Sports in Axminster

P&O's Azura on which Dick Sturch watched the Manchester derby

"At 5 o'clock on Friday, October 14th 2011 after all pre-departure checks were completed and clearance granted P&O's Azura let go all her lines, thrust off the ocean terminal berth at Southampton and manoeuvred into the Solent.

"An easterly course was set north of the Isle of White where shortly after the pilot disembarked the ship. We cleared the Nab Tower and steered south westerly into the English Channel towards Cape Ushant off the north western tip of France and onward to the Med." So the Captain's log read.

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By Stuart Broom

I KNOW that many of you who will be reading this article are of similar age to me and played football in the 1960s and 70s, and will easily empathise with my thoughts on the way our beautiful game has changed, whilst the younger generation will have no idea what I am talking about.

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Dick Sturch leaves Millwey Rise to play for Offwell

In the 1960s and 70s one name was synonymous with Offwell Football and Cricket Clubs - Roy Land. Roy was Offwell & Widworthy FC's long serving secretary, Offwell CCs fixture secretary and a very crafty spin bowler. All these roles he filled with an admirable enthusiasm.

Roy produced a weekly newsletter for the Football Club which he edited and printed at his own expense of time and money, although I am led to believe the 'duplicating machine' at the old Honiton RDC offices, where Roy was employed, was of great assistance. The first issue came out on September 28th 1968 which also coincided with my first season at the club after my move from Millwey Rise FC. I still have many of those newsletters and the following is Roy's introduction to the very first one he produced:

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The Millwey Rise FC 1965-66 promotion team:  back row (left to right) - Gordon Pritchard, Perce Downton, Andy Jackman, Tony Turner, Roger Hurrell, Dick Sturch, Ray Tiller, Ian Galloway. Front row (left to right) - Geoff Vicary, Alfie Dowell, Nobby Swain,

I came back from Dorset in the early Spring of 1965 after three years away. The agricultural machinery company I worked for in Dorset became South Western Farmers when it aquired East Devon Farmers and I was promoted to be their first machinery salesman in Devon.

We moved into Rakehill Cottage, whose postal address was Wilmington, although it was nearer Stockland Hill TV mast than the village. We rented it from Major Hatswell at Wylmington Hayes, one of several properties he owned locally. There was no electricity but this was promised to arrive within 12 months. The cottage's saving grace was an Aga which provided warmth, hot water and our cooking facilities. Illumination was by oil or tilley lamp, and the occasional candle when we ran out of paraffin.

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Jim Laker having taken ten wickets

It's funny how, when someone mentions Test matches, I always remember the games I`ve listened to on the radio. They have created more nostalgia for me than anything I've watched live on television, even England`s 1966 Football World Cup victory.

'Jim Laker's Test' at Old Trafford in July 1956 when he took 19 Australian wickets for a meagre 90 run - a feat no Test Match bowling figures have ever challenged. I was still at Colyton Grammar School and it was the last days of the summer term. All the exams had finished and so we had more free time available which I, together with several others, spent clustered round a portable radio with a terrible reception listening to the Test Match. It whistled and crackled. Voices came and went. Fading at critical moments as we desperately tried to re-tune the station. I can also recall Sid Bradbeer, a master extremely keen on cricket, popping by to check on the score.

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