BLETHER: Do you know anything about this Tele Challenge Shield?

Blether - Tele cricket trophy

Help from the local cricket fraternity is sought by Cameron Munro.

Cameron has come across reference to an old cricket trophy, which was, as it happens, donated by the Dundee Evening Telegraph.

He is now trying to find out more about it.

Said Cameron: “I have been undertaking some private research on a Perthshire v Forfarshire cricket matter and had serendipitously stumbled upon reference to a piece of silverware called the Dundee and District Cricket Union Championship Challenge Shield towards the end of the 19th century.

“Part of the problem in tracking the shield is that sides opted in and out of competition.

“Some clubs simply preferred to play friendlies.

“In the early 1900s, the Scottish County Championship was formed, in which Perthshire and Forfarshire participated and they may have attracted players from the local league teams. Prior to WW1, some of the sides competing were Woodside, Almond Valley, Mayfield Perth, Victoria Reserves, Red Cross, Inverary and Clinton Bank.

“After that war, there was a delay in the shield being played for, and some Perthshire sides took the initiative to resurrect it.

“Tulloch were a side who joined and were winners.”

Cameron revealed that Carnoustie also took part, and continued: “By the 1930s, any reference to the ‘Telegraph Shield” involved an annual match between cricketers from clubs in Dundee against similar from Perth.

“There was a match played in September 1938 and perhaps WW2 brought its demise.

“Some of the Dundee clubs, other than any referred to above, who contributed players were Telecoms, East End, Taybank, Courier Etchers and Constable.

“What is of note is that, where reference was made to the shield in the 1938 match, the paper highlights this was the 50th year since it was presented.

“I’m not convinced that can be accurate if 1898 was the start date but, until I can ascertain further information, it will stand.

“It would be helpful to explore any minutes of Dundee and District Cricket Union.

“I have alerted Dundee City Archive about the shield and they will undertake a search of any materials.

“There is an issue about the number of cricket clubs, venues and leagues in Scotland that have vanished in the last number of years that were part of our sporting heritage.”

Cameron, who sent in a cutting of the trophy, is one of a small group of volunteers who support and promote Sports Heritage Scotland.

Cameron concluded: “It is managed from Hampden Park and I have copied in from there Michael White.

“It is the intention to exhibit some cricket heritage materials and this shield would be a very useful addition.

“I am assisting Colin Neil with in-gathering artefacts and I have copied him in.

“It is such a remarkable and uniquely cricket trophy it would be unfortunate if it were languishing in some dark cupboard.”

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