are unhappy about conditions on a new demountable court which has been set up in a high ceilinged exhibition hall following the move to another venue for the remainder of the event.

Players have complained of a mixture of colours-- terracotta and green-- on the walls and the floor, the unevenness of the lighting and, not least, the low temperature which has not only raised shiver and goosebumps, but also made it hard to hit a length.

The player who rose above the problems most comfortably was England's No 7 Stephanie Brind-- even though she had no opportunity to practice on the new court before taking on the highly experienced South African player, Claire Nitch.

Brind, who had lost to Nitch in every one of their previous meetings, played with immense flair to win through 9-1, 4-9, 9-1 in just over half an hour.

Despite her low ranking, Brind's brilliance in winning two rounds-- putting out eighth seed Linda Charman in her opening game-- makes her the prime candidate to fill the hole in the England squad for the team event, created by the withdrawal of Cassie Jackman due to injury.

In the quarter finals Brind will now meet England's fourth seeded Suzanne Horner, who, at 35, is the most senior player on the women's circuit. Horner beat the next oldest, Australian Liz Irving, 33, a finalist in 1993, in four games.

Horner has twice defaulted in mid-match with injuries this season and is rarely seen without an ice pack. Nevertheless she was as mobile as ever during yesterday's 33-minute encounter against a player of equally high class.

Daily Telegraph, November 6, 1998.

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KENNETH BRIND

Kenneth John Brind (Navigator- Royal Air Force) is my brother. He was born in October 1922 in a bedroom at the Blue Boar public house where our parents were then the licensees.

Ken was educated at St Michael's School, Aldbourne, and Marlborough Grammar School. He joined the Royal Air Force shortly after the outbreak of World War II and trained as an air navigator. He flew a tour of operations with Bomber Command, was commissioned and continued to serve in the RAF after the war as a navigator, fighter controller and administrative officer.

In September 1942 he married his wife Mary, then a serving member of the Women's Royal Air Force, at Marlborough Register Office. With both wearing military uniform it was very much a wartime service wedding.

Subsequent to the completion of his tour of operations Ken was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palme by Belgium.

In 1955 he transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force and continued in a similar capacity to his RAF service. Ken retired from military service in 1968 and then worked in administrative positions for the Federal Government of Canada and later for the Provincial Government of Alberta.

Upon retirement some ten years ago Ken and Mary moved to Vancouver Island. They have five children and nine grandchildren. Ken has recently undergone a triple heart by pass operation and is progressing satisfactorily. He is very much a Dabchick by birth and despite his travels and the passage of time he has remained so at heart.

Anthony Brind.

(letter in The Dabchick, a bi monthly magazine for Aldbourne, Wiltshire, October 1998)

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WILLIAM BUNCE

William John Bunce, blacksmith and founder of William Bunce & Son Engineering Company of Ashbury was my grandmother's brother.

My grandmother, Eleanor Brind nee Bunce, William and another brother and sister were all brought up in rather a picturesque cottage with box hedge around it in the Butts, Aldbourne.

The cottage was purchased by a Bunce ancestor in 1798 for the sum of £25 and handed down within the family.

In March 1892 the parents of William and Eleanor died within ten days of each other and my grandparents, Eleanor and John Brind purchased the cottage then valued at £30. As grandmother was entitled to a quarter share she and her husband paid the other three legatees the sum of £7-10s-0d each. Surprisingly during almost 100 years the value of the cottage had increased by only 20%.

William was born in 1871 at Aldbourne and after finishing his schooling he stayed on for a year or so helping to teach the younger children.

He had hoped to go into furniture manufacturing with his mother's family at Hungerford but this did not happen and he became an apprentice blacksmith instead.

About the middle of the 1890s William purchased the blacksmith's premises at Ashbury. He married Harriet Ann Hale, known as Nancy, also born in Aldbourne in 1871 and they had three children.

I well remember in the very early 1930s Uncle Will as he was known to my brothers and I visiting grandmother in a large shiny black car with leather upholstery and the thrill I had as a small boy being allowed to sit in it. His mode of transport then was far removed from his earlier days when he used a penny farthing bicycle.

