Lew Gregory RIP

Lymington Cricket Club was saddened recently to learn of the death of former player, umpire, secretary and life member Lew Gregory at the grand old age of 90.
Lew was an integral part of our club for more than 70 years. In his younger days he was a sound batsman who scored half centuries for the Second XI, topping the batting averages in 1960 and 1961, and a competent enough wicketkeeper to keep for the First XI on occasions. When his playing days were over Lew took up umpiring, although he did make occasional appearances for Lymington Veterans and memorably made a league comeback for the Fourth XI 25 years or so on from his last competitive game, conceding very few byes and holding on to a very sharp leg side catch.
Off the field Lew took over as secretary from Leonard Hoare in 1958, and in 1976 he helped establish a junior team which entered the newly-formed New Forest Youth Evening League. Lew’s two children David and Frances were part of the team, the latter going on to play at a very high level of women’s cricket.
As a boy Lew had attended Lymington Church of England School and was a patrol leader in the Boy Scouts. He did his national service in the RAF before becoming an electrician. Aside from cricket, Lew’s other great love was music. He was a member of St Thomas’ Church choir for 78 years, joining as a choirboy and becoming an accomplished baritone. He kept singing in the choir well into his eighties and was also part of Lymington Choral Society. Everyone in the town knew Lew and he was a great font of knowledge for all things Lymington.
At home Lew enjoyed pottering around the garden. He swore by his compost heap, claiming that his compost was better for nurturing plants and veg than anything you could buy in the shops. Lew and his devoted wife Mary, to whom he was married for 62 years, spent many happy holidays on the continent, visiting places such as Warsaw, Krakow and Paris.
Current club chairman Jerry Holt paid tribute to Lew. “Lew was one of the first people I got to know when I joined Lymington Cricket Club. He was always so friendly and keen to talk about the club and the game in general. In many ways he was the heart of the club”.
We will all miss the sight of Lew wandering round the Sports Ground boundary on a Saturday afternoon, and his thoughtful insights into the game and affectionate memories of days gone by. Lew never had a bad word to say about anyone and was one of the gentlest, most humble human beings you could wish to meet. At the conclusion of every AGM (and one can only wonder at how many he must have attended in his lifetime), when it came to any other business Lew would invariably take to his feet and speak with great passion about his pride in the club and his hopes for the future. Lew was a true Lymington stalwart and the cricket club, and the town, will be all the poorer for his passing.
Lew’s funeral took place at his beloved St Thomas’ Church, Lymington on Monday 13th June at 1.30pm.

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