Games of cricket have been played in Great Brickhill since the late 1800s. The Club has enjoyed the
support of the Duncombe family throughout its history and has played cricket on the current ground
since the early 1900s. The current ground is flanked by the Old Rectory and a pine-clad spinney and
overlooks the Brickhill valley towards the River Ouse and Fenny Stratford. The Club over the years
has fielded both junior and senior teams and enjoys some of the best cricketing and social facilities
in the area.
Late 1800s - 1909
During this period, the cricket in Great Brickhill was played in the grounds of the Manor, which is
home to the Duncombe family. The first recorded match was against Fenny Stratford Railway Temperance
on August 18th 1886. The result was a five run victory to Great Brickhill. In this game the only person
to reach double figures over two innings was a Mr C Fiennes, scoring twenty one runs and he also took
seven wickets in the first innings. Mr J Ireland was reported for a fine bowling spell during the second
innings taking six wickets for few runs. Between innings the teams would adjourn to the Duncombe Arms
Inn for lunch.
1909 - 1945
In 1909 Great Brickhill Cricket Club relocated to the ground that it currently plays on today and
shared the ground with the tennis club.
At this time the Club had twenty two members with Sir E P Duncombe as President, Mr A Tooth was the Club
Captain and grounds man at the new venue. The grounds man was employed at a cost of £2-10s (£2.50p) for
the season, the tennis club paying 10s (50p) of the ground mans fee. One of the Clubs rules was that the
Club tent had to be erected and dismantled at the end of matches.
The first sight screens arrived at the club in 1910. Sir E P Duncombe donated the timber from his
estate for the members to collect and construct. Gradually the Club grew and within the space of two
years the Club’s membership had risen to 42 members, with the Club’s balance at £7-11s-3.5d (£7.56) and
a season’s membership was two shillings (10p).
1911 saw Mr B Tooth top the batting averages with 17.6 runs, scoring a total of 210 runs in 14 innings
(no bowling averages were recorded).
In 1912, when Mr S Fairburn became captain, training sessions were introduced twice weekly and it was
agreed that club hats would be worn. Every year the opening match of the season would be between married
men v single men on Easter Monday.
There was no cricket played between 1915 and 1918 due to the First World War.
Following the end of the war the Club restarted playing cricket in 1919 with a membership of 26 and an
annual subscription of 3s (15p). This season saw the club play four home games against Leighton Buzzard,
Simpson, Billington, Stoke and ‘Ivy Leaf’ and four away games at Leighton Buzzard, Billington, Wavendon
and Slapton). When playing away games the team would hire a horse and trap for the ‘umpire and scorers,
the cost for this and tea was 4s (20p).
As today, the Club in the 1920s needed to raise funds to enable them to pay for cricket equipment, score
books, fixture cards, repairs and painting of sight screens, work to the pitch, repair of the mower, the
umpire’s and scorer’s tea, transport to away games, carriage of equipment from the railway station and postage.
Funds were raised from concerts, dances and whist drives as well as subscriptions and the sale of fixture cards.
From the early 1900s the Club provided cricket kit for the players and restocked from Gunn and Moore of
Nottingham. The kit was sent by train from Nottingham to Bletchley station for collection.
The clubs assets in 1920 were recorded as follows:
- 1 cricket bag
- 2 cricket balls
- 3 pairs of gloves
- 4 pairs of pads
- 1 bat
- 2 damaged bats
- 1 set of stumps
- 1 tent
- 2 mowing machines
- 1 telegraph board
- 1 set of telegraph figures
In 1920 Stratton Park Boys School relocated from Biggleswade to Great Brickhill, in the grounds of the
Manor. In 1920 Mr J W Clouston who was headmaster of the school became the clubs new president, although
he was only in this position for one year. From this point the cricket field was shared between the club
and the school.
During 1921 the Club became Great Brickhill Sports Club, because of the introduction of a football team
that played in the Ascot League. However, the cricket club regained its autonomy in 1924 with Sir E P
Duncome again becoming its President.