Before commencement of the war in 1939 William employed 35 men in his engineering business.

In 1946 I was a member of the Fleet Air Arm stationed at Lossiemouth on the Moray Firth and we had snow ploughs on the airfield made by William Bunce of Ashbury which were used for keeping runways clear of snow.

A few years later I mentioned this to his son Bert who stated that besides large government contracts they had supplied snow clearing equipment to possibly every council in the country.

Without doubt William John Bunce was a shrewd businessmen and an innovative blacksmith/ engineer.

He died in 1951 and was a devout and committed Christian all of his life.

Anthony (Tony) Brind.

(letter in The Dabchick, a bi monthly magazine for Aldbourne, Wiltshire, October 1998)

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OLD CONTRACT OF SALE

Dear Ed,

I've some further information to Tony Brind's article in the October issue.

I am the current owner of the cottage referred to in that article. In my possession I have a contract of sale, which I believe to be original, dated 16th October 1798 between Henry Yorke, Yeoman and William Bunce, Weaver, both of Aldbourne for the sum of £25.

I would be interested to know:

1. If there are any relatives of Henry Yorke still in the village, and

2. Does anyone have any knowledge as to when the cottages in the Butts were built?

I hope this adds a little more to Tony's family history.

Brian C Nunn

(letter printed in The Dabchick, a bi monthly magazine for Aldbourne, Wiltshire, December 1998)

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5-hour operation puts dog back in the saddle


Tourist attraction: Jessie riding on the back of Jim, the barge horse

Jumping for joy: Jessie at the canal after her operation

X-ray of the wired leg.

A horse-riding dog returned to the saddle at the weekend after a five hour operation on her broken leg which left her owners with a 500 bill.

Jessie, a collie, was given a bone graft and had the leg wired and pinned after jumping off a vehicle and landing awkwardly three months ago.

She had become a familiar sight riding on the back of the horse Jim as he pulled a tourist barge along the Grand Western canal in Tiverton, Devon.

Jessie's owners, Ray and Pat Brind, of the Grand Western Horseboat Company, said it was feared she would lose her leg after the accident.

"Our thoughts were for Jess and how we could do the best for her. We would have been devastated to lose her," said Mrs Brind. "She has a limp, but that should improve when the wire is removed."

Daily Telegraph, Monday May 26, 1997.

See also Times, August 11, 2001.
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Date-stamped : 22 June, 1997 - 14:20

By Peter Deeley at Bristol First day of four: Gloucs (57-3) trail Middlesex (237) by 180 runs

YOU knew it was going to be one of those strange sort of days on arriving here to find the electronic scoreboard out of action and Middlesex choosing a debutant about whom few of his own team- mates knew anything.

That was the way it continued. By the time the system was back on line after lunch the Londoners were already 157 for seven and Mike Smith - on his way to 41 victims so early in the season - had taken out three of their top order in the space of 21 balls.

One of Smith's scalps, Mike Gatting, had enough adventures to last a season.

He was dropped first ball, had a delivery from Smith flick the off-stump without removing the bail, and then was bowled next delivery by a screamer that moved away keeping low.

Among the wreckage, a sparkling innings from Mark Ramprakash stood out.

Losing the toss and being made to bat, he was rightly suspicious of a greenish pitch and a muggy atmosphere, yet produced a series of the finest cover-drives which you would wish to see.

There was a breath-taking six off Mark Alleyne, a flick off his toes over long-on and out of the ground, and a quartet of stinging boundaries off Shaun Young that helped him reach 53 in a Middlesex score of 82 for five.

This after their opening pair had disappeared, both leg before, in the first three overs.

When Ramprakash was leg before himself, to Alleyne soon after lunch for 75, to another that failed to take off, he had braved the conditions for 2.75 hours and understandably looked querulously at the pitch.

Sanity of a kind was restored though the ball continued to fly dangerously at times and several batsmen were hit.

