Chapter 5 Footnotes


‘Stollmeyer…was as shrewd a captain…’

Hutton, Fifty Years of Cricket, p.83.

a snipe about how long it took his opposite number to set his field

Hutton thought Stollmeyer refined field-setting for Ramadhin and Valentine to a ‘fine art’: ‘He was so meticulous that I would stand at the wicket wondering how much longer he would take; but he got it right in the end and made it very hard to find scoring lanes’ (p.82). As we shall see, West Indies still got through their overs more quickly than England in 1953/54.

the ‘only way to win’

Stollmeyer, Everything Under the Sun, p.99.

the same bat sponsor: Slazenger

Everything Under the Sun, p. 142: ‘We were…both involved with the firm of Slazengers Ltd, he as a signatory of their equipment and I as a shareholder in the local company which represented their local merchandise.

According to Howat (1988, p.49), it was just before the war that Hutton ‘acting on the advice of Bill Bowes, lent his name to Slazenger’s products’.


‘fortunate’ in his background

Stollmeyer, Everything Under the Sun, p.13.

Stollmeyer’s Castle

In 1965, Charles Graves called the Castle ‘an astonishing pseudo gothic conglomeration’ (Fourteen Islands in the Sun, p.20). For other florid descriptions of the Magnificent Seven, see Leigh Fermor, Traveller’s Tree, pp.156-57; Mittelholzer, With a Carib’s Eye, p.48; Naipaul, Middle Passage, pp.56-57.

‘honour-roll of the upper echelons…’

Manley, A History of West Indies Cricket, p.63.

Conrad’s lucky break was to befriend Lord Harris…

In his evocative, but admittedly highly anecdotal, chapter on the Stollmeyer family in The Germans in Trinidad, Anthony Verteuil tells the story that Harris found Conrad Stollmeyer ‘an interesting man to converse with’. Harris not only gave Stollmeyer a horse so that they could ride out together but also, more importantly, a series of supply contracts.  Harris also introduced Stollmeyer to the Earl of Dundonald, who had been granted a lease on part of the island’s Pitch Lake in order to develop asphalt production (pp. 96-98).

a resilient if eccentric entrepreneur

Verteuil quotes Conrad as saying ‘I believe I have inherited the love and the gift of making money’ (p.107) and touches upon his varied interests in transport, newspapers, coconut oil, ice-manufacturing, bamboo paper, prison management and the island’s first utilities.

‘former conditions of slavery’ … ‘negro’ at his table

In a letter to his mother of 1854 (reproduced by Verteuil, p.100), Conrad asserted that the Negro ‘works only when he has no money’.

It is also Verteuil who reprints an excerpt from the diary of the Roman Catholic priest for La Brea and Cedros, Abbe Massé, about Conrad’s daughter Anna Regina, who ran a coconut estate: ‘Miss Stollmeyer’s father is white. Never will he have a black man at his table’ (p.118).

‘a cocoa planter to the core’ … ‘servants abounded’

Stollmeyer, Everything Under the Sun, p.15 and p.17.

‘secondary education second to none’

Everything Under the Sun, p.13.

‘Wilkie’, ‘Doodles’, ‘Stokes’ and ‘Piggy’

Everything Under the Sun, p. 25.

The British expatriate influence was important, but Stollmeyer acknowledges another one in the Australian Test player A.J. Richardson, who coached at QRC and elsewhere in Trinidad in the late 1930s. Stollmeyer reckoned the two West Indian touring sides to England either side of the war ‘included between them no fewer than eight players who had come under his hand’ (p.28). See also Thomson, Ramblings, p.68-69.


‘approached’ and private cramming undertaken

Stollmeyer explains that as none of his brothers had followed in their father’s footsteps as a cocoa/citrus farmer, it seemed ‘only natural’ that he should make this his career: ‘It was then decided that the authorities at the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture should be approached and asked whether they would accept as a student a pupil who had received, at secondary level, no scientific training whatsoever. It was thus that I found myself in the holidays being tutored in the foreign subjects of chemistry, zoology and biology, peering down a microscope examining minute objects such as cocoa thrips’ (Everything Under the Sun, p.32).

The College was a prestigious finishing school

In one of his first published works, James noted that ‘agricultural science’ was one of the spheres of West Indian society controlled by the white man (Cipriani, p.44, compare p.188 specifically on ICTA).

