Ginger Thurlow – A True Dulwich Stalwart

I am sorry to report that JL received a call from Andy Lang on Wednesday 28th November to say that Gerald Victor Thurlow passed away on Wednesday 28th November.

‘Ginger’ as he was affectionately known was a true gentleman and a real Dulwich CC stalwart. Ginger first joined our club as an umpire and occasional player in the 1960’s. Ginger’s true domain was the bar where his description of his own achievements on the park and those of others was truly heroic. Ginger was a great bloke to play with and to socialise with. When fielding, Ginger considered that he did well to stop the ball. He was convinced that there was a hole in his shins. Many of us who played with him witnessed feats of fielding that are not present in the T20 game! Ginger’s game was certainly a talking point in the bar!

Ginger introduced the award of the ‘Worthington E’ cap to the Sunday Third XI games. After the match was concluded, Ginger would award the cap to the least distinguished performer or perhaps the most distinctive or bizarre contribution. Unsurprisingly the award often went to one of the Bowyers or sometimes to Alan Armstrong, Jim Gibson, Bob Hope or Gavin Burden.  Unsurprisingly, Frank Jackson or John Edwards might have protested but they won it too! The weekly award demonstrated Ginger’s impish sense of humour, his natural wish to emphasise the fun side of cricket together with his abhorrence of keg beer. Ginger would have the team travelling miles to frequent one of his favourite pubs (The Hope) or merely get us to go out of the way to sample the nectar supplied by Young’s brewery.

Members of Dulwich Cricket Club were privileged to share Ginger’s time with Herne Hill Wanderers’ CC, Croydon & District Pawnbrokers CC and also Peckham Thursdays CC.  Ginger was able to combine some work in Insurance with a lot of mid- week cricket. The match was only the prelude to singing and drinking, accompanying Bob Bampton on the squeezebox and watching Georgie on the ‘spoons’. The range of songs was impressive with performances to match. Ginger himself was no slouch as a singer – ‘Burlington Bertie’ being one of his favourites. Those of us privileged to know and play with Ginger realised that after the game, the whole evening was set up with perhaps some impairment of senses on the following morning!  Ginger made friends easily but, in those days, he was often seen with Duncan Ryder and the Keene family. Woodsie told me that he learnt many things as a young cricketer from those weekday matches.

Ginger was a naturally generous man and proud of his club. After he finished wearing whites (flannels or umpires coat) he continued to come along to watch Dulwich perform at home. Some few years ago, Ginger was admitted to a nursing home in Sidcup where he was regularly visited by his great friend and supporter over forty years, Andy Lang.  I know that the Alan & Adie Armstrong were frequent visitors. JL, Jimmy and I went to visit Ginger. As soon as we talked about the old days, a glimmer would come in to his eye and he would recall some event that made smiles in everyone’s face. Ginger never cared about statistics and averages – he was more interested in taking part, enjoying the game and sharing each other’s company. He was great company, a natural raconteur, a man with a sense of humour and someone who always made newcomers welcome. He also had some strong views as friends will recall!

I suspect that Ginger was in his mid- eighties. We will find out more at his funeral which takes place at 4-15pm on Tuesday 18th December at the Beckenham Crematorium, Elmers End Road. BR3 4TD. If I have missed something out, please contribute about the passing of a true gentleman of Dulwich Cricket Club. I hope that DCC can be well represented at the end of Ginger’s innings.

I end with sadness but with fond memories.
John Smith

The photograph below shows some old timers from the 1970s and 80s – Lance Keene, Peter Rice, Francis Bowyer, John Sunter, John Smith, Andy Ford, Colin Smith, Jeremy Gotch and Stuart Courtney. Seated are Jimmy Gibson, Andy Lang, Ginger Thurlow, John Lawrence, Giles Bowyer, Peter Rochford, John Soldan and David Woods.

We have received a number of tributes:

Peter Rice wrote – Many thanks for telling me of the sad news of Ginger’s passing. He was indeed one of the Club’s true characters & I have fond memories of him umpiring & of course in the bar, particularly after the Herne Hill Wanderers match. I hope to be available to attend his funeral.

Andy Niven wrote – It was Ginger’s enthusiasm for the game and a genuine interest in how everyone was health wise and cricket wise.  Great fun to be with and one of those guys you couldn’t help but love and enjoy being with. A Top man!

Jim Gibson wrote – Sad news indeed. Your tribute sums him up perfectly. A wonderful warm bloke who loved a pint and a laugh at any time of the day or night. I still have one undying memory of bowling from Smithies house end and a batsman hitting the ball very hard straight past me. Brian Jeacocke and Ginger Thurlow gave chase. The ball won, unsurprisingly.

Peter Rochford wrote – very sorry to hear about Ginger, he was in some of my earlier games at DCC in the late 70s, everything you said brought back those earlier memories of Ginger and how he made a new member laugh and feel at home.

Pat, Lance and Perry Keene wrote -Thank you for letting us know about Ginger.  Very sad news. Lance, Perry and I have been reminiscing about the old cricket days and what a lovely lot of memories. Before insurance, Ginger was a postman so his party piece was “I am going to write myself, a letter and make believe it came from you” followed by “I’m shy Mary Ellen I’m shy”.  So those were the days as far as cricket was concerned. Everyone enjoyed the cricket but what was also important was the families and supporters that came every week.

Stuart Courtney wrote- Thanks for letting me know. Ginger was always great fun and you have paid him a lovely tribute. Please let me know when the funeral is.

John Sunter wrote- So sorry to hear the news of Ginger’s passing. I hope the attached photograph will evoke some happy memories.

David Woods wrote- Sad news indeed. Pat’s words reminded me of my Herne Hill Wanderers days at the age of fifteen when she and Alan along with Lance Perry and Ginger chauffeured me around to all the games. He gave me my first Gray Nicholls cricket bat, got me drinking proper beer and was largely responsible for me joining Dulwich CC at the age of sixteen. His infectious smile, jokes, songs and being a caring friend will always be remembered. Thanks Ginger

John Soldan wrote – John, those are brilliant words and if you had not included the name of who you were writing about, we would all have shouted “that’s Ginger”. You have summed him up magnificently and we have lost a friend and a great character.

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