This is a story of one man, his love for cricket and his dream. The outcome was one of the most beautiful cricket grounds one could imagine.

Spen Cama was born in Brighton England in 1902 to an Indian father and English mother. After being educated at the local private schools Athol house and Brighton Grammar he qualified as a Barrister but never practiced. After leaving school he got the idea of purchasing cheap legally protected tenanted houses before and between the wars and thereafter. He was also partial to owning corner shops.

On Monday 3rd March 1927 Spen with some like minded friends including the Reverend Westall from the nearby Church of the Good Shepherd met at his home at 16 Maldon Rd Brighton to create the Tivoli CC. Later on the 8 th March 1927 they renamed the club “Preston Nomads “as they found they didn’t have a ground in Brighton Park. Subscriptions were set at 1pd uk 1 shilling. Spen became its first Treasurer and the Captain of the first team from 1928 until1954 and Captain of the Club from 1955 until 1959.He played until 1968 -over 40 continuous years except for the time spent overseas on war service.

In 1937 Spen purchased some land in Clippers Lane at Fulking just below the Downs Sussex with a view to building a cricket ground as he had conceived the idea from playing at a small private ground known a Friar Oaks Hassock in 1936. The local Council immediately zoned the land “public Recreation” so Spen had the sell some land to the Council to fulfill his dream of a ground for his beloved Preston Nomads.

Since then many folk were involved building the ground under the Spen’s leadership and the Club house appeared in 1954.

In about 1980 in a scheme to avoid excessive taxation Spen’s Solicitor pursuaded him to invest a lot of his estate with a failed land developer whom he trusted. This was a masterly move as the venture was a massive success and land values skyrocketed so Spen made even more money.

In 2002 Spen died after spending the last 10 years of his life in a nursing home with an advanced state of dementia. Having deceased with no children and a wife who deserted him for the ship’s purser on their honeymoon cruise his will bequeathed his 30 million UK pd estate to the Preston Nomads Cricket Club! However before the Club received the money a will interpretation case went to the High Court which imposed a trust on strict conditions in favour of the club. The trust continues in perpetuity for the benefit of the club which has built a magnificent state of the art 3 building Clubhouse which was opened in 2006; ; improved the original field to perfection and purchased more land and built another beautiful adjoining field.

In this correspondent’s time of fortunately travelling the world playing cricket one would have to rate this complex in the top 5 world best Club grounds. A truly amazing story and ground.

After a long drive to the ground which is nestled under a pretty hill which is just beyond the county ground at Hove we arrived to a wet pitch and damp outfield. Despite many expensive covers heavy rain had seeped onto the wicket and delayed the start from 1pm until

1. 45pm.

Our team for today was Tim Pellen Captain; Warwick Hayes; Allan Chellew; Geoff Doyle; Noel Raymond; Steve Moore; Tim Sargent; Greg Briggs; Peter Judd ;Fabian Heaton ;Mick Munro and Gordon McGurk. Unfortunately the toss was vital as the team which batted first was going to have a very difficult time of it as the blustery but cold conditions would dry out the wicket to make it somewhat more easily paced second time around. Alas we lost the toss.