A Brief History of Chelmsford Cricket Club

Club History

The exact date of formation for Chelmsford Cricket Club is impossible to fathom.  Former Club stalwart Roy Cheek undertook investigations into the issue and found reference to a meeting in late 1810 to discuss the formation of a cricket club in Chelmsford for the following summer.  What can be said with certainty is that a Chelmsford side played two matches in September 1811.

If this seems rather odd, just try to imagine the difficulties of arranging games.  The sport itself was in its infancy, travel around the county let alone the country was very difficult, there was no easy method of communication, even the postage stamp was 29 years in the future. Levels of literacy were not even something that Governments had thought fit to measure although 1811 was the year of the second census.


The development was probably connected to Chelmsford’s position as a military town.  The first home games were played at King’s Head Meadow but shortly thereafter a more permanent home seems to have been found at the Fairfield, the site of the current Bus Station.

With the town growing, the Fairfield was sold for development in the late-1870s leaving the Cricket Club homeless for a brief period.   In 1879 the Club moved to some land adjacent to New Street and this was to be the home for the next 32 years.

Again, the Club was a victim of Chelmsford’s growth, this time industrial as the land was acquired to become the iconic Marconi Works.

The loss of the New Street ground and the intervention of the Great War meant that a new home was not found until 1921.  A tenancy at Blue Sky Field in New Writtle Street was acquired.  That remained the home until Essex County Cricket Club bought the land to develop the County Ground.

1972 was a year of considerable change.  A new home ground at the council-owned Chelmer Park and the first year of the Essex League.  To date, this has not changed but the Club and the Essex League have grown into their current incarnations.

With five league teams, including four in the highest league that they can be and 15 league titles between them in the last 7 seasons, Chelmsford is one of the strongest clubs in Essex.  It has not always been that way and despite some outstanding young players, will not necessarily stay that way.

 

In 2011, the Club celebrated its bi-centenary.  A History of the period 1811 - 2011 was produced and is available at £5 plus postage.

Anyone who is interested in receiving a copy should contact:

martyn.edwards@blueyonder.co.uk