I recently recalled the footballing antics of cricket legend Ian Botham when he visited Falmouth in 1980 – but his were not the only goings-on here in that year that were “just not cricket,” writes Mike Truscott.
Two months earlier, a crowd of some 1,500 packed into Trescobeas for a charity cricket match between the home club and the cast of BBC TV’s “The Onedin Line,” who had been filming in the area.
The match began in novel fashion when the mayor, Councillor Mrs Olive White, bowled the first over.
An early batter was Jessica Benton, alias Elizabeth Frazer, volatile sister of sea captain James Onedin (Peter Gilmore). Jessica, the Packet reported, “played with regulation cricket cap to keep her hair in place.”
Then it was the turn of Gilmore, who, to the delight of the crowd, played with a toy parrot perched on his shoulder.
Alas, the match was abandoned. Just as with the Botham bonanza, it fell victim to heavy rain.
The “Onedin” actors made many friends in Falmouth during their time here, not least among the local councillors.
But I recall one occasion when they attracted unfriendly publicity, sparked by a debate in the council committee room.
At one point, a councillor turned around, spotted me noting furiously, and hissed: “You’re not going to report this, are you?”
“Yes,” I replied,|which prompted him to advise: “They’re such nice people!”
Clearly, this councillor would not have made a journalist, but that didn’t stop him regularly trying to influence us.
On another occasion, objecting to a comment by a woman councillor opposite him, he said to me in a “whisper” so loud that I suspect everyone heard it: “She’s quite mad, you know.”