Saturday, May 1, 2021

Something About A. E. J. Collins

I can name names cause it's cricket.

There is one thing in Bristol not mentioned in The Secret of the Underground Room (1990) I know John Bellairs visited.

First, some background on Arthur Edward Jeune Collins (1885-1914). Collins began his education at Clifton College, Bristol, in 1897. Over four days in June 1899, the 13-year-old Collins scored the highest ever recorded cricket score of 628 not out, while playing in a junior schoolhouse cricket match. 

Collins's record stood for 116 years as the record score until January 2016 when Pranav Dhanawade scored 1009 in a single innings. Collins later joined the British Army in 1902 and served in France during the First World War, where he was killed in action in 1914 during the First Battle of Ypres.

In 1962, a plaque commemorating the score was placed near the field, now known Collins’ Piece, just off Guthrie Road.

I don’t fully understand the particulars of gameplay, and I don’t know if Bellairs was a fan of cricket, either. Nevertheless, Bellairs’s college friend, Alfred Myers, shared with us a copy of a photograph he had of Bellairs taken around 1975 when Bellairs visited Bristol. The image shows Bellairs on the Clifton College campus in front of the plaque.

We are told the plaque still stands, even if the record it boasts does not.

No comments: