Potterspury Cricket Club

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Extracts from Potterspury - the story of a village and its people

Although the club had existed previously, the earliest record of Potterspury Cricket Club from the original accounts and minutes book dates to 2 March 1903, when the secretary was Wm. Holman, the treasurer, G. Dodson, and the captain, G. Matthews. W. Ratcliffe was elected groundsman and was to be paid ten shillings at the end of the season. A bat would be given as first prize to the best batsman and five shillings to the second best. The bowler with the best average would get a prize of five shillings. 30 fixture cards were to be ordered at a cost of four shillings and sixpence.

Matches were to be arranged with Stoke (Bruerne), Wicken, Deanshanger, Hanslope, Castlethorpe, Stony Stratford, Wolverton, Greens Norton, Wakefield and Haversham. Most of these teams still play regularly, apart from Haversham, Wakefield and Potterspury.

In 1903 there were 30 playing members who each paid one shilling (5p) for the season (four paid two shillings). Donations received were one pound from His Grace the Duke of Grafton; ten shillings each from Mr Wm. Paterson (the Duke's agent), Mrs Newton (Potterspury Lodge) and Mr Wm. Pratt (The Anchor); five shillings from Mr H.C. Newton, Mr Chettle and the Rev. Walter Plant; two shillings and sixpence from Mrs Linnell.

Expenses for the season included three new balls at five shillings and sixpence each: one second-hand bat at ten shillings, one new bat at eighteen shillings and sixpence, and a pair of leg guards at seven shillings and ninepence. Each game, one shilling was given each to the scorer and to the umpire. Walter Ratcliffe was the best batsman of the season, and received a five shilling prize, as did Albert Stewart, the best bowler.

In the years following 1903, H. Toombs served as secretary, and Wm. Toombs as treasurer. Membership numbers varied between 18 and 35, each paying one shilling to join. The last expenses entry for 1914 was four shillings for new locks (did someone expect a delay in play!). Matches resumed in 1919 with H. Toombs once again elected as secretary and as team captain; his brother Will was the treasurer.

There were 22 paid-up members despite a huge leap in membership fees from one shilling to two shillings and sixpence per season. In 1948 Will Toombs was thanked for his past services of 45 years as an officer of the Cricket Club.

The playing field used between 1903 and 1953 was the same as for football, one of Mr Soper's, still known as the Play Field, along the road to Puxley Farm, on the left, just past the drive to Wakefield Lodge. Rental for use of the field in 1923 was one pound nine shillings and twopence, in 1929 - two pounds, and in 1952 - two pounds twelve shillings and sixpence. In 1953 Mr Soper gave notice to quit the Play Field and provided alternative accommodation in the field opposite May's Cafe. This meant that the pavilion (little more than an average-sized garden shed) had to be moved. It was suggested that Mr R. Osborne be approached to take this in hand. The club ran for another four seasons until 1957 at its new ground and then folded for lack of interested workers and players.

A re-formed club ran for a few years on the Meadow View playing field in the 1980s, but also folded. A tyre company from Stony Stratford used the ground for several seasons with several village lads in the team but had very little help from the village in wicket preparation and general club activities. In recent years cricket has no longer been played in the village.





(c) 2012 Mark Russell - www.potterspury.org.uk

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