In 1928 the club was in a healthy position with a balance of £102-12-1 (£102.60). There is a record in
the Club’s accounts that a pavilion was built at a cost of £35-14-6 (£35.72).
Throughout this period U16’s were playing, but in 1931 the club brought a junior cricket set to encourage
the village youngsters to join the club. The following season Sir E P Duncombe agreed to give a monetary
prize to those U17’s who had the best batting and bowling averages as well as highest catches.
Master R.S Turner was fortunate enough to receive the award for highest batting average and highest catches,
collecting £1-5d. By this time it was agreed that the team would practice four times a week.
In 1933 the Stratton Park Boys School relocated to Brickendonbury (Hertfordshire) and the club had the
ground to itself. In the same year fund raising was taking place at a larger scale. For the first time
a comedian was contracted to entertain at the Club’s annual dinner and a hundred tickets were sold.
1934 saw the Club accepting the tenancy of the cricket field from Sir E P Duncombe for a nominal annual
rental of one pound and the right to sub let the field for short periods for sheep grazing with any
profits going to Club funds. Also this year, it was agreed with Mrs Jones the Head Mistress of the school
that it could have full use of the Club’s facilities once a week for forty five minutes, providing they stayed
off the square and keep to the junior practice wicket.
In 1936 Sir E P Duncombe donated the cricket field to Great Brickhill Parish Council for the use of sports
activities and the provision for the erection of a single storey pavilion in the future.
In 1937 due to the growth of the cricket club a Second XI was formed.
There was no recorded cricket played during the Second World War from 1939 to 1945.
1945 - 1976
On Tuesday 25th June 1946 a general meeting of Great Brickhill Cricket Club took place. The acting Chairman said:-
‘They were meeting that evening to decide to future of Great Brickhill Cricket. They had always been very proud
of their village cricket team and it would indeed be a great pity if the grand old game of cricket was not once
again started on the field which they had played for so many years. He personally thought that every effort
should be made to get the game restarted as soon as possible in the village. He was quite sure that there was a
real keenness amongst the younger members present and he did not think there should be great difficulty in getting
a really useful team in the near future’.
After further discussion it was unanimously agreed that efforts should be made to restart the club. The committee
for the 1946 season was made up of Mr C Tofield , Mr A Bates (captain), Mr W Dickens, , Mr C Walduck, Mr E Haycock,
Mr R Hall (secretary) and Mr J Robinson (vice captain).
With the revival of the Club, funds were required and in the summer of 1946 saw the organising of a village
fete. A very impressive £136-12-10 (£136.64) profit was reported.
In 1948 prizes were still being given out to the winnings of averages etc the winning of the bowling average
was a Mr. W Dickens who took over a hundred wickets in the season.
The club went on its first tour in 1949 with two coaches hired to take the cricketers and supporters to
Bream in Gloucestershire. By this time the club now contracted a bus company to transport the team to all
away games. Throughout the 1940s (and 1930s) the clubs main hurdle seemed to be the upkeep of it mowers and
in 1949 it was reported that the club should collect it’s mower from H. Smith of Leighton Buzzard because it
had be there for two years and had not been repaired.
The current score hut at the far end of the field was built in 1950, by club members as the away team pavilion,
following the clearance of some timber farm buildings. The home team continued to use the timber pavilion built
at the time of the Stratton Park Boys School.
The horse drawn mower was replaced at this time by a Fordson tractor which was purchased at auction from
Government surplus supplies.
In 1953 the club elected Mr T Snushall to become the Club’s first Chairman. In the following year Mr A Bates
stood down as Club Captain after eight years. He had done a great deal for the club and he continued to do so as
secretary and the grounds man. He had done every job possible and without his efforts the club would have failed
to exist after the war.
By 1957 enough of the members had cars, so the Club no longer needed to rely on the taxi’s previously provided
to attend away matches.
