The early 1950s
[ St Albans Centennial Book (1905-2005) ]
The 1950s began with an annual report recording St Albans successes in the first, second grade A, and fourth grade A competitions, and heralded the arrival of Parke Gerald Zinzan (Zin) Harris with an innings of 49 for Canterbury against Australia. He developed into one of the very best batsmen in an era packed with good cricketers and personalities.
Burtt's international career ended just as that of stylish batsman and accurate off-spinner Matt Poore began, in the home Tests against the 1952/53 South Africans. Poore was then chosen for the return tour to that country, while Harris was considered unlucky to miss out after a rain-affected trial. Leg-spinner and former club member Bill Bell was also in the touring team.
Throughout its history St Albans had shared with West Christchurch the pavilion now occupied by the Canterbury umpires association. It was by no means the splendid, refurbished building that we see today. It was too small for its purpose, and constantly in need of repair.
The first serious moves towards financing the present pavilion were taken in 1953 when Cyril Crawford, who followed his playing days with an equally illustrious administrative career, came up with the inspiration to raffle what was then the only child's pedal car in the country. That put 500 pounds in the kitty.
At that stage it was intended to replace the old pavilion with a joint venture between St Albans and West Christchurch. But when the Christchurch City Council declared the building unsafe, the matter became more urgent and West officials admitted they were not able to contribute towards the costs of finding a new pavilion.