Aston Cricket Club

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Sheppenhall Lane, Aston, Nantwich  CW5 8DE

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 Aston & District Cricket Club was formed soon after World War 1 from an amalgam of three local teams – Combermere, Broomhall & Wrenbury who had played in their own villages from the late 1800s until the outbreak of the War. Unfortunately no club records exist for the original teams therefore any information provided are from newspaper reports and local family archives and memories. In a local newspaper of 1869 it was noted that the Hon. R. S. Cotton, of Combermere Abbey, played cricket for Whitchurch.  

 

The earliest record of a local team is a photograph of the Combermere Cricket Club in 1894 whose players were captain Tom Young (farmer, Hollin Lane), his brothers Ernest (farmer, Sheppenhall Lane) and Edgar (veterinary surgeon), Robert Manley (auctioneer), J J Slater (Wrenbury Mill), Jim Smith (local), William James George (landlord of the Bhurtpore Inn), Tom Hall (farmer, Baddington), Joseph Wheeler (wheelwright, Broomhall), William Howell (Newhall), Alfred Jones ( rent collector, Oak Cottage, Wrenbury), the umpire was Samuel Edgeley (shoemaker, \ivy \cottage, Aston) and the scorer was Joe Borton from West End Cottage, Aston). William James George’s father and grandfather kept the Bhurtpore Inn  from 1849-1901. Simon George, the current landlord is the great grandson of William James George.

The Combermere photograph is on display at the Bhurtpore and in the Aston Cricket Club pavilion.

 

A fixture card for 1895 shows fixtures against Wistaston, Ash, Cholmondeley, Audlem, etc., and that 14 matches were played of which 9 were won, 2 drawn, 2 lost and one tied. The President of the Club was the Right Hon. Viscount Combermere, the Vice President was Squire Arthur Starkey of Wrenbury Hall and patrons included Henry Tollemache, M.P., A N Hornby and Dr Thomson the Wrenbury doctor.

 

The only record of Broomhall Cricket Club is a photograph taken in 1908 which contains several players who were on the Combermere photograph. Broomhall played in a field at Oak Farm, opposite Broomall School (later changed to Sound School) and later in a field opposite Pritch Farm. Former Aston President, Cyril Chesters, recalls being told that both his father and his uncle playing against A.N.Hornby, the former Lancashire and England captain.

Wrenbury Cricket Club played on a pitch in Wrenbury Hall Park where there were also tennis courts. The large fishing pit in the centre of the Park retains the name – tennis pit.

 

Peter Bebbington recalls family stories of his grandfather, William Garnett playing for Wrenbury before turning out for Nantwich in the late nineteenth century.  Aston played at Aston Four-lane-ends (until 1953) where the Club fielded two teams, both playing league cricket against Sandbach, Middlewich, Wem, Haslington, Tattenhall, Cholmondeley, Tilstone Lodge and many others. It is interesting to note that most teams would have travelled to Aston by train because the fixture cards stated ‘nearest railway station – Wrenbury.. William Wright of Royals Wood was the first recorded Club Secretary, he served from 1927-1939. Sr Kenneth Crossley, Combermere Abbey was Club President from 1922/1954.

 

In 1937 the Rev.E.P.Comber, vicar of Wrenbury (who played for Aston), presented a silver cup to the Club to celebrate the Coronation of King George V1. The Cup was to be played for by local teams in an evening invitation Knock Out Competition which is still being run in 2009 for non regular players. In fact the local competition has been part of village life for well over 70 years. In 2001, to coincide with a re-union of players, a book was published on memories of the Local Cricket Knock Out. Extracts from that book will feature on this site in the future.

 

Knock Out matches were played together with a few friendly evening fixtures. An Aston team was entered in the Whitchurch KO for many years and was successful in 1955 against Prees under the captaincy of Mick Young (the team included the local born Crewe Alex and Stoke Citry footballer Johnny King who scored 83 not out to ensure victory by 14 runs in a two innings final)  In 1963 the Aston team, captained by Les Wright lost out in the Final to Prees but gained revenge when they beat the same team in 1972. Another success was in the winning of the Market Drayton KO in 1966.

