Friday, January 01, 2010

FIRST CLASS CONNECTION

Quite by chance we've discovered a first class cricketer from the Brigg area.
Alfred Talbot Cliff, born in 1878, played as an amateur - right-handed batsman, slow left-arm bowler - in 39 matches for Worcestershire between 1912 and 1920.
He scored 986 runs at an average of 13.69 and took eight wickets, his first victim, against Kent, being England Test batsman Frank Woolley!
His highest first class score was 59 not out against Leicestershire at Worcester in 1914, when he and M. K. Foster shared in a partnership of 166.
He also shared a fine stand with Wing Commander William Harold Nelson Shakespeare OBE MC AFC, late of the Royal Flying Corps, in August 1919 against Warwickshire.
Alfred was born at Scawby Grove, and died in Oxford, aged 87, in 1966 - meriting an obituary in Wisden, the 'Bible' of cricket.
We are pretty sure he was the son, or close relative, of local dignitary Talbot Cliff, who lived at Scawby Grove and had strong connections with industry in Scunthorpe and with Brigg Grammar School.
The school's wooden cricket pavilion (demolished in 2002) was opened by Mrs Talbot Cliff (a relative of the first class cricketer) on sports day, June 5, 1929. In declaring the pavilion open, Mrs Cliff expressed her delight in being asked to
take part in the activities of the school, of whose progress she was so proud. She presented the Challenge Cups and vote of thanks was afterwards proposed by the head prefect.
There were Talbot Cliffs with ironmaking connections in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, so maybe Alfred Talbot Cliff was connected to them.
Any further information you might be able to provide about his Brigg area connections will be appreciated.

7 comments:

Ken Harrison said...

Nige,
The guy who built Scawby Grove was one Joseph Cliff - an ironmaster. He seems he could be the Dad of Alfie.
Joseph Cliff also built houses for his 3 iron works managers in Scunthorpe - now the Wortley Hotel in Rowland Road.
One thing that needs to be checked is the date that Scawby Grove was built - something tells me it was not built until about 1890 and if correct, would be out of sync with Alfie's birth date. However, was there a previous 'Grove' on the same site?.......something tells me that there was a Scawby House on the site.
The Cliff family seemed to vocate the Grove in the '30's under a cloud of an alleged scandal. Local stories suggest that one of the ladies of the household had an supposed affair with a stable lad from the adjoining stables....a bit like 'Lady Chatterley's Lover'.

Re Wing Commander Willian et al...'wing commander' is an RAF rank, not RFC. The RAF came into being on 1 April, 1918....before then officers in the RFC retained their army rank - wing commander being equivalent to a Lt.Colonel.

One final point - was Talbot Cliff and double barrelled name? Was Mrs Talbot Cliff, Alfie's missus?

Ken Harrison said...

Nige,
Another few snippets.....inside Scawby Grove there is a stone sculptured family crest above the large fireplace in the entrance hall...it contains the initials JC = Joseph Cliff and other initials of his missus ?? + (talbot) dogs - ie hunting dogs.

The Talbot family does seem to originate from the Kidderminster area (Worcester), while the Cliff family appears to have come from around Leeds (now West Yorks).

By the 1850's there appears that the families have inter-married and splinter group(s) of the Talbot-Cliffs have moved to both Somerby and to Frodingham (steel works).

Unknown said...

Hi
I have no idea if this blog is still live, but if it is of interest I have some information on this thread. The owner of Scawby grove was Joseph Cliff and his wife Ada (nee Talbot) , my great great grandparents. their children were; Ada, joseph talbot, Alice, Grosvenor, and my great Grandfather Reginald bertram ( who was killed at Ypres in sept 1915) Joseph was the son of Joseph Cliff of Wortley, Leeds and he was the founder of the Ironworks at Frodingham. Joseph junior was an iron master and ran the ironworks. I am not sure about when the family sold the house but I do know that it was built on the site of a much older and smaller georgian house of the same name.
Talbot and Cliff were not used as a double-barrel name but we have used both names as second names( I am Richard , Stephen, Talbot, Cliff

Unknown said...

Hi
I have no idea if this blog is still live, but if it is of interest I have some information on this thread. The owner of Scawby grove was Joseph Cliff and his wife Ada (nee Talbot) , my great great grandparents. their children were; Ada, joseph talbot, Alice, Grosvenor, and my great Grandfather Reginald bertram ( who was killed at Ypres in sept 1915) Joseph was the son of Joseph Cliff of Wortley, Leeds and he was the founder of the Ironworks at Frodingham. Joseph junior was an iron master and ran the ironworks. I am not sure about when the family sold the house but I do know that it was built on the site of a much older and smaller georgian house of the same name.
Talbot and Cliff were not used as a double-barrel name but we have used both names as second names( I am Richard , Stephen, Talbot, Cliff

Unknown said...

Hi
Looking through the family trust book I can not find an Alf Talbot Cliff... The only person born at Scawby in that era was Joseph Tertius Talbot Cliff born 05/04/1874 and died 24/03/1953 he was known as Jim in the family and he inherited Scawby Grove on his fathers death on 09//06/1914, Whether he was a cricketer or not I have no idea.
The Talbots and the Cliffs were indeed well interlinked as my great great grandfather Joseph (Jr)was married to Ada Talbot 24/11/1868, his elder sister Clara married Adas brother, Grosvenor 08/04/1863 and his younger sister, Katherine married Adas other brother Theodore Lant Talbot 09/03/1869
Joseph Cliff (snr) house called Western Flatts in Wortley, Leeds , was also turned into a childrens home after his brother Walter left it to Leeds city. It has now reverted to private use I beleive, is this going to happen with the Grove ?

Unknown said...

Hi
I have found Alfred Talbot Cliff in our trust records, He was the son of Phillip Arthur Cliff and Eleanor Gibson , They did indeed live at Scawby Grove. Phillip was Joseph (Jr) younger brother and also was an iron master he was born 01/05/1848 and died 09/08/1884. Alfie was born27/10/1878 and died 25/01/1966 he had 2 brothers, Arthur and Vincent and a sister Bertha. Alf married Mary Adelaide Choules in 1934 but they had no children.

Unknown said...

Hi

I am posting this hoping that Richard Cliff is still able to view this Blog and may be able to help us. I am a member of Willoughton Local History Society who are researching the men named on the war memorial and rolls of honor in the church. Our ultimate aim is to be able to produce a book that will reside in the church. This will contain a short biography on these men and wherever possible a photograph. In addition we hope to be able to print a small number for sale.
I am trying to locate a photograph of Reginald Bertram Talbot Cliff (1882-1915). R B T Cliff is actually on three war memorials Willoughton, Thornton Curtis Lincs and Brockworth, Gloucestershire.
If you can help or know anyone who can please get in touch.