The history of Empingham Cricket Club from 1815

Empingham appeared to play its first game of cricket on September 18 1815 against Knowston in Leicestershire, later known as Knossington. The result was a tie.  A return game was played on November 2 1815.  In later years a combined team from Empingham, Exton and Oakham played against Cottesmore and records exist of combined Empingham and Exton teams playing other villages.

The game continued through the years in Empingham, and in the 1870's records exist of a match in 1873 when Empingham played Mr F Knox's team of Exton on August 2 and won the match 23-14!  An interesting feature of the game at this time was that the size of the teams depended on ability of the players and similar to the handicapping system in golf, situations did arise when one side could field 22 players and the other only 11.  

Cricket continued in Empingham until the First World War, being actively encouraged by the Ancaster Estate and featuring mainly Inter-Estate matches.  The first league appearance is in 1895 in the Stamford Commercial Club League.  During this period players named Jack Grant, Harry Masters, John Pateman feature regularly, and in 1909 the team captain was Dr. Edwards who was joined by Jack Griffinn.  By this time regular matches were being played on Thursdays and Saturdays and the team had acquired transport - a horse drawn waggonette.  An interesting game took place in 1901 against Burghley House, which Empingham won 40-17, the feature of the game being a disputed decision against Lord Exeter who was given out lbw bowled by a left arm bowler around the wicket.

Cricket was suspended during the First World War but was recommenced in the early 1920's and Empingham entered the Stamford and district League and won it in the mid twenties and were runners-up in 1932, 33 and 36.  At this period in our history, Empingham was fielding four cricket teams and there were three cricket pitches in regular use in the village.  By this time we were approaching the period of mechanisation and motor transportation in the form of Healeys Lorry which was available for away games and even though the team had to dismount and walk up any significant hills it was a considerable improvement on the Waggonette.  

It is interesting to record some of the players of this time.  They include Charles Hibbitt, Jack Bellamy, Henry and Dan Griffin, William Forsyth, Bill Glascock, Bob Parker, Roy Matthews, Herbert Cliffe, George Joyce, Redfers Cooper, Jas Horace and Geroge Lambert, Stan Brown, Walter Maddison and Jack Thraves, Jock Ferriers and Don Forsyth.  Competition was fierce at this time, particularly against the neighbouring village of Ketton where Empingham scored a resounding success once by dismissing the whole Ketton Eleven for 5, of which 3 were byes,.  On another occasion against Ketton, Empingham made a first wicket stand of 70 and were then dismissed after tea for only a further 15 runs.  Accusations regarding the contents of the tea were made!  

Cricket was again suspended during the 1939-45 war apart from certain friendly games with the local R.A.F. and restarted in 1946 with the local team under the captaincy of Matt Thraves and subsequently Denny Griffin.  After a short break in cricket during the mid fifties, the club was reformed in 1958 under the chairmanship of Sqd. Ldr. F. Cox, assisted by the Rev. C. M. Cocking and John Cave as treasurer.  The club slowly prospered and due to the efforts of various committees, were able, in 1960, to build their first pavilion.  Work and play continued through the 1960's and the pavilion was extended in 1967 to be replaced by a new pavilion in 1971.  In 1972 the new clubhouse was increased in size to improve the changing rooms and extensive alterations were made to improve the playing area.  This work was carried out under the supervision of our former secretary, the late Mr Bill Udale, who devoted timeless energy in upholding the success of the Club.  In 1977 it was decided to build a new Clubhouse and under the guidance of Mr Michael Pell the Clubhouse was officially opened on the 26 June 1978.

History of events

1. Meeting held on Monday 30th December 1957 in Audit Hall to discuss the formation of Empingham Cricket Club. 19 people attended and unanimously agreed to do so.

2. Officers elected were :- Chairman: Sqdn. Ldr. F. Cox Secretary: Revd. C. M. Cockin Treasurer: J. Cave Fixture Secretary: J. C. Hibbitt And a committee of 3 people.

