Reader Maurice Baker, from Spennymoor, has sent us another story about the famous Wheldon Curry, third from the right in the bottom row in this photograph of the North Bitchburn Cricket team in the 1950’s.

Other names are: back, from left, Frank Bowes, Gordon Gibson , Ray Bryan (an Amateur Cup winner with Bishop Auckland), Morris Longstaff, Michael Balmer, John Aisbett, Alf Blair, Alan Pratt. Front from left, Les Jayne, Joe Pratt, Harry Stitt, John Simpson, Wheldon Curry, Jack Pratt, Jack Stitt.

Mr Baker wrote: “Having worked for the same company as Wheldon we had some interesting conversations, with only one subject on the agenda on a Monday morning, cricket. I was given a vivid account of Wheldon’s haul of wickets. Sometimes if an opposing player had dented his averages with some big hits off his bowling he would say ‘Jackie Stitt, the monkey, took me off when I had a ball for him’.”

One season, Middlesbrough footballer Harry Bell was the professional at Crook, and at the end of the season he had a testimonial game. Wheldon, now 67, was a member of the Harry Bell Eleven which played the All Stars who included Willie Watson, an international at football and cricket. Everyone with the exception of Wheldon, treated the game in a light-hearted manner. He came on to bowl when Watson, fresh from saving a Test Match against the Aussies at The Oval, was at the crease. Wheldon bowled to Watson who despatched it into the market place at Crook.

Mr Baker added: “The next morning at work I asked Wheldon how he had gone on. He replied, ‘Harry Bell, the monkey, took me off when I had a ball for Watson in the next over'.” Aged 70 he was retired from work, not at his request, and died not long after.