In 1925, admittedly a generation before Stollmeyer, the College’s director, Martin Leake, had a lecture read out for him at the Royal Society in London. This paper was studded with ‘period’ assumptions about ‘backward’ populations across the empire, and one of its closing observations was that there were ‘quite definite limits’ to local agriculture ‘unless the native cultivator could be continually assisted by properly trained European scientific officers’ (p.172). William Ormsby-Gore, Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, chaired the Royal Society meeting and hailed the College as ‘a great Imperial project’ (p.173).

‘accepted by all competent biologists…’

Harland made this remark, in line with some of his earlier writing, in a famous and heated debate with C.L.R. James on ‘The Intelligence of the Negro’ which enlivened the early numbers of The Beacon (Harland’s article, ‘Magna Est Veritas et Praevalebit: A Reply to Mr C.L.R. James’ is in issue 7 of the first volume [October 1931], pp.18-20).  [The quotation is on p.18 and I have silently elided a comma and dash after ‘biologists’ as I thought it would be distracting].

Albert Gomez, presumably with a dose of sarcasm, described Harland as an ‘eminent geneticist’ when remembering the furore (Maze of Colour, p.23).

For more background on this fascinating episode, see a 2018 thesis by C.A. Davis and Carl Campbell, Young Colonials, pp.218-21. Campbell observes drily that Harland was forced to resign his post at the College in the late 1930s because he married a woman with some Chinese ancestry.

‘It was a noble gesture by the college…’

Everything Under the Sun, p.34.

‘perhaps the best player never to have played for West Indies’

Stollmeyer, in his essay on Trinidad cricket in Barker/Sobers, Cricket in the Sun, p.43.

‘pitchforked’ into the team

From Jamaica, The Daily Gleaner felt Jeffrey’s inclusion had caused ‘more resentment than any other on this island’ (13 February 1939, p.14).

‘beautiful stylist’

Warner, Long Innings, p.188.

Billy Griffith, who had fielded to Stollmeyer in 1947/48, described him as a ‘beautifully graceful player’ of ‘elegant solidity’ in his Sunday Times preview of the 1950 series (16 April 1950, p.10). Looking back on that series, Freddie Brown, praised Stollmeyer for his part in the triumph, saying that ‘we remembered him from 1939 as a most cultured and handsome player, especially on the “on” side’ (Cricket Musketeer, p.151). Compare Bailey: ‘Tall and willowy, Stollmeyer at the crease much resembles the University player of bygone days’ (Playing to Win, p.198). Or Figueroa, who remembered being told by Clarence Passailaigue: ‘Never miss a Jeffrey Stollmeyer innings; that is pure music’ (West Indies in England, p.15). Perhaps the white kerchief Stollmeyer often wore around his neck added to the effect – but if this accoutrement had been associated with patricians such as Jardine, it was also fairly common in the Caribbean (Weekes and Kanhai sometimes wore one).

A cricketing annual of the early 1960s…

See the fourth edition of West Indies Test Cricketer, compiled by Hiralal T. Bajnath, which lists a ‘Best Eleven’ drawn from all Test players from 1928 to 1963 (p.3). This team reads Stollmeyer, Kanhai, Headley, Sobers, Weekes, Worrell (capt.), Alexander (vice-captain), Martindale, Hall, Ramadhin, Valentine. Twelfth man: Hunte. No reasons are given as to why Walcott is omitted.

Christopher Nicole also included Stollmeyer in his ‘Best-Ever’ West Indian side in 1957 – although he did also include Goddard as captain (West Indian Cricket, p.223).

‘seen as pretty’

Ganteaume, My Story, p.35.


‘Establishment’ … ‘ran the show for and behalf of their own’

Ganteaume, My Story, p.43.

‘I have no doubt that this had a salutary and beneficial effect…’

Stollmeyer, Everything Under the Sun, p.57.

‘Now I’m not saying there was a colour issue…’

Lloyd, quoted in Lister’s Supercat, p.126.

Lloyd echoed the complaints of previous generations that he was ‘never’ invited to the dinners where Stollmeyer hosted other cricketing figures.  He may also have blamed Stollmeyer – the selector to break the news to him – for being overlooked for the second Test in Barbados in 1973, despite being one of the eleven fit players in the original squad (p.79).

