The Dragons have a long-standing connection to the Vine through the Golds family and through other Vine members that have played for the Dragons – particularly in the 1960s and 70s. The Dragons remain the oldest of cricket’s touring clubs.
The Dragons are the Old Boys of St George`s Harpenden in Hertfordshire. They were founded when the cricket captain, Robert Nelson, and vice-captain, Norman Golds left school in 1930. After much planning the first tour took place in 1933. Robert Nelson, an inspirational leader, became captain of Northants and was selected for England`s 1939 tour of India before war broke out. Sadly, his death at Dover in the early days of the war brought his flourishing career to an end.
Norman Golds resurrected the Dragons Tour after the war in memory of his great friend – also naming his second son after him.
The initial tour took place during the second week of August – due to availability of their best bowler – and has continued on this week ever since. The connection with St George`s remains strong and there are often a couple of schoolboys on tour. However, other guests and family members have been invited to tour and subsequently to be elected as Dragons. This has enabled the quality of cricket to be maintained and the fixture list remains as strong as is possible.
The Dragons Tour was captained and run from 1946 – 1970 by Norman Golds and then by his son Robert (Bob) from 1970 – 2000. During this time, particularly in the earlier years, it was natural for guests to be invited from the Vine where both Norman and Bob had played so much of their cricket. Such guests included:
- George Downton
- Simon Lee
- Guy & Peter Hollamby
- Jeremy Tavare
- Derek Preston
- John Hornsby
- Jamie Fife
- Peter Ellison
- Rex Divall
- Roger Alwen
- Ezra Martin
- Mike Goulden
The Tour HQ, initially at Herne Bay and Broadstairs, moved in the early 1980s to Elvey Farm, Pluckley where the tour developed into a larger, family week. Junior fixtures were played against a number of the opposition teams, including the Vine, and now they have progressed to the senior team.
The Dragons Tour is as healthy as ever and the club greatly appreciate the hospitality afforded by Sevenoaks Vine and their other hosts. The first fixture against the Vine was played in 1946 and it remains one of the oldest and most valued.
We look forward to hosting the Dragons again soon!