Club History


Karle Simpson stepped down as President of the club and was succeeded by Ian Davies.

The Demijohns celebrated their 60th anniversary.


It was announced at the Annual Dinner that the Committee had determined Ian Madden, Groundsman at our home ground of St John’s College Oxford, be made an Honorary Life Member of the Club.

This distinction was bestowed upon Ian in recognition of the exceptional level of support that he, together with Tara his fiancĂ©e, has given to the Club since arriving at St John’s. Ian was presented with a Demijohns tie by Karle, Club President, in – living as he does in the wilds of North Oxford – country colours. Upon receiving the same, Ian appeared to be somewhat overwhelmed by the handing down of what was, after all, a life sentence!


Demijohn Ross Haines batted Oxford to victory in the 50-over Varsity match at Lords on 20 June, scoring 61 not out from 44 balls in an unbroken partnership with St John’s freshman (and future Demijohn…?) Abi Sakande, who scored 15 not out.


Ross Haines became the first Demijohn to score a double-century when he hit 200 against The Village. The next weekend he repeated the feat, scoring 203 (retired) against The Grannies.


Professor Maggie Snowling, President of St John’s, took over the role of club patron from her predecessor, Sir Michael Scholar.


The website builder could not do everything we wanted, and so we dropped it and “hand-coded” a new website from scratch. It went live at the end of the 2011 season, until eventually being replaced in 2017.

The Fiftieth anniversary fixture v. Eclectics was played on 15th May.


Mark Dyson registered the domain and launched the first Demijohns website using an automated website builder package.


The Demijohns CC fiftieth anniversary fell in 2007. In March, the Chairman wrote announcing a day of celebrations to be held on 12 May: a match against the College, followed by a champagne reception hosted by Sir Michael Scholar, President of St John’s, and dinner in Hall.

2007 fixture card

The 2007 edition of the St John’s College TW magazine published an article on the club history and ethos, plus a report on the match. We’re sure the College humbly begs forgiveness for the heinous sin of describing Nick King as an off-spin bowler.

2007 TW Magazine article about the Demijohns.

Andrew Sherratt stepped down as Chairman of the club, replaced by Stuart Bachelor.


Karle’s missive 40 Years of Demijohns Cricket was included in the 1998 newsletter.


We went on a Tour of Zimbabwe. The call for tourists had been sent out early in 1992 with timeliness unprecedented in Demijohns planning history: The Demijohns Need You. There was even a glossy tour brochure:

1993 Tour Brochure

The October 1993 newsletter included tributes to two Vice-Presidents of the club, Tony Henderson of the Eclectics & Sir Sidney Ridley, Bursar of St John’s College, and to a player, Colin Oxlade.

Meanwhile, Adrian Hawkes was making a name for himself down under:


In the match v Invalids Anne Nicholson, an Oxford Blue, was the first woman to play for the Demijohns.


The 1989 newsletter included an In Memoriam page for Paul Grice, our first President, and Edwin Slade, one of our Vice-Presidents.

Those misguided souls on the Committee bullied poor Dr Orton into drafting some helpful guidelines for the match managers to work from ignore.
Advice to Match Managers was circulated with the newsletter.


The newsletter for the 1988 season included another missive from Karle:
The Club – A Perspective.


Keith Harris-Watson stepped down as President of the club and was succeeded by Karle Simpson.


The annual dinner was marked by the retirement “from office” of Karle Simpson after many years of stalwart service. Our new Vice-President penned his recollections of the evening for the November 1986 newsletter.

Also included with the newsletter were formal Club Rules.

The Rules state that the club colours are “Oxford blue with a treble stripe of Cambridge blue, Champagne and Chocolate”, to be defined more precisely many years later as Pantone Blue Light 13-4909, Cream Gold 13-0739 & Madder Brown 19-1331.

The November 1986 newsletter included an updated list of club records.


Bob Rham became the first player to complete the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets for the club.

Ian Davies broke the batting record for the club with 161* against Worcester College:

Wagon wheel for Ian Davies’ record innnings

Karle Simpson became the first player to score 2,000 runs for the club.


The First 21 Years… compilation of statistics was updated and amended to produce a new document: The Demijohns Cricket Club 1958-81.


Sir Richard Southern, the President of St John’s and a distinguished medieval historian, agreed to become Club Patron, having been approached following an unanimous decision of the committee.


The Hon. Sec. sent out a letter inviting us for a weekend to celebrate the club’s 21st birthday. On the Saturday a strange game with neither bowlers nor fielders was played, followed by a party with a live band provided by Keith Harris-Watson. On the Sunday the Premier Crus played against the Crusted Ports, who put the youngsters in their place and won by 1 wicket in the final over.

Adrian Hawkes produced a fabulous compilation of results, averages & memorabilia, which was digitised in 2011 by webmaster John Landais. Adrian also became the first player to take 100 wickets for the club.

1979 saw the club’s first overseas tour to play against Standard Athletic Club in Paris. Unfortunately the tour was not documented – we had to wait until 1980 for our first tour report.


The Honorary Secretary/Treasurer proposed to the AGM that the match fee be raised because the present level of 50p only just covered the cost of the match ball.


The Demijohns have always been quick to take advantage of advances in technology, and in the 1970s that meant the card:

A match manager would post cards to invite players to play. Apparently this was almost as fast as email, but not fast enough for a Friday night panic, when the resourceful manager had to resort to another new-fangled device, the telephone. (In those days, phones were connected by wires. Amazing!)

Card technology came into play again at the annual dinner in Hall, where the Demijohns used it to display the menu.


Karle Simpson became the first player to score 1,000 runs for the club.


The first fixture v. St John’s College also resulted in a loss, this time by 87 runs.


In our first fixture v. Eclectics we lost by 7 wickets.


The first ever Demijohns match was played in 1958 against Captain Hawkins’ XI.