‘I have a soft spot for retired English officers…’

Stollmeyer, Indian Tour Diary, p.3.

[I have silently removed the word ‘Government’ after ‘English’ as the elision would have looked awkward on the page.]

Compare the final entry of the diary (p.253): ‘There is no place like England and no people like the English, but then there’s no place like home and no family like my own, and no wife like mine!’

‘strangely anti-Conservative’ … ‘reading the wrong literature’

See Stollmeyer’s Indian Tour Diary entry for 24 January 1950: ‘Allan came in and we had a long chat. We share similar views on cricket but his politics are most strangely anti-Conservative and one suspects, at times, that he has been guilty of reading the wrong literature’ (p.202). Compare an earlier entry (p.144) where Stollmeyer praises Rae as friendly and intelligent but notes he is a ‘rabid PNP man’, who was ‘all set to fill Crab Nethersole’s shoes’ in politics once he had established his legal practice.

For an example of the ‘wrong literature’ mentality, see the letter Sir George Huggins wrote to Neville Chamberlain after riots in Trinidad in 1937, advising him that the disturbances were due to ‘bolshevist propaganda and not to any question of wages’ – Huggins was President of the Chamber of Commerce and on the board of the conservative Trinidad Guardian (quoted in Samaroo 1976, p.6; and compare Ryan 1978, p.42).

In Barbados in 1939, the island’s Colonial Secretary took an even more simplistic view:

The people tend to have a naturally peaceful and happy disposition with a highly developed sense of humour. They are, however, emotionally unstable, credulous and irresponsible to the last degree and, being practically beyond the reach of the written word, they are in the present absence of any other sources of information, the natural prey of mischievous propaganda, such as for example the doctrine that ‘the white man’s war is the black man’s opportunity’.

(quoted in Chamberlain, Empire and Nation-Building, p.151)

‘complete mutual respect between master and servant’

Everything Under the Sun, p.17: ‘Life on the estate, although not luxurious, was comfortable. Servants abounded but there was complete mutual respect between master and servant, and whatever may be said of the system which obtained at that time, there is no gainsaying the fact that the happiest of relationships existed between my family and the labourers and servants who were in our employ’.

In fairness, Jimmy Cozier, a less privileged white whose father-in-law managed three plantations in Barbados, recalled that in his experience there was ‘never’ any antipathy between those in the tenantry and those in the “house”’ (Caribbean Newspaperman, p.19).

‘a native boy who did all sorts of jobs about the house and garden’

Warner, Long Innings, p.14: ‘I cannot remember when I was not keen on cricket, and I used to practise often before breakfast in my night-shirt on a marble gallery which made a perfect wicket, bowled to by one Killebree (the patois for ‘humming-bird’), a native boy who did all sorts of jobs about the house and garden, and who assured my father that I should be a good bat when I grew big.’

Marina Warner, Plum’s granddaughter, used the name Killebree for a character in her novel Indigo.


‘moral decline of our small twin islands’ … a ‘moral lesson in itself’

Everything Under the Sun, p.162 and p.14. I talk more about Stollmeyer’s invocation of Harris in the Afterword.

‘cricket Sir | Controlling the Empire’

Mighty Sparrow, ‘Kerry Packer’: the lyrics are reprinted in Morris/Carnegie (eds), Lunchtime Medley, pp.127-30.

This is vintage Sparrow, with some cracking hits about the confrontation which had caused the Board to sack Lloyd as captain, leading to a boycott by the other ‘Packer’ players in the squad: ‘We doh need Andy Roberts, Croft and Garner | When we have Super Star Vanburn Holder.’  Stollmeyer is mercilessly skewered for his allegedly dictatorial and condescending style: ‘I remain cricket Lord and its master…’, ‘My tradition is all cricket, no pay’. His fellow Queen’s Park mandarin Gomez is also critiqued: ‘They have fame but they want money like me and Gerry | So they won’t play again in this country.’

However, the Packer crisis as it related to the West Indies was a complex matter. Stollmeyer thought Packer was ‘a parasite’ upon cricket but he also believed it was ‘morally unjustifiable’ to prevent players from earning the best living possible (and that West Indies cricket would collapse, given its parlous economic state, if the Packer players were banned). June Soomer, a historian of the Federation who did not usually sympathise with the old white elite, felt that Stollmeyer was on the more progressive side of the Board of Control, trying to find a way for the players to be better paid whereas Rae and Gaskin were more concerned with their own positions.

‘They felt, and quite rightly too…’

Stollmeyer, Indian Tour Diary, p.101.

the first white man to declare support for Eric Williams

For this claim, see Selwyn Ryan, Eric Williams, p.21.

An obituary for Victor Stollmeyer in the Sunday Guardian, 26 September 1999, notes that ‘having been at QRC just about the time that the late Dr. Eric Williams was, he formed a friendship with him and was one of the first members of the PNM, helping to put it on a sound legal footing’.

the very fact of his QPCC membership made him ‘indifferent or even hostile’

This is the term James used generically of QPCC members in his ‘Alexander Must Go’ campaign but, whether his compliments to Stollmeyer and Gomez were pragmatic or heartfelt, he also referred to them specifically as reasonable people who could act as a force for change.

a ‘proud example of the best of what a reformed, multiracial, nationalist…’

Natasha Barnes, Cultural Conundrums, p.181.

Conrad Stollmeyer told two tales about his emigration to Trinidad

Retold by Verteuil (in The Germans in Trinidad).

‘all men are one common family’ … ‘enlightened’ Europeans

C.F. Stollmeyer, The Sugar Question Made Easy (1845), pp. 11, 13.

Verteuil implies this pamphlet was written in Trinidad, but it appears to have been published before Stollmeyer left Britain for the Caribbean (initially to a doomed settlement project in Venezuela). The pamphlet is Swiftian, in intention if not execution, insisting that sugar cultivation requires slavery – the reveal, on page 18, is that these slaves should be machines: ‘To Christianize Africans by means of sugar-cane fields and sugar-house purgatories, is about as ingenious as to make temperance men and advocates for teetotalism by means of brew-houses and distilleries’ (p.10).

Conrad was also a staunch adversary of Pelham Warner’s father, Charles…

Verteuil, Germans in Trinidad, p.115.

Perhaps Conrad Stollmeyer, Jeffrey’s uncle, was seeking to have the last word in this feud in 1920, when he bought ‘the Hall’, the opulent residence Warner had built for his family in 1873 – and where Pelham grew up (Voices in the Street). As Donald Wood notes, Warner lived in an ‘extravagant style’ and eventually could not make ends meet (Trinidad in Transition, p.291): he had been forced to sell the house to the Seigerts (of Angostura Bitters fame and, like the Stollmeyers, migrants of German heritage).


No doubt he had vested interests to protect…

James describes him as ‘a merchant and owner of large estates’ but acknowledges his role on a progressive committee which recommended limits on hours of labour (Cipriani, p.87).

For more details, see Kelvin Singh 1994, pp.104-106, who also suggests Albert Stollmeyer enjoyed ‘personal popularity ‘ in his constituency in St George county until he opposed a water supply scheme in 1926; Albert therefore withdrew from the 1928 election because he knew he would lose to the much more radical F.E.M. Hosein in 1928 (pp.130-35).

When Victor arrived at Queen’s Royal College, C.L.R. James umpired him…

Beyond a Boundary, p.68.

If a QRC education was designed to instil…

Jack Grant, a West Indian captain whose brother Rolph would captain Stollmeyer in England in 1939, believed QRC provided an environment where staff and pupils of all backgrounds accepted each other ‘without effort’ and where race ‘was not a major or ever-pressing issue’ (Jack Grant’s Story, pp.7-8). Grant admitted that his impressions of the school were formed from the then ‘privileged’ perspective of a white skin but they are generally confirmed by the account in Beyond a Boundary, where James stresses the fierce loyalties to school and house which united all the boys.

the Stingo fast bowler Fitz Blackett

See Thomson, Ramblings: p.56 for the ‘endless hours’ Blackett bowled to Stollmeyer and Gomez in pre-tour practice in the Queen’s Park nets, ‘immaculate of length’; pp.32-33 for Blackett as ‘much feared and respected head porter’.

whose prodigious water consumption was a cause of resentment

According to Eric Williams, in his History of People of Trinidad and Tobago, p.180.

