Berkhamsted Cricket Club - Norman Warren Memories

Norman Warren Memorial

In memory of Norman Warren, BCC Co-President, 20th October 1925 - 9th September 2013

We are extremely sorry to announce the death of our Club Co-President, Norman Warren, on Monday 9th September. Norman was a part of BCC for close to 70 years. As a batsman he compiled thousands of runs over many years in the Club's sides. He fulfilled every role in the Club, including Groundsman, Colts manager, Skipper, Fixture Secretary, President and will most recently have been known as the First XI's scorer. Norman was synonymous with Berkhamsted Cricket Club for most of his life. Even after finally stepping down from the score-box, Norman would follow the fortunes of all the Club's XI's with great interest. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Brian Davis (Berkhamsted Cricketer)
I joined the Boys section of the club in I think the 1956/57 season  when I was 12. The following year I played my first ever game for a “Men’s” Eleven at Berkhamsted – Norman was my captain. I remember very little about the game except that I took a catch off Norman’s bowling. He seemed very pleased! Little did I know how many more times I would share a cricket field with him, both in the 1st XI when I made it there in 1959 and many years later when we both graced the 2ndXI. As a young lad making my way in the club, Norman was always a great encouragement and generous in his praise. Others have mentioned Norman’s contributions to the Club in all the background work he did, but he was much more than that to me. It was his enthusiasm for the game, his encouragement of others and unfailing good nature that helped me to enjoy so many happy hours playing cricket – he was a major influence and mentor for me throughout. A top man.

Charlie Hussey (Berkhamsted Cricketer and Vice President)
Travelling to away games with Norman as the driver, was always a pleasure. Norman had an aversion to A roads especially if they contained dual carriageways and so we always took routes into depths of Hertfordshire on by roads and single track lanes - some not even on maps!– always scenic always joyous especially because at that leisurely pace more time could be spent discussing club cricket and cricketers past and present. Preserving tradition and heritage is an important heartbeat of any town cricket club . Norman for oh so many years was Berkhamsted’s heartbeat – he will be sorely missed but his values will live on.

Jon Griffin  (Berkhamsted CC cricketer, 1966 - 2000 ; Vice-President)
Greetings from Devon to all readers. I take this opportunity to add my own condolences to Peggy and the family, and also offer some material that features a small part of Norman's huge contribution to the life and history of Berkhamsted Cricket Club.
The earliest BCC fixture card in my possession is from season 1956, at which point Norman is Hon. Fixture Secretary, a position he held until 1977.
In 1959 he became vice-captain of the 1st XI, with Dennis Atkins as captain, and continued in that role until 1962. The team photograph (below) from that season shows many 'famous faces', and the fixture card also notes the Warren family's change of address from Little Gaddesden to Northchurch's Covert Close.
In 1963 & 1964 Norman took the reins as 1st XI skipper. Upon passing them to Ken Burling in 1965, Norman was elected a Life Member of the club.
Fixture card listings then show Norman as 2nd XI captain from 1970 - 74. The family address changes to The Meads in 1976, just prior to the Fixture Secretary role being handed on to Brian Collins in 1978, while Norman reappears as 3rd XI skipper in the 1983 season (together with many subsequent occasions leading Berkhamsted teams onto the field).
Others' tributes will doubtless have referred to Norman as "Mr Berkhamsted". The attached cuttings (still to be uploaded) show the special prominence given to him in 1975, the season in which Berkhamsted CC celebrated its centenary. To mark the occasion, the Final of the Gazette Cup was to be staged at the Sports Ground rather than its normal Hemel Hempstead venue. To emphasise the 'magic of the Cup', the Berkhamsted A and B teams managed to get into opposite halves of the draw and proceeded to battle their respective ways through to what was truly a home Final.
The attached Gazette cuttings might bring back a few memories, or induce a smile, despite a journalistic error or two. Norman proceeded to make the highest score in the Final, albeit without being able to steer the B team to victory, and accepted the cheers of a large crowd in his usual calm manner.
That was perhaps the only occasion on which I bowled in match conditions at Norman. The ease with which he kept out all my best deliveries, steering most of them down to third man for runs, made it clear I was not going to claim his wicket and simply emphasised what an amazing run-machine technique he possessed. Playing under Norman's captaincy in the 2nd XI of the early 70s was a great joy and also a true education in stepping forward to senior cricket.  The game of cricket attracts wonderful people to play it, and it seems to me that Berkhamsted CC has been blessed to have Norman in its midst for so many years. Pictures can be found at the bottom of the page.

