Clubs: Lincolnshire CCC, Lindum, Skegness, Sleaford, Hartsholme

Roles and Representation: Represented Lincolnshire 1908-1914, groundsman at Hartsholme

Honours: Once took all 10 wickets in 2 successive matches on the Lindum ground


Born in February 1880, Ernest Pullein was a member of the Lincoln Cathedral choir and attended the Grammar School in Lincoln for two years, where he learned his cricket. He played for a variety of clubs, including Lincoln Albion, Collingham and Newark. Between 1898 and 1909 he represented St Andrews Institute, topping their batting averages 9 times over the 11 seasons he played there. In 1910 he joined the Lindum, playing there for 9 seasons and topping the batting averages 6 times. He also represented Lincolnshire between 1908 and 1914.

His father had been a professor of music, and Ernest took after him, becoming the organist at St Andrews Church, Lincoln, and a composer of organ and church music. He served in the Royal Naval Air Service during World War One.

After the war he played for Skegness and Sleaford. In 1929, his playing record read: 779 innings, 126 not outs, 24,383 runs, highest score 156, average 37.34. An all-rounder, by 1929 he also had 1589 wickets at an average of 9.89 each.

He later joined the Hartsholme club and helped improve both the club’s playing surface and their batting. Their cricket square was only 12 yards wide when he joined the club, and there were no practice wickets. Ernest gradually increased the size of the square so that it was 24 yards by 24 yards, and made 3 sets of practice wickets.

According to Chris Keywood’s history of Hartsholme: “His pitches were first class in quality and drew subsequent praise from Cyril Washbrook of Lancashire and England, Tommy Lowery, the New Zealand captain, Bev Lyon the Gloucestershire captain, and Reg Spooner of Lancashire and England, all of whom played there.” He retired from playing in 1939, but continued as the Hartsholme groundsman until 1955.