For Albert Mendes, the residences fringing the Savannah made it the ‘mecca of Trinidad’s aspirants to social status’ (Autobiography, 41).  The more conservative Verteuil (p.124) noted the mansions at least reflected the cosmopolitan nature of the island, built for ‘a Scottish merchant, an English Bishop, an Irish Archbishop, a Venezuelan Spaniard, a Corsican businessman, a coloured French creole and a German entrepreneur’.

a teeming public space where up to 60 games of cricket could be played

This is the number cited by Stollmeyer himself in his essay on Trinidad in Cricket in the Sun, the encyclopaedia edited by J.S. Barker, although other estimates come in rather lower.

In his evocative sketch of the Savannah, James Morris counted ‘thirty or forty games’ at what he called ‘the very heart of Trinidadian cricket’ (Cities, p.293). When Edric Connor filmed cricket on the Savannah in 1960 he counted ‘thirty cricket matches’, ‘the spectators moving from game to game according to its excitement (Horizons, p.119). 30 was also Swanton’s estimate (Last Over, p.137).

Or as Constantine put it: ‘The Savannah is always full’ (Changing Face of Cricket, p.79).


‘the cricket culture of Trinidad…’ … ‘all the races played together…’

Weekes (with Beckles), Mastering the Craft, p.84 (on p.74, Weekes refers to ‘the diversity of populations and the openness of the society’ in Trinidad).

The Barbadian Keith Sandiford has questioned whether cricket in Trindad was really as liberal as it has been portrayed: see his lecture collected in Beckles (ed.), Area of Conquest.

the prevailing ‘conspiracy of silence’ about institutional racism in Trinidad

This is the recollection of Mendes (Autobiography, p.86), who credited the editor-proprietor Gomes with bringing ‘the burning problem’ of racism into the open with ‘a resounding and somewhat strident prose-poem addressed to the island’s negroes’ in the fourth number of the journal. Another of the journal’s many striking features is its early adoption of the cause of Federation: it carried an article on the subject by no less a figure than Captain Cipriani calling for ‘a West Indies Dominion, free and unfettered from every vestige of existing Crown Colony Rule’ (volume 1, issue 9, pp.1-2).

According to Mendes, the Trinidad Group of writers, many of whom would contribute to The Beacon, modelled itself on the Bloomsbury Group, refusing to ‘dress for dinner’ or ‘tolerate bores’ but aiming to talk ‘about art, literature, music and love without humbug’ (p.73). Kenneth Ramchand (1970, p.63) described the Beacon group as a concentration of literary and artistic talent such as had never happened anywhere in the islands before’. Their example proved influential across the region, although the Port-of-Spain elite demonised them as Marxist and immoral.

the ‘self-despising’ subject-races … ‘perfidious Britain’

Among other rare written pieces by Hugh are an attack on the snobbery of literary clubs; an article asserting ancient Indian culture ‘is infinitely greater and more profound than any which the West has ever enjoyed’, and a piece celebrating the ‘sinister and primitive vitality’ of calypso.


‘sparsely clad in open-neck shirt, creaseless trousers, sockless and sandalled’

Quoted in Brereton’s article, ‘White Elite of Trinidad’, p.51: ‘When, one busy morning, Hugh Stollmeyer and Jean de Bossiere strolled down Frederick Street sparsely clad in open-neck shirt, creaseless trousers, sockless and sandalled … it seemed to one and all that the decadent years of an empire had begun’.

The Independents were considered especially iconoclastic not only because they painted nudes but because some of them were as demonstratively homosexual as they dared in an extremely conservative society. Jeffrey describes his brother as a ‘confirmed bachelor’ and it is interesting to see figures like Mendes, such piercing critics of racism, struggle with their own ‘prejudices’ in this regard.  Carlisle Chang, another confirmed bachelor in the group, described Hugh as ‘the finest exponent’ among the Independents: ‘Stollmeyer was gifted with both talent and intellect. He had tremendous imagination, coloured with a quality of mysticism which led him to be influenced by Hinduism. His themes derived from native folklore and superstition’.  Like James and Mendes in literature, in his art Stollmeyer sought to fashion an ‘indigenous’ idiom which drew on Indian and African models and on popular art-forms such as calypso.

Victor and Jeffrey were far more strait-laced

There is sometimes a sense of Hugh being considered the black sheep of the family – like his great-uncle Arthur and his uncle Fred he succumbed to alcoholism, perhaps in reaction to the attitudes of Conrad, once described as Trinidad’s ‘one-man anti-alcoholic movement’.  But Jeffrey remembers him with affection in Everything Under the Sun.