In 1961 Mr R S Turner became Chairman of the club after Mr Mckenzie was president for the previous two years.
A junior section was mentioned in 1965 and in 1969 extra fixtures were arranged to allow more juniors to play.
In 1972 the club entered its first knock out cup competition which was held at Bletchley Cricket Club and was
sponsored by Don Coleman. Until the early 1970s the Club only played a few fixtures on a Sunday and those that
were arranged had to be complete by the 6pm church service. More regular fixtures now took place.
The Club’s President, Sir E P Duncombe died in 1972 after many years supporting the club and was succeeded by
Sir P Duncombe who remained President until 1999.
1974 saw the Club practising during the winter at the cricket nets at Bletchley leisure centre.
The 1970s saw the Club decide to build a new pavilion and outline planning permission was obtained. Two options
were considered, a free standing building with full facilities and a second a similar construction connected to
the village hall in Rotten Row. It was agreed that the Club should build a free standing pavilion near the tennis courts.
In 1975 the club was struggling to raise enough money for the pavilion and local support for the pavilion was low.
Different forms of construction were considered including and offer from Bletchley Motors of a steel framed, asbestos
clad building as a gift. A pavilion was imminent; it was just a question of what type of building would be constructed.
1977 - 1991
After many years of fund raising, talking and planning the current brick built pavilion, with a licensed bar
was built during 1977 and opened for the 1978 season. Read about the building of the Pavilion here.
The pavilion was opened initially at weekends for cricket and on the Wednesday club night but due to demand of
the cricket club members this was extended to every night, except Mondays and lunch times at weekends.
The opening of the pavilion acted as a catalyst for increasing the interest in the Club, both from the playing
and social side. The success of the pavilion as a social meeting place led to further improvement in the facilities.
The access from Lower Way was improved in 1979 and in 1980 planning approval was granted to extend the pavilion to
provide a purpose built kitchen, new ladies toilets and a room for cricket teas/ functions. This room later became
known as Rupert’s Room, in memory of Rupert Brunt, a past Captain.
The cricket in the Club was also strengthening and in 1980, for the first time since the war the Club had sufficient
members to field a Saturday 2nd team.
The Club recognised the importance of the introduction of league cricket for the development of the game of cricket
and joined the local league.
In 1981 the Club won the Beds and Bucks Border League and were considered to be one of the strongest village
team in the area.
In the season of 1983 to encourage junior cricket the Club entered an Under 14 team into Ampthill and District
league. This year also saw the players and social members run a half marathon around Great Brickhill, Little Brickhill
and Stoke Hammond to raise money for Cancer Research.
After several years of talking about going on tour, the Club finally went on tour in July 1985 to the Cotswolds.
The tourists played four games against Down Hatherly, Sudbrooke, Shurdington and British Rail.
1985 Tour to the Cotswolds Click for full image
Dennis, Williams, Mr Vacher, Chris Vacher, Pat Walters, Henry Green, Bob Young
Nigel Wade, Simon Williams, Mark Grass, David Murgatroyd, Dave Cook, Len Enoch
At the end of 1985 Richard Turner stood down as Chairman of the Club, to be replaced by his son Michael, who had
been Club captain for the previous ten years.
The Club won the winter Milton Keynes Indoor Cricket league on their first venture in this form of cricket in 1989.
The strength of the cricket in the Club in the three seasons from 1990 to 1992 was shown with three Beds and
Bucks Border League wins and two Cup wins.
1992 - Present
In 1992, the Club formed a junior cricket section with the aim of giving local children the opportunity to learn,
play and enjoy the game of cricket. Four senior players attended lengthy coaching courses and youngsters were
invited to come along on Sunday mornings to have a go.
The 1993 season was a milestone year for the Club. The popularity of the junior cricket and the enthusiasm of the
all the players to improve the cricket at the Club led to the paid employment of a professional coach, Greg Thomas.