3. Playing member's subscription was set at 10/- (50p.).

4. Kit was purchased for £45 and a second hand mower for £15.

5. The club were runners up in the Smith-Carrington Cup held at Colsterworth in 1958.

6. Archie Wilson took over as treasurer from John Cave at the 1959 A.G.M.

7. Bob Price elected captain, Keith Osborne as vice-captain and Joe Clark as umpire.

8. First President Mr. John Griffin in 1960.

9. First Vice-presidents: Messers A. F. Clarke, F. H. Gilman, H. Hibbitt, H. J. Griffin, J. Cave and D. Day in 1960.

10. The first Pavilion (a wooden hut 21ft x 12ft) was opened by the President, Mr. John Griffin, at an evening match on 18th July 1960.

11. At the 1963 A.G.M. the rev D Cockin resigned as secretary and was replaced by Bill Udale.

12. After the death of the President, Mr.John Griffin, Mr. Henry Hibbitt was asked to be President in March 1963 and accepted.

13. The club were runners up in the Rutland League.

14. The first dinner to be held away from the village was in November 1963 at The Georgians in Market Deeping. 54 people were present and Mr. Jack Fairbrother (the manager of Peterborough United) was guest speaker.

15. The club won the Rutland League in 1964.

16. 1966 A.G.M. Ralph Woodward took over from Bill Walton as groundsman.

17. The club won the Nevison Cup, The Stamford K.O. Cup, The Spastics Cup and the Burghley Park Six-a-side in 1966.

18. Pavilion extended in 1967 (timber).

19. The club won the Rutland League in 1968.

20. 1968 A.G.M. Peter Redman succeeded Archie Wilson as Treasurer.

21. The club won the Rutland League Cup in 1968.

22. A club cricketing tour was held on Whitsun weekend 1969 at Whitley Bay.

23. 1970 A.G.M. after 12 years as Chairman, Sqdn. Ldr. Freddie Cox resigned and was replaced by Frank Woodhead.

24. 1971 A.G.M. Peter Redman resigned as treasurer and was replaced by Brian Gulliver.

25. A new wooden sectional pavilion was built in 1971, which included a bar, a set of Club Rules were written on 15th June 1971. (cost of pavilion was £534-75).

26. The club won the Fitzwilliam Bowl and the Hodgkinson Cup in 1971.

27. Extension to pavilion for changing rooms in 1972.

28. Ground levelled by Gleesons between Friday 29th September and Sunday 1st October 1972 at a cost of £250.

29. The club won the Bristol Cup and Group 10 of the Haig Cup in 1972.

30. The club won the Burghley Park Six-a-side in 1973 and 1974.

31. The club won the Stamford K.O. Cup and Burghley Park Six-a-side in 1975.

32. The tragic death of Bill Udale, the club secretary occurred on Saturday 10th April 1976, he had been Club secretary for 14 years. The position was taken over by Mick Pell.

33. The club won the Stamford K.O. Shield in 1976.

34. At the December committee meeting 1976, it was all systems go to build the present Pavilion.

35. In April 1977 a 30 Year Lease of New Cricket Club and Ground was agreed.

36. The footings for the new pavilion were dug out in August 1977.

37. The club won The Salaman Cup and The Burghley Park Six-a-side in 1977.

38. At the first attempt The Newark League was won in 1977.

39. Our ground was used for a cricket match between the North of England and the West England under 15 teams in 1977.

40. The new Pavilion was opened by Dennis Hill-Wood on 26th June 1978.

41. The old wooden Pavilion was sold to Ketton Sports Club in August 1978.

42. July 1979 - Mick Pell resigned as both cricket Captain and Club Secretary, Jim Thraves took over as Captain and Vic Lambert as Secretary.

