Hi everyone - I'm Sam 'Tinker' Taylor - Clav all-rounder and former local lad (My Mum still lives here). This is my guide to the throbbing metropolis and party land that is the village of Claverdon.
Clav is accessible by road from Henley in Arden, Warwick, Shrewley or Langley. Be careful when approaching, one wrong turn could land you in 'The Ditch', home of serial Redditch child creator Tony 'The Wildman' Andrews. Clav is well signposted, as it should be, being the epicentre of the universe. Just remember that the speed limit through the village between the Crown and Red Lion is 30 mph. It is advisable to keep to this if you wish to avoid points and fines from Warwickshire Constabulary. If you are considering travelling to Clav by train - don't bother, Claverdon Station has the worst facilities of any station on the entire UK rail network, plus its a ridiculously long walk into the village anyway.
Heading into Clav from Warwick, the first major landmark is the Red Lion. Formerly a major Clav CC drinking haunt, until a former landlord decided that he was very much opposed to people drinking in his pub if they weren't eating?! Keep travelling and you will reach The Green, the very centre of the village, home of club pin-up and all round good guy Vinny Hammond. The picture below shows the village store, which handily remins closed on a saturday afternoon, when overheated cricketers are most in need of drinks and ice-creams.
Venture a little deeper into the village and you will find Claverdon Junior School; place of education for such academics as Bugsy, Matt and Rich Parker, Tinker and Shop. This is a breeding ground for young cricketing talent including latest Clav proteges - Joe and Will. It is also worth a trip to Claverdon Church - venue for the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince Richard of Beddowshire to Lady Penelope a few years back.
Head out towards Shrewley and the Hatton Park estate you will see the Ardencote Manor Hotel and Country Club (you're only about 5 miles from the Park, so you'll probably be able to hear Smudger recounting his tales of sporting achievement). The Ardencote are number 1 sponsors of Claverdon CC. The ideal venue for massive wedding p**s-ups and the ever-entertaining Claverdon Cricket Club annual dinner - always a very messy affair!
Make your way back to the centre of the village, past the shop and you will find the academy of cricketing excellence that is the Rec. Home of many great Clav victories, unforgettable innings and spectacular Clav batting collapses. Be warned - fouling on the square is prohibited, a bin is provided for those who are caught short. In reality, the bin is probably preferable to the smell of the Gents toilets in the pavillion. Walking around the ground, be sure to make use of the attractive gravel pathway which runs around the edge of the field. This sparkling addition was specially designed to remove the maximum quantity of skin from the legs and arms of those attempting to prevent boundaries between the landmark oak tree and the pavvy.
But the geniune highlight of any visit to Clav is the Crown Inn. Home of barrel racing, perfectly served lagers and the legendary £2.99 sizzling steak - perfect if you couldn't pig out on tea because you had to open the bowling straight after. Landlady Irene is Club President, benefactor and ever welcoming hostess, particularly when 22 thirsty cricketers land in at 8.30 on a Saturday night. A very liberal attitude to closing is appreciated too, until the following morning.
I hope that you have enjoyed you're virtual tour of Clav. Be sure to pay Claverdon CC a visit next time you're in the vicinity.