About the Club

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 sides of good players competed against each other in a pre Great War expression of the “Corinthian spirit”. The 74 Presidents have included Dukes, Earls, Baronets, Army and Navy Officers, Vicars, Doctors, Farmers and business men. 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 selected and registered at the first meeting of the club and imagine that with its abundant rainfall Devon lent itself to the images of verdant pasture that are reflected in the selection!

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 second “unpleasantness”.

The format of games has slowly changed over the years with now no four innings matches over two days and with some games based on a number of overs rather than on one innings per side with a possible 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 is of assistance in promoting “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. We have this year been fortunate in attracting our first female committee member but this is now the 21st century so it is about 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 changed to reflect great service to the club by an individual whether on or off the field. It can be won for a great innings or bowling achievements but also for performing those “back office” functions that so often go unnoticed and unrecognised but without which no club can continue.

Dumplings most played opponent is Somerset Stragglers, who we first played in our inaugural year. This is now a game played regularly at Shobrooke Park, the home of our President in 1907 Sir John Shelley and JF Shelley who, in the same year, was our first player to score 500 runs in a season. (JF Shelley became President in 1928.) It remains a “needle match”…

Dr P.H.G.Jolliffe, 2012



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