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The Vera Lynn Appreciation Society was founded by Colin Wright and Colin Hunter in 1995 as a way of marking the beginning of the weekend. Every Friday evening from 5 till 7.30 the Rad serves double Plymouth gins and tonic to the Society's thirsty members.
By 2001 it had become so popular that Terry 'Bunter' Kavanagh, then landlord of the St Radegund, calculated that the gin guzzlers were consuming over fifty gallons of gin a year. It was about this time that Bunter sent a letter to Dame Vera Lynn herself, outlining the origins of the Society's name in Cockney Rhyming Slang. The one time Forces' Sweetheart was apparently charmed enough to send a signed photograph by return. This now adorns the walls of the St Radegund. The Veras have marked Dame Vera's birthday on 20th March every year since.
In 1998 began an annual cricket fixture between the gin drinkers of the Veras and the beer drinkers of the St Radegund. The match was sponsored by
Gloag's gin until that brand was discontinued in 2003.
The results of this fixture to date:
|(a) Veras||2015||St Radegund|
|1999||rained off||2005||Veras (sixes)||(b) St Radegund||2016||Veras|
|2000||Veras||2006||St Radegund||2011||St Radegund||2017||St Radegund|
|2001||St Radegund||2007||St Radegund||2012||Veras|
|2002||St Radegund||2008||Veras||2013||match tied|
|2003||St Radegund||2009||match tied||2014||Veras|
To date, there have been four Veras Presidents to captain the side at cricket, Chris Evans (1998 - 2002), Steven Haslemere (2003 - 2009) and Tom Corbin (2010
- 2015) and Joe Townsend (2016 onwards).
Over the years, nearly 100 players have been invited to play cricket for the Veras. Andy Whitmore holds the record for the highest aggregate number of runs with 128. He also has the highest individual score in a match, 77 not out. Jack Lawlor-Anderson and Tom Corbin have the most career wickets (12 each). Lawlor-Anderson also has the best bowling return for a Veras team, 5 for 31 recorded in 2010.
St Radegund public house, 129 King Street. Cambridge CB1 1LD. Tel: 01223 311794