About

In 1902 the Boer War ended and Lt-Col James Fellowes and a group of other “gentlemen” founded the Club. Many were linked to the Devon County Team and or played at Oxford University. The premise of being a Club without a ground mirrored similar teams in other counties where teams of good players competed against each other in a pre-Great War expression of the Corinthian spirit. Over 70 Presidents have included Dukes, Earls, Baronets, Army and Navy Officers, Vicars, Doctors, Farmers and businessmen. All have attempted to continue a tradition of fair play, encouraging good sportsmanship whilst striving to win, but never too stridently!

The Club’s first game in 1902 was at the Exeter County Ground against United Services Plymouth over two days with the first lost entirely to rain! The second day ended in a soggy draw with Dumplings batting out time. Rain and Devon being frequently associated this is not unknown even today although two day games are a thing of the past. I have wondered why the Club colours, three shades of green, were chosen and registered at the first meeting of the Club. I imagine that with its abundant rainfall Devon lent itself to the images of verdant pasture that are reflected in them!

Play was suspended between 1915 and 1919 during the Great War and again from 1940 to 1945 resuming in 1946 at the end of the War . 
 Dumplings most-played opponent is Somerset Stragglers, whom we first played in our inaugural year. This is now a game played regularly at Shobrooke Park, the home of our then President Sir John Shelley. In 1907 J.F. Shelley was our first player to score 500 runs in a season. J.F. Shelley subsequently became President in 1928. It remains a “needle match”.

The format of games has slowly changed over the years, no more four innings matches over two days and some games based on a number of overs rather than on one innings per side with a declaration in between. Some of our newer and younger members have never played “a declaration game” before joining our ranks. This variety of format and the style in which we play lends itself to the promotion of the spirit of the game.

Membership has always been by invitation and, for playing members, after turning out as a guest. We are fortunate to have members of both sexes acting as umpires and scorers without them having been players in the past. In 2012 we had our first female committee member but having arrived in the 21st century,  not before  time!

The ultimate accolade within the Club is the award of “The Silver Dumpling”, which first served as the prize for a golfing section of the Club but which has metamorphosed to reflect great service to the Club by an individual whether on or off the field. It can be awarded for a great innings or bowling achievement but also for performing those “back office” functions that so often go unnoticed and unrecognised but without which no Club can continue.