Peter Wright (Muckspread Pete, Dratting Host & Caller) has kindly offered this "explanation":
At a certain time of year, something stirs in the fields surrounding Shenfield Cricket Club. Most people ignore this. Others get an ointment from their doctor.
But back in the Sixties, a faithful few decided to allow whatever it was to manifest itself, and this led to a series of Dratting Festivals, firstly at the old wooden pavilion at the top of the ground, then later at that new fangled brick 'un. These stopped when Muckspread Pete emigrated to Australia, but there have been occasional Reunion Drats when he has popped back for a visit.
Here the noble sport of Dratting was allowed to possess the souls of all within a certain range, and we were treated to a series of astounding drats, including many amazing performances by long time world champion Tom Wetherspoon (Bill Hindley). We were also entertained by a Rock Dratter from
Dunmow (Phil Stevens), a Hippo drat from Chris Wright, various strange but athletic ramblings from rural Essex legend Howie McShagnasty (Howard Maguire), a Gumby drat from Shenfield Superstar Dave Sewell, a Down-Under drat from Ian George, and many more, to name but thirty-twelve.
Archaeologists are still finding pictures of these sessions and it is hoped that new ones will emerge and be added.
Meantime a few Q & A may help
Is it legal?
Yes, but only on odd and even days of the month.
What is the world record?
49 and eleven quarters, left handed.
What is in the international Wetting Bucket?
Goats milk, if you don't mind, and the goat don't either.
What is Nurdling?
Photos estimated to be from between 1974 and 1976