Keith Dutch, despite four raps on the hand, carried Middlesex to some respectability with a career-best 79.

Dutch and James Hewitt so prospered in a stand of 86 for the eighth wicket it was difficult to see the earlier setbacks as any- thing but an aberration.

But Smith came back into the fray after tea and finished with five wickets for 23.

Gloucestershire enjoyed conditions no better in the final session and Monte Lynch had to leave the field after being hit on the hand and then the visor.

The Middlesex new boy turned out to be Tim Bloomfield, from the Staines and Leleham club, who has impressed in some recent second team games.

Replacing Phil Tufnell, who was at his home ground on international duty, he bowled two quick overs in the gathering gloom.

Source :: The Electronic Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/)

Britannic County Championship:

An inspector calls to solve riddle of new Bristol pitch

By Peter Deeley at Bristol Second day of four: Middlesex (237 & 78-6) lead Gloucs (99) by 216 runs

A THREE-MAN panel from the England Cricket Board's pitches advisory group travel here today to sit in judgement on a track where 25 wickets have so far fallen in 1.5 days' play - 12 of them in 51 overs yesterday.

With five batsmen having been hit on the hand by lifting deliveries off a cracked surface, Harry Brind, the board's pitches inspector, and his colleagues might need to call in at the lo- cal hospital A & E department.

Monte Lynch has been there with a badly bruised left forefinger which at one time was thought to have been fractured.

He came back to steer Gloucestershire beyond the follow-on mark and then retired for the second time.

Late in the day, Mike Gatting, facing his second ball from Shaun Young, reacted violently to a knock but ignored the proffered towel and medicine - only to be out soon after offering no shot to Jonathan Lewis.

This is the first senior game to be played on a pitch which was relaid in 1994 according to board guidelines.

Groundsman David Bridle admitted that the bounce was variable but observed, reason- ably, that some of the shots which led to dismissals - particularly by the home batsmen - were suspect.

The irony is that the other, older, pitches here have been flat surfaces conducive to lots of runs this summer.

Gloucestershire cannot be accused of preparing a track to suit their bowlers when the greater depth of the Middlesex pace attack has dominated the game.

They imposed themselves without the help of Angus Fraser, who spent the second half of the day - after 53 overs had been lost to rain - limping with a twisted ankle.

Gloucestershire collapsed from their overnight 57 for three to 99, the first time they have been dismissed for below three figures this summer.

Richard Johnson did most damage, finishing with four for 27, and Tim Bloomfield backed him up with two wickets in successive balls in his first game at this level.

Tony Wright stuck to his task for 2.5 hours before trying to pull Bloomfield and skying a return catch.

He was the sixth man out and, apart from Lynch, the only other home batsman to reach double figures.

But for their 20 extras, Gloucestershire would certainly have been batting again before the close.

Middlesex finished 138 ahead on first innings but Gloucester- shire have by no means given up the ghost in this battle in the higher reaches of the championship table.

Aside from the dismissal of Gatting, they were entitled to celebrate the key wicket of Middlesex captain Mark Ramprakash, the scourge of their bowlers in the first innings.

In two excellent spells, Jon Lewis removed four key batsmen, leaving even Ramprakash flat-footed with the perfect delivery which left him late and hit middle and off stumps.

Source :: The Electronic Telegraph (http://www.Telegraph.co.uk/)

Covers stay on to keep inspectors in the dark

By Peter Deeley at Bristol

THE four-man pitches inspectorate from the England Cricket Board were forced to remain under cover until late in the day here yesterday, like the controversial wicket they came to examine.

When the rain finally relented the group, led by John Carr, the board's cricket operations manager, spent more than half an hour out in the middle with groundsman David Bridle.

Carr - who holds the record individual score for Middlesex against Gloucestershire with an unbeaten 261 at Lord's three years ago - had come from Lord's with county representatives Hugh Davies of Glamorgan, Bill Hughes (Hampshire) and David Dunckley (Lancashire).

