Tribute by Short Fine Leg
Melvyn Tremlin first came to the notice of the writer in 1962 when, at the tender age of 9 years he attended Tophill Junior School. He was indeed a "far above the average batsman" and when only in the 2nd year at Primary level, he won his place in the School First XI. A school which never lost a game at Primary School level and indeed won many games against 1st and 2nd year opposition at Secondary Modern Level.
At this tender age he had already learned to get left foot forwards; straight bat; chin over bat and his eye never left the ball - all this with uncanny concentration and good footwork from this "well built" lad, a boy who almost took his bat to bed with him - ask his mum.
During the summer months 'Mel' (and bat) lived either on the School Playing Field or at "The Triangle Ground" where he was under the watchful eye of one Joe Baker "Out of the frying pan into the fire". He and his two friends, brother David and Brian Mitchell, must have spent many happy hours there, always learning something new about the game they loved so well. All three had fine natural ability which only required "practical" consolidation and later expansion (at the nets). For 3 years at the Primary School he scored many runs - holding the record for a long time, until superceded by the late Robert Salkeld (78*) - a great stumper.
I well remember one occasion he was sent for to join the rest of the team, who were mainly two years older. On receiving the message to join his mates he dashed down the stairs, only to be hauled back by the tight-lipped, stern and eagle-eyed, the late Miss Dorothy Slade. This good lady, with a twinkle in her eye, grimly told him he could only play when she allowed him to go. This almost broke his heart, but the good lady allowed him out after ten minutes and a rather shame-faced apology. I still chuckle about this, but no doubt Melvyn did not find it funny at the time.
In those days (some twenty years ago [Webmaster note: now 40 years ago]) we always has two team practices a week. He really "practiced" every stroke. Not for him the slog, but every "net" was a period to "perfect" a stroke. Even at 11 years he had a vicious stroke to leg and an immaculate cover drive - á la Cowdrey. On more than one occasion he was asked to retire after getting his 50.
Although he was a good bowler, with an accurate off break, he was seldom used. He also had a very safe pair of hands. Up to the age of eleven, Melvyn was the most complete young batsman I ever had the privilege of advising and coaching - except one and that lad eventually played for and was 'capped' by Kent.
During his first year at Portland Secondary Modern, he played against his old School and had the temerity to get 80 odd runs - much to the chagrin of brother David, who from behind the stumps adopted every well-known means of getting his brother's scalp, including "talking him out" and a few mild brotherly threats for good measure. This team also included Brian Mitchell and a very fast lad from Yorkshire - named Smith. While at Tophill Secondary Modern he represented South Dorset no less than 9 times at Under 15 level - why was he not selected, or tried, for the full County XI?
His debut for the Triangle was in 1968 - as was his brother David, Brian Mitchell and Robert Salkeld - the latter being no more than 13 years of age.
Melvyn has developed into an attacking batsman, his policy is to dominate the bowlers - in the J.S.G. (Jack) Stone mould. Jack of course was an opening bat, whereas Mel usually goes in at 3 or 4. Knowing both so well I cannot decide which is better. Jack's almost arrogant and determined batting versus Melvyn's determined and forceful play. Both are, or have been, very great batsmen for The Triangle. Sometimes I think he has not reached his peak and we can expect many more centuries from him.
At the present rate of "punching the ball all over the field" he must, during the next season pass the Henry Tizzard aggregate of 6693 runs - thus creating a new club record. I believe he is also the only Triangle player to do the elusive double twice - 1000 runs, 100 wickets - 1979 & 1980. A unique record at Club Cricket level.
This retiring and somewhat nervous lad at school had turned out to be quite a good Captain (seasons 1980, 81, 82) and I think someone should be delegated to take some of the "off the field" responsibilities from his shoulders.
Well done Melvyn and thank you for the pleasure you have given to many people. What a sight to have seen yourself and Jack Stone in "full flow" at the same time. Even better than watching Ian Botham.
Record to the end of Season 1981:
In four seasons 1978-1981:
Total number of centuries - 9
Club record innings of 157 runs in 1981, against London and Manchester Assurance Co.
Best Bowling figures: