Well played, all! The spirit of English cricket shines out in this beautifully shot colour film. On a glorious June afternoon in Lancashire, crowds gather for a match between Rawtenstall and Bacup, and a chance to see world-class professionals such as Everton Weekes and Vijay Hazare in action. Fans both young and old turn out, reflecting the post-war surge of enthusiasm for the national game.
Filmmaker George Whittaker was the manager of Glen Mills in Colne. He made several amateur documentaries in the 1940s and 50s about the mills, but cricket also played a big part in his life. As president of Rawtenstall Cricket Club, he encouraged women and families to attend matches, and introduced various innovations, including a public address system, at the ground. 'Cricketers All' includes footage of the practice whereby players who score a half-century are rewarded with a collection made amongst the spectators.
Set up in 1977, the North West Film Archive preserves moving images made in or about Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside and Cumbria and offers a variety of access services to users in the public, academic and commercial sectors.