Ted is a true gentleman

By Brian Croasdale

Does anyone remember the great Ted Orridge? My wife met this sprightly 90-year-old during a recent visit to the Underhall Care Home in Darley Dale.

He enthralled her with tales of his table tennis exploits and stories about when he used to play in the Matlock League for the Arkwright Mill where he worked.

Ted was an outstanding local player who was one of 50 or so people who enjoyed the game at the Mill. He used to carve birds out of the waste wood that was left over from making the shuttles in the factory, one of which was given to Bernard Montgomery in the last war.

Ted was a fanatic at table tennis, a skilful man who was capable of making his own bats, many of which were sold to local players. He also had the luck of playing against the great Victor Barna, one of the greatest players that ever lived. Needless to say, I envied her luck at meeting such a true gentleman.

On to more current matters and as the Cromford Summer League works its way to its inevitable conclusion leaders Burtons continue their winning ways this week beating the Pandy’s by a narrow 3-2 scoreline. Quality will shine through whatever the circumstances and Andy Middleton emphasised just that.

Remaining unbeaten all night he took sets against both Andrew and Darren Burton.

The Dalers had guest Will Doxey turning out for them and his no-nonsense style led them to a 3-2 win over Crommy’s.

Rapid Fire’s growing reputation as a major force in the area was again in evidence as they beat the Crow Kings 5-0.

Another close fixture was the 3-2 Detonators win over Belper. Andreas Lee turned out for the Detonators and beat Ashley Emery 3-2.

At the Whitworth Academy, Rapid Fire were at it again, beating the very useful Balls of Fury side 3-2. Steve Molyneux for once lost a match going down 10-12, 13-11, 9-11, 11-4, 18-16 to young Eddie Parks.

Perhaps this was the catalyst for a great match as David Molyneux also lost 15-13 in the fifth. With honours even, it went down to the doubles to decide the winner with the Rapid Fire being successful.

Long & Short had Derek Northin substituting for the injured Chris Long and he came up trumps with two very good three-game wins. Sam May will be disappointed to have lost to young Adam Lovell but all credit to Adam for an outstanding night’s play. Long & Short won the match comfortably 4-1.

With much of Whitworth training aimed at the upcoming winter season, it was still pleasing to welcome back Marjorie from Leicester who played Division 3 and is still a regular performer in the area.

There has been so much talk about the greats of Matlock Table Tennis but Ted Orridge is one of the names that will live for ever in local circles and beyond. I will see if I can interview this man shortly and hopefully have more interesting stories to report.