‘They felt, and quite rightly too, that it was their country…’

Stollmeyer, Indian Tour Diary, p.101.

Mittelholzer, by British West Indian standards a conservative, was writing in 1958 that ‘the majority of Indians are creole West Indians of the Christian faith, their language and customs left well behind them; only in appearance are they Indian’. He also felt they ‘play cricket with as much enthusiasm as any other British West Indians’ (With a Carib Eye, p.22, p.53).

But in his study East Indians in Trinidad, published as late as 1971, Yogendra Malik generally questioned this view. He argued that ‘racial lines between the East Indians and Negroes were sharply marked (p.17) and that Indians, exhibiting ‘a great deal of cultural pride’, resented the suggestion of creolisation (p.21): ‘Thus different ethnic groups live in close proximity to each other, but do not seem to be moving towards a racially-mixed social system’ (p.22).

When the spinner S.M. Ali was no-balled for throwing in Barbados…

Everything Under the Sun, p.46.


‘We want Ramadhin on the ball’

Gleaner, 27 March 1952, p.8.

In an interview with Kumar, Ramadhin remembered Stollmeyer’s encouragement when his first ball in Test cricket was hit for four: ‘Jeff told me to shrug it off and continue. It was good advice and I appreciated it. Jeff was a good friend’ (Cricket, Lovely Cricket, p.89).

‘In this small outpost we have a Heaven-sent opportunity…’

This letter is quoted by Maurice Saint-Pierre in Eric Williams and the Anticolonial Tradition, p.97, from a reprint of it in PNM Weekly. I have to confess I have not been able to find it in the copies of Time magazine held at the British Library.

As clearly as if it was written across the sky, their play said:

Beyond a Boundary, p.61.

Or as Constantine himself put it, writing three years after James: ‘In my cricket I was brought up the hard way. Sporting to the nth degree but I asked no favours and I gave none’ (Changing Face, p.135).


‘a real fighting team, welded together, cunning, steady…’

Constantine, Cricket in the Sun, p.19.

Yorkshire ‘guts’ and ‘wits’

Stollmeyer, Everything Under the Sun, pp.98-99.

the ‘match of a lifetime’ where ‘nothing was wasted’

Everything Under the Sun, p.102.

The account of the game is perhaps the most fervent passage in Stollmeyer’s memoir, where he often uses the historic present to convey the excitement of a game ‘tense and full of the spirit of combat’: ‘That is how cricket is played in Yorkshire – quarter is neither given nor is it expected’.

‘unashamedly partisan’ … ‘lived with the game and kept it alive’

Everything Under the Sun, p.97.

one of Headley’s many stratagems

Ivan Heron, in his unpaginated Preface to Noel White’s 1973 biography of Headley, recounts an anecdote of Cecil Marley, who batted with Headley for Jamaica against Lord Tennyson’s tourists in 1932:

George, now facing Stevens, hit several of his deliveries straight back to Stevens. On being asked why he did that when it was known that he could place the ball anywhere in the field he wanted, George’s reply was, ‘I want him to stop the ball in the hope that it may impair his spinning fingers.’

Early in the tour I began to appreciate the cricketing genius…

Gomez’s recollections were made in an article entitled ‘Great Cricketers of the West Indies’, for the Cricket Society Bulletin.

[Unfortunately, the link I had to that article has corrupted, but the version I downloaded is unpaginated.]


‘very modest, even introverted’ but ‘supremely confident’…

Gomez, ‘Great Cricketers of the West Indies’.

Headley’s catchphrase of ‘Him don’t like to bat’ … delivered ‘without rancor…’,

Gomez, ‘Great Cricketers of the West Indies’.

Headley … congratulated him on ‘a grand innings’

Constantine, Cricket in the Sun, p.108.

this act of ‘radiant’ magnanimity

‘Radiant’ is actually Constantine’s term (Cricket in the Sun, p.108) and for him the episode was a classic way of answering the charge that ‘West Indians are temperamental’. James mischievously suggests Headley was run out ‘with malice aforethought’ (Cricket, p.291) but by all accounts Victor was absolutely mortified. White notes that he apologised immediately and that Headley ‘made light of it’ (p.84)

Lest we develop a view of Headley as all sweetness and light, there is a Henry Blofeld anecdote in which he is accosted by the great batsman in the old Sabina Park pavilion in the mid-70s. Headley had been upset by something Blofeld had written about Jamaicans in his first book, Cricket in Three Moods:

He told me quietly and severely in an unforgiving tone where I had gone wrong and, having said his piece, moved away in a manner which did not suggest that it would have been wise to try and continue the conversation. He made me feel very small and in that short exchange I could see the strong-willed determination which must have made him such a fearsome opponent on the field. I don’t think much leg-pulling will have gone on in his corner of the dressing room.