43. Leicester County Schools XI used our ground and pavilion to play Norfolk County Schools XI on the 28th July 1980.

44. At the 1981 A.G.M., Vic Lambert retired from the post of Secretary and was superseded by Ray Purdue.

45. In July 1981 Ray Purdue resigned from the post of Secretary due to ill health, Vic Lambert agreed to take over the post until the next A.G.M.

46. The club won the Hodgkinson Cup, the Stamford Knock out Shield and the Burghley Six-a-side tournament.

47. The first bar grille was fitted in October 1981.

48. The first safe was completed in November 1981.

49. The club won the Fitzwilliam Bowl in 1982.

50. The club won both the Stamford Knock Out Shield and the Fitzwilliam Bowl in 1983.

51. The "Bill Udale Memorial Fund" Electronic score board was opened in July 1984.

52. The club won the Spastics Cup and the Burghley six-a-side tournament and the 2nd XI won the Cox Memorial Cup.

53. Our longstanding, hard working and highly respected vice-chairman Frank Woodhead passed away suddenly in March 1985.

54. The club won the Fitzwilliam Bowl and the Hodgkinson Cup in 1985 and the 2nd XI won the South lincs and Border League division 2.

55. Our longstanding chairman George Hibbitt died tragically on 13th January 1987. A highly respected and hard working man who led by example.

56. At the 1987 A.G.M. Jim Thraves accepted the vacant position of Chairman.

57. The club president Mr. Henry H. Hibbitt sadly passed away on the 9th February 1988. He was a mentor of the club since the 1930s and one of our greatest supporters.

58. At the 1988 A.G.M. John Hibbitt was elected President of the club. S. R. (Ralph) Woodward resigned from the committee after 30 continuous years but agreed to continue the job of groundsman.

59. The club won Division 2 of the Rutland League and the Burghley Six-a-side tournament in 1988.

60. During 1989 Lincs A XI played Northants 2nd XI using the club facilities.

61. At the 1990 A.G.M. Brian Gulliver resigned as club Treasurer after 18 years.

62. Former Captain Derek Palmer resigned from the club in March 1990.

63. Kathy Stringer was voted onto the committee as Treasurer in March 1990.

64. During 1991 Lincs A XI played Northants 2nd XI using the club facilities.

65. At the 1992 A.G.M. Kathy Stringer resigned as club Treasurer and was replaced by J. McKevitt. Jim Thraves was replaced by Brian Webb as club Chairman.

66. At the 1993 A.G.M. Bill Glencross replaced Brian Webb as club Chairman and Brian Webb replaced Chris Manby as club Secretary.

67. The club won Division 3 of the Rutland League in 1996.

68. At the 1997 A.G.M. J. McKevitt resigned as club Treasurer and was replaced by Christine Cooper.

69. At the 1998 A.G.M. Bill Glencross resigned as club Chairman and was replaced by Jon Corby.

70. The club won Division 3 of the Rutland League in 2000.

71. At the 2001 A.G.M. Malcolm Mann replaced Brian Webb as club Secretary.

72. At the 2002 A.G.M. Nigel Millner took over as club Chairman from Jonathan Corby.

73. During 2003 the club lost 3 former stalwarts, namely Ralph Woodward who was an original member of the club, a solid opening batsman, an umpire and a long time groundsman he also helped both sides of the bar. Dave Popple both a player and an assistant groundsman. Brian Webb a former club Secretary.

74. At the 2004 A.G.M. Christine Cooper resigned as Treasurer and the vacancy was not filled.

75. The club Treasurer's post was taken by P. Hopkins in March 2004.

76. The 1st XI won promotion to Division 3 of the Rutland League.

77. Two valuable members died in 2004 namely Isabel Glencross and Bill Waddell.

78. Jonathan Corby stood down as vice-chairman in May 2005.

79. John Radford took over the post of club secretary in May 2006.

80. At the 2007 A.G.M. Fred Benton took over the post of vice-chairman and Jon Gibbison the post of club secretary.

The history of the club is being updated to include the years from 2007 and will be published soon.