The photo of Paul Aldred courtesy of John Windle
Paul played cricket for Derbyshire CCC between 1995 – 2002. Since finishing his playing career, he firstly ran a coaching business but now he runs a successful business making handmade cricket bats.
Paul firstly talked about his playing career – he was a right-handed batsman and a right-arm medium-pace bowler. When starting at Derbyshire there were several strong characters in the dressing room – Adams, Cullinan, De Freitas, Cork, Krikken and captain Kim Barnett amongst them. He had many ‘dressing room’ stories as well as talking about players from other counties. During his career he had a top score of 83 and his best bowling figures were 7/101. He continued in First-class cricket until 2002, when he retired.
Paul then went on to talk about his current business making handmade bats. He brought along bats in varying stages of completion plus a piece of willow from which the bats are formed. Members were captivated with his description of the bat making process and the great skill which goes into this craft.
There were useful insights into the ‘cricket bat market’, the dominance of overseas manufacturers and the effect of using increasing amounts of English Willow. Members got tips about oiling bats and ‘knocking them in’. His business continues to flourish – check out Aldred Cricket Bats online!
A really entertaining and different evening provided by Paul – we wish him well for the future.
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