THERE is nothing more quintessentially English than the sound of leather on willow, and the polite smattering of applause from the handful of spectators seated in front of the village cricket pavilion.
Sadly, it is a slice of English life that is now in danger in one remote Yorkshire Wolds village.
There has been a cricket club at Thixendale since 1950. The club actually won the second division of the Vale League last year. But now it is on the brink of folding –- not because it has money troubles, but because it is struggling to find enough players.
How desperately sad. It has become commonplace in recent years to read reports about the decline of village life: the lack of jobs, the high cost of housing, the poor public transport and the closure of village shops and post offices. It would be an enormous shame if Thixendale cricket club were to be added to that list.