Aussies, cricket and acting the goat

Anthony Fretwell-Downing with the Aussie team photo
Anthony Fretwell-Downing with the Aussie team photo

As the 2013 Ashes series gets under way next week, The Maynard at Grindleford is celebrating a cricketing landmark of its own…

It is exactly 75 years since the Australian Ashes touring squad chose the hotel as its base for the northern Tests of 1938.

And memories of that visit were revived when group chairman Anthony Fretwell-Downing unearthed a framed photo of the illustrious sporting visitors from The Maynard’s attic.

The Aussie side, captained by the legendary Don Bradman, were remembered not only for their sporting prowess but also for their post-match high jinks.

It is said that batsman Lindsay Hassett smuggled a goat into the bedroom he was sharing with Stan McCabe and Tiger O’Reilly – who were woken by “unexpected smells and bleating.”

“Well, we are a boutique hotel known for our pet-friendly accommodation!” said director Jane Hitchman.

Mr Fretwell-Downing added: “The team wasn’t the only one to stay at The Maynard… we also had South Africa and other touring sides. But the 1938 Ashes squad was certainly the most high profile – and the most entertaining.”