Greg Thomas was a former fast bowler for Northamptonshire and an England test player. Through the 1993 season and
for the following seven seasons Greg coached the junior and senior players and played for the first XI.
The commitment to provide professional cricket coaching placed a financial pressure on the Club which could only
be met by outside grants / sponsorship. This started the Club on a path to gain grants / sponsorship from
cricketing organisations, Local Authorities and local businesses, something which has carried on to the present day.
Barn dances at Rectory Farm also became a popular annual event to help raise money
From early 1993, under Greg’s direction, junior cricketers attended indoor net session for the first time during the
winter, and Club’s first ever junior teams, Under 12 & 14 joined the Milton Keynes and District junior League. The
success of the junior coaching led to the coaching sessions taking place on three days of the week with friendly
matches organised for all age groups as well as league fixtures.
The first junior success was achieved when an Under 15 side became the Milton Keynes & District League winners, and
several juniors were strong enough to play for the senior Sunday XI.
The club, now firmly committed to organising and promoting junior cricket joined the Northamptonshire Cricket
Association (NCA) for the 1995 season. Several juniors attended county nets throughout the winter and two were
selected to play for Northamptonshire, one of whom was also selected to play for the Bedfordshire Schools Cricket
Association. All teams performed extremely well in their first NCA season, with the Under 16 side being declared
joint winners of the division having had their final rained off twice.
1995, also saw a new Parish Hall built next to pavilion which gave the Club the opportunity to improve the facilities
by building an air conditioned cellar and a new away changing room. This led to the internal re design and improvement
of the showers toilets and home changing room.
The 1996 season saw the Under 16s reaching the final of the NCA League and the Under 14s winning their league in an
exciting final hosted by the Club. By now several juniors were playing regularly in the senior XI’s.
In the 1998 season the first XI joined the Ouse Valley league, after winning the Border County league six times in
the last eight years. The Club didn’t manage to win the league, however they won the Premier Cup Competition.
By the turn of the century the Club had lost a lot of the players that had been so successful in the 90s and now a
very young Club team, which had graduated through the junior coaching, was fending for itself in the premier league
of the Four Counties Cricket League. After narrowly escaping relegation the previous two years, the Club was
relegated in 2003.
In 2004 the Club side won the Second Division only losing one game during the season and was promoted back into
the top league, captained by Lee Morgan.
2005 saw the Club take part in ‘Cricket Force’ a national event to improve grass root cricket facilities. It was
on the ‘Cricket Force’ weekend the Club’s members constructed the decking at the front of the pavilion which now
offers a great place to watch cricket on summer afternoons.
The clubs first ever overseas player, Ashley Holloway from Tasmania arrived in 2006. Ashley proved a great influence
amongst the Club and locals. When he wasn’t playing he was working behind the bar at The George Inn in Little Brickhill.
By now the Club was becoming a main contender in the top division and the young players that had struggled together
since the early 2000s were beginning to come of age. The Club won the MK Sunday League Division one for the first
time in an unbeaten season and also the Midweek League.
2007 was to prove a great year for the Club on and off the field. Shannon Tubb (Ex Australian U19 captain) was to
become player/coach and the team was also boosted by the return of Ashley Holloway for his second season. The first
trophy won by the Club was the Leighton six a side tournament, which the Club had only won once before. On the last
Saturday of the season the Club won Division One of the Four Counties Cricket League, beating New Bradwell by 9 wickets.
The first XI ended the season unbeaten. The following day the team played Wolverton Town, needing to win to retain the
MK Sunday league. Again it was a comfortable win.
The junior fund raising dinner and auction, held in October raised vital money for the Club’s ambitious plans to
improve the cricket facilities. The success of this event has enabled the Club to, not only replace the existing
artificial wicket but also provide the Club with an indoor cricket facility on Michael Turner’s farm for winter
coaching for both senior and junior players.
2008 will provide the club with additional challenges, because it has joined the strong Cherwell League and is now
fielding a Saturday third XI.