(Cricket and All That, p.160)

Headley, granted paid leave from his civil-service job…

White credits Nethersole with using his ‘influence’ to secure Headley leave from his job in the Labour Department (p.125).

Even Stollmeyer eventually concluded that the great man was ‘funking’

I have adapted a phrase from Stollmeyer’s Indian Tour Diary (p.203), on the eve of the fourth Test in Madras: ‘George has definitely funked this game; of that I am convinced.’

Gomez harboured ‘the uncharitable thought’…

Gomez, ‘Great Cricketers of the West Indies’.

Goddard’s failure to ‘tape’ the opposition or form any ‘definite plan’

Stollmeyer, Indian Tour Diary, p.121.


Headley ‘had a greater tactical sense than any cricketer…’

A tribute Stollmeyer wrote for Headley’s seventieth birthday, reproduced in Everything Under the Sun at p.37.

Headley returned the compliment when Stollmeyer retired: ‘From Stollmeyer’s advent into first-class cricket, he has never denied himself the opportunity of improving his knowledge of the game…His contribution to West Indian cricket over the years should be a model to the up-and-coming cricketer’ (White, George Atlas Headley, p.141).

And in turn Stollmeyer wrote to him: ‘I have realised for some time now that ever since I was of an age to appreciate the finer points of the game I learned more of cricket strategy and tactics from you than anyone else’ (White, p.141).

He had assumed Weekes and Walcott were ‘raw Bajans’…

Stollmeyer, Indian Tour Diary, p.4.

particularly relishing the former’s ‘picong’

Stollmeyer, Everything Under the Sun, p.63.

Just as C.L.R. James always emphasised ‘West Indian brains’

Beyond a Boundary, p.134.

Worrell’s ‘leadership qualities’…

This quotation, and all the following ones in the paragraph, are from Everything Under the Sun, p.112-16. The whole passage is a fine tribute to the 3Ws.

when Stollmeyer was portraying himself as the elder statesman…

The Observer (27 April 1975) somewhat unkindly described Stollmeyer as the ‘Pooh Bah of West Indian cricket’.

‘To say the least, I was never his favourite cricketer’

Walcott, Island Cricketers, p.73.

implied that Stollmeyer withdrew from the team’s ‘brains trust’

Eytle, Frank Worrell, p.117-18. Stollmeyer is not mentioned by name here, but he is in Walcott’s account of the tour: ‘I did feel that Jeff Stollmeyer, our vice-captain, could have given John Goddard more help and advice than he did’ (Island Cricketers, p.67).

‘the naïve approach to the serious business of Test cricket’

Everything Under the Sun, p.134. [The diaeresis is Stollmeyer’s.]

Bruce Pairaudeau, who made his debut in that series…

All the quotations in this paragraph are taken from the author’s telephone interview with Pairaudeau, 15 February 2015.

Walcott noted that, on the 1950 tour of England, Stollmeyer was one of the team’s ‘calypso experts’, along with Lance Pierre (Island Cricketers, p.49).

…embraced Worrell’s vice-captaincy in the way Stollmeyer did

How much the leadership team of 1953/54 was a marriage of convenience we shall never quite know, but Stollmeyer could presumably have pressed for his friend Gomez to be vice-captain and generally presented a united front with Worrell during the series: they sometimes travelled together and were often observed in consultation on the field.


Stollmeyer found this decision ‘preposterous’

Everything Under the Sun, p.150. Discussed further in Chapter 19.

the most important bridging figure

In 1961, it was reportedly Stollmeyer who argued at an ICC meeting that the organisation should state its opposition to apartheid (Wilde, p.238).

‘Can you really envisage Frank, Clyde or I dashing up to Stollmeyer…’

Weekes (with Beckles), Mastering the Craft, p.170.

‘everyone was pulling together for the cause…’

Sir Everton Weekes, telephone interview with the author, 31 January 2018.