 

In 1953 the club purchased a field in Sheppenhall Lane from Rupert Lea for £500. Local farmer, Raymond Sheen of Woodcott Hill Farm, a lifelong supporter of the Club, provided a loan to be repaid whenever funds allowed. The rate of interest was 2.5% but it was about 15 years before any capital was repaid. It is interesting to note that it is understood that this field was the one which Combermere played on in the 1890s. Although it is again understood that there was a cricket pitch in grounds of the Combermere Abbey estate. The old black and white wooden cricket pavilion was moved from ‘four’lane’ends’ and erected at the new ground in Sheppenhall Lane but there was no running water or electricity. Water was carried in a milk churn from the Old Workhouses and was heated in an old gas boiler to make tea.

 

In 1967 regular Saturday friendly fixtures were resumed, continuing until 1974 when the Club joined the Cheshire Club Conference, the most successful season being 1976, finishing in third place.

 

In the early 1970s the Club built a new pavilion which was a major project for a small Club but financial reserves had been accumulated by an annual draw for a mini car (this is the same styled current draw called the 222 Club). The pavilion was virtually built by Club volunteers led by Cyril Chesters, Fred Wright, Ken Thornton & Alan White.

 

The Club joined the South Cricket Cricket Alliance in 1977 and played two teams for 21 years before the Alliance was disbanded. This enabled to Club to participate in the ‘County League Structure’.  During the Alliance years the Club won the league in 1985 and 1987 and were runners up on three occasions, the Reg Boote Trophy was won in 1985 and were loosing finalists in 1982 and 1994. The 2nd X1 never managed to win the 2nd Division but were runners up on six occasions, they won the Densem Shield in 1984, being loosing finalists in 1989 and 1993. In 1998 the Club joined the Cheshire Cricket Alliance, the 2nd XI being runners up in 1999 & 2005.

 

2008 was a very successful season for the Club. Under the captaincy of Derek Wright, the Club were runners up to Sandbach and thereby gained promotion to the Mellor Braggins League, the highest level at which the Club will have played. The 2nd X1, under the captaincy of Damian Hyland, won Division 4 of the Cheshire Alliance.

 

The club are looking forward to building on this success in 2009. We will be fielding First and Second XIs, along with Under 11, Under 13 and Under 15 teams. The strength of the junior section bodes well for the future of the club as our younger players progress into the senior teams. I'm sure the Hon. R.S.Cotton from 1869 would approve!

 

We look forward to welcoming you at our club very soon!

 

PRESIDENTS

 

1922 - 1954   Sir Kenneth

                         Crossley

1958             T N W Windsor

1966 - 1967   J W Eyre

1968 - 1975   Raymond Hopkins

1976 - 1978   P E I Ainsworth

1979 - 1981   David Wright

1982 - 2001   Cyril Chesters

2002 -           Les Wright

 

CHAIRMAN

 

1951 - 1966  Raymond Hopkins

1967 - 1981  Cyril Chesters

1982 - 1984  George Bolam

1985 - 1987  Peter Bebbington

1988 - 1992  Bryan Coghlan

1993 - 2003  Brian Horrocks

2004 - 2005  Ron Bedson

2006 -          Pat Beesley

 

HON. SECRETARIES

 

1927 - 1939  William Wright

1951 - 1967  W F Welch

1968 - 1969  Peter Evans

1970 - 1978  Les Wright

1979 - 1984  Peter Bebbington

1985 - 2002  Peter Jones

2003             Damian Hyland

2004             Simon Wright

2005             Damian Hyland

2006             Hazel Richardson

2007             Kerry Elson

 

HON. TREASURERS

 

1927 - 1939  B Rothwell

1951 - 1969  G H Wright

1970 - 1993  Fred Wright

1994 - 2001  Malcom Scott

2002 - 2004  Nick Hartshorn

2005             Graham Potts  

 

1st XI    Captains

 

1966-67 L Wright

1968-73 P Bebbington

1974-77 P Jones

1978-81 L Wright

1982-83 RJ Davies

1984-85 S Grimley

1986-88 T Johnston

1989 A Brown

1990-95 P Beesley

1996-97 N Goodwin

1998-99 P Little

2000-02 W Dawson

2003-04 D Wright

2005-06 C Beesley

2007     G Richardson

2008-    D Wright

 

2nd XI Captains

 

1977-78  P Bebbington

1979       A White

1980-88  P Bebbington

1989-91  RJ Davies

1992-93  E Vernon

1994       P Bebbington

1995-96  G Ruscoe

1997-99  N Hartshorn

2000-02  D Hyland

2003       B Edisbury

2004-06  D Hyland

2007       N Cammish

2008       D Hyland

2009-11  B Edisbury

2012       A.Taylor