Tim Sims (Senior)
So sad news, some of my later games were with Norman on the upper pitch at the Club, a very nice man. I first met him in the 60's and 70's when I helped to  organise and play in the Old Berkhamstedians cricket week at the school and elsewhere, Norman was often in the the Town's team against us on the Chesham Rd school's playing fields...of happy memories, followed by a good few jars in the town. Hopefully many of our OB players will also recall those days and Norman.

Steve James (Vice President)
My most recent memories of Norman are when he and I jointly managed the Colts teams in the early 1990’s.
Norman was as diligent in this role as he has been in all the other roles he undertook in the Club. I think this showed Norman at his best passing on his extensive knowledge to Colts – he was always delighted to be in the company of young people and was known to them all as “uncle Norm”.
The teams had some success in those early years and I still have a picture in my mind of him beaming when the Under 11’s had just won the County title and after a short address he finished by saying – “let’s go to the bar – the lemonade is on me!”
Those years were some of my happier cricketing memories and Norman was central to that – how well he set up a number of youngsters on the right cricketing path!!

Jon Ezard (Vice-President)
This was a story passed on to me by Martin Everit (Brummie). When he was a youngster, playing for Norman in the third team, they regularly opened the batting together. One day, after a quick single was taken, Norman declined the second. Walking very gingerly down the wicket he said to Martin, “No more quick singles today lad, trouble with the under-carriage”.
Sad news,  we should remember Norman as the ultimate club man, very passionate about his cricket, and his cricket club.

Aaron Todd (Berko Cricketer 1990-2011)
Very sad to read about the passing of Norman on the BCC website.
I had the honour and privilege of playing with Norman many times, whilst I didnt get to see him in his pomp he still managed to show the rest of us that touch and technique were a more effective weapon than brute force. As far as I am aware I had the misfortune to run Norman out on his last innings for the club - a raised eyebrow as he walked off was the only admonishment I received - it was never mentioned again. He was a forgiving(!), kind, generous and funny man. His dedication to the club was humbling and inspiring. I havent played for the club for a couple of years and Norman is one of the people I have missed seeing in the Summer. I am sad that I wont get to see him again.
RIP Norman.

Dave Chrispin (former Club Captain)
In my years as 1st XI captain, I had the good fortune of having Norman as the scorer. The only problem was he knew more about cricket than I could ever hope to know. He passed on his wisdom in such a kind and generous way that the travel back from an away game was always pleasant despite the fact that he'd worked out what had gone wrong long before I was trying my 5th bowling change. Thoughts are with his family.

William Frederick Turner
So sorry to hear of Norman's passing. I knew him well when I was very young. I would cycle past his house, number 1, Covert close. He was always working on his vegetable patch and I would stop for a chat. he always had time for me and his daughters were my friends for a while. In the seventies he gave me a book on how to be a football referee because I had just been in charge of a match down the recreation ground. The only reason I was the ref was that I was the only one who had turned up with a football so they had no choice. Norman was supportive and helpful but I never did understand the off side rule and 22 boy's shouting at me about rules of which I knew nothing left me filing the rule book in the loft.
The last time I saw Norman he was with his wife walking along the canal towards Dudswell. I'm not sure if he really remembered me but we had a chat. I guess if I had told him that he used to call me Noddy because I wore a blue bobble hat and I rode a small blue bicycle he would have remembered me. Needles to say I always knew him as Mr Bigears.
A great gentleman you were Mr Bigears
Rest in peace