Entries in Frank Thorogood (7)


Court-Martial for Ship's Granny?

Kemmel, gender-reassignedIN the last weekend of the summer holidays Frank and Alice decided to finish their annual Cornwall bucket-and-spade holiday with a weekend cruising from Falmouth on a chartered yacht. They invited Bertie and I to join them. I was wildly excited, had a lovely time and thought I'd write about it afterwards. The article was accepted, the weeks flew by and I didn't notice that I hadn't seen a proof. Imagine my chagrin with the glossy mag arrived, the feature beautifully edited and presented but the genders of the children WRONG!

Now I may well be one of the world's most hopeless grannies  but I do know what I've got. On the trip were two lovely grand-daughters, Gwen and Hettie and a grand-son, Kemmel. Okay, he's a yummy little moppet with big brown eyes and a tangle of curls and luckily he can't yet read ... but his parents can. How could I explain? A desperate email to the Yachting Monthly office and back came the amended version. They couldn't quite promise that all print copies would be ceremonially burned but here is what the article should have said -  Sailing with my Grandchildren


Goochie and the pet shop

On day three of the Adelaide Test (this is cricket by the way) Graham Gooch, England coach was interviewed about the team's good batting performance and asked about his "pet shop purchase". My motherly heart swelled with pride when he gave full credit to "Frank Thorogood of Writtle, near Chelmsford in Essex" who developed the Sidearm which Gooch is using to give his batsmen "intense" practise sessions. England won the Test (but even I have to say that they also bowled pretty well).


Yes he won!

Here's the link that brings glad tiding! A few days later Frank was off to China to oversee the start of production and, soon, Sidearms will be available for purchase.



Their lips are sealed

Voting in the one small step competition closed on July 4th and Frank and Alice have had a nail-biting wait for the result. Barclay's Bank plan to make an announcement tomorrow (July 15th). Frank has been invited to appear on the innovations slot on Simon Mayo's programme on Radio 2 on Friday July 16th. Could these things possibly be connected?

Here's a cheery cricketing photo to be going on with - it's Francis and Archie at Lord's - posing ...


Let's hear it for the Catapulta!

I've been following comments on the Barclays website re Frank's Sidearm and notice occasional outraged comments from dog-owners who have been using something similar to chuck balls at their pets for years. BUT, as other commentators point out, wearily, cricketers and dogs are, would you believe it  ... different!  The doggie chuck gave Frank his idea but the adaptation is all his own (and registered as such with the patent lawyers).

A much more erudite comment came from Barry Kernon (of life-saving accountants H.W. Fisher) who drew our attention to one Nicholas Wanostrocht (born 1804) - who prefered to be known as Nicholas Felix. He was, says www.cricinfo "one of the most remarkable cricketers of all times ... a talented man, being a classical scholar, musician, linguist, inventor, author and an artist. During his life he did much to improve cricket, for he invented the Catapulta, a bowling machine, originated indiarubber batting gloves and, as an author, left behind him several books and small works on the arts of the game." If anyone knows what a Catapulta looked like we'd love to see it - but did c19th century dog owners raise any objections? For the latest on Frank Thorogood's sidearm go to

The Essex Chronicle has now had its say on the 'cricket-mad farmer'   - mad farmer would seem to be the executive summary.