A Sporting Life

Neville Marriner loved the summer ball games: tennis and cricket. In his younger days he had played as wicket-keeper for the LSO team. Once he and Molly had acquired a cottage on the Devon-Dorset border, they became known at Chardstock Cricket Club; and it was not long before an annual match between the ASMF and the Chardstock team became a keenly anticipated fixture.

On the tennis court, where Neville disported himself into his 90s, he was known (and no doubt feared) for his crafty forehand slice. The Devon property, which under the hand of the maestro-turned-architect grew into a substantial estate, was the favourite venue for down-time in general and family gatherings – those two children produced three boys between them – in particular. One thing Marriner stuck to was decidedly not making music there; studying scores was OK (indeed often necessary for whatever was coming up professionally) but not having them played.

Neville Marriner found his way onto the tennis court whenever he could, to the end of his long life. He is shown here in colour, delivering a first serve (note ball in left hand for a second – if required).
Seen here in his prime, Marriner continued to play tennis into his nineties

In due course he was elected president of the cricket club and made a typically generous contribution when the all-timber pavilion needed replacing.

Chardstock cricket club, near Neville & Molly Marriner’s place in the country, was for many years the scene of an annual cricket match: Chardstock versus ASMF. Marriners father and son can be seen in this colour photo in front of the pavilion at the match held in 2001.
Chardstock v. ASMF became an annual fixture; Marriner père et fils pictured here in 2001