The High Peak Cricket Society is pleased to announce that its Service to Cricket Award, The Norman Harris Trophy, has this year been awarded to Peter Burns.
Peterís cricketing career began in 1943 as a medium pace bowler for New Mills 2nd XI. His batting skills began to flourish when he joined Birch Vale two years later. He grabbed the opportunity of opening the batting by scoring 51 not out from a total of 80 all out.
A new job at Coalville Technical College in Leicestershire meant that Broom Lees CC were the next team to benefit from Peterís newly acquired batting skills and these helped the Club to become double League Cup winners.
After returning to the High Peak in the mid 60's and rejoining Birch Vale, Peter scored runs consistently for the 1st XI. In 1973, he helped Birch to their first Derbyshire and Cheshire League title when a rain affected draw at Chapel in the last game of the season helped pip Chapel to the Championship.
After helping Birch to a second league title in 1976, at the age of 48 Peter decided to concentrate on captaining the 2nd XI, which included his son Steve. In his first season of captaincy, only a play off defeat against Hawk Green (who fielded two or three first teamers much to Peterís displeasure) stopped another Championship medal being added to his trophy cabinet.
Peterís contribution to Birch Vale didnít stop when his playing career was coming to an end. After the previous incumbent left the Club (roller and all!), Peter stepped into the role of Club Chairman with great aplomb and as the 2002 season approaches he still remains in the position as energetic and enthusiastic as ever. Peterís greatest achievement was designing and then helping to obtain close to £50,000 from the National Lottery for the building of the Club pavilion.
Finally back to the playing days Ė Peterís career spans close to 60 years. He has represented the cricket teams from Birch Vale, New Mills, Broom Lees, Cheadle, Stockport College, The Daily Mirror, Bolton Teacher Training College and the RAF. His batting skills led him to reach centuries on the grass wickets in the High Peak to matting wickets whilst representing the RAF. He has scored a half-century in six decades (starting in the 1940's) and as the members both playing and non-playing of Birch Vale are regularly told, he hasnít given up hope on this decade just yet!
Doubtless members will agree that Peter is indeed the thoroughly deserving recipient of this yearís Norman Harris Trophy.
Thanks to Peterís son, Steve, for his help in writing this article.
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