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ASHLEY CRICKET CLUB
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1888 to 2013 - Celebrating 125 years of cricket at Ashley

A brief history of Ashley Cricket Club

This section compiled with the help of  "Ashley Cricket Club; A History 1888 - 1988" by GF Turton and numerous minute books dating from 1890.

 

1888 – Founded. Ashley village comprised a small cluster of cottages close to the Greyhound Inn, a row of railway cottages together with the recently erected St. Elizabeth’s church and the school, built in 1850. The club rented a field from a Mr. Norbury.

 

1890 – Moved to current ground, “the Railway Field”, rented from Mr Erlam who offered the two acre field for an annual rent of £6, with the option of grazing cattle thereon. An offer of £8 with no grazing was accepted by the landowner for exclusive use of the ground.

 

1890 – Match reports appeared in the Altrincham & Bowdon Guardian detailing two games against Tatton.

 

1890 – First recorded AGM held the Village School room on 29th September. The Treasurer reported a balance of 11 shillings and thrupence.

 

1891 – Ground extended to 51 by 41 yards. First recorded match played against local rivlas Timperley. Ashley were 40 all out in pursuit of Timperley’s 46. In the first season 13 games were played of which 6 were won and 3 were drawn. Toft, Mobberley, Lymm, Tatton and Dunham were amongst the opposition.

 

1892 – Mr J Cater Owen provided the club with a tent, which may have served as a pavilion for a number of years. Mr. Hiles donated a flagpole. On 11th June eleven gentlemen of Ashley played against eleven ladies of Ashley. The men batted with broomsticks; they also bowled and fielded left-handed. The ladies “