The inspectors hoped to see some play in order to form a final judgement but the weather defeated them.

When play was due to begin at 5.30 another downpour arrived forcing abandonment of the whole day's play.

Carr will now stay overnight along with Harry Brind, the ECB adviser on pitches, and other members are expected to return today, when they will also inspect television footage of play.

If the weather prevents further play in the match - with Middle- sex leading by 216 runs - then the case against Gloucestershire could well be "not proven".

However Brind has been an eye-witness to events since the first day, having been summoned early by the umpires.

He has seen for himself the effect of the patchwork mosaic, on which 25 wickets have al- ready gone down in 1.5 days' play and five batsmen have been hit on the hand.

The pitch, being used for the first time at first-class level, is one of three here which were relaid in 1994, based on Lord's guidelines.

Philip August, Gloucestershire's secretary, said of the county's first-innings debacle: "This isn't a 99-run wicket. Some of the shots left a lot to be desired. There's some unevenness of bounce but that's to be expected in a new pitch."

This latest problem rounds off an unhappy week for Gloucestershire. On Monday they lost here to Worcestershire when victory would have taken them back to the top of the championship. Twenty-four hours earlier police were called in to ugly crowd scenes at the Sunday meeting between the sides.

The county were letting children accompanied by parents in free and have since been "inundated" with complaints about bad language and drunkenness, according to chief executive Colin Sexstone.

"We're determined to stamp out such disgraceful scenes," Sexstone said, announcing that with effect from tomorrow's game, against Middlesex, Gloucestershire are to introduce restrictions on alcohol consumption.

Both bars in the Jessop Tavern will be closed from the start of play until six and stewards will search spectators to ensure that drink brought into the ground is limited to "sensible" personal consumption.

Sexstone commented: "These actions are deeply regretted but this is the minimum action necessary to allow cricket to be played in a friendly and family atmosphere. Gloucestershire are not alone in experiencing this problem."

Source :: The Electronic Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/)

Smith papers over the cracks

By Peter Deeley at Bristol Middlesex beat Gloucesterhire by 44 runs

MIKE SMITH'S 42 wickets at little over 15 runs apiece for Gloucestershire at this early stage in the season holds out the promise of an international future for the 29-year-old exiled Tyke.

So the left-armer is in pole position when it comes to opinions on this controversial wicket - playing its first senior game since it was relaid in 1994 - which is presently under scrutiny by an inspectorate from Lord's.

After one and a half days in which 25 wickets fell, Gloucestershire acknowledge that the mosaic of cracks is leading to variable bounce.

But Smith says: "This is no worse than our game at Headingley when Michael Vaughan broke his wrist. Every ball that has risen has tended to hit the batsman, but the pitch isn't that bad.

"Dismissals have tended to make the rest more hesitant.Perhaps they are hanging back when they should be going forward."

One man who does not seem inflicted with such doubt is Mark Alleyne, growing in confidence now he has assumed the Gloucester- shire captaincy.

He yesterday showed how the lifting ball should be played as he became the first home batsman in the match to reach a half-century.

After the home side, set 263 in a minimum of 89 overs, had slumped to 60 for four, Alleyne shared in a fighting partner- ship with Jack Russell which gave Gloucestershire an outside chance of victory.

The Lord's quartet, aided by ECB pitches inspector Harry Brind, were waiting until the end of the game to give their verdict.

What they particularly wanted to see was how the ball would behave in the hands of Middlesex's Richard Johnson.

But first Johnson rattled up a quick fire 31 off 15 balls as Middlesex added early runs before declaring.

Then Johnson quickly re- moved Gloucestershire's openers, Tony Wright fencing at a lifting ball and Nick Trainor trapped leg before.

He then "nutted" Robert Cunliffe with one that rose from just short of a length.

Maybe unsettled by this, Cunliffe got an inside edge pushing forward to Angus Fraser and Australian Shaun Young soon followed, chasing a legside delivery from James Hewitt.

Source :: The Electronic Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/) Contributed by The Management (help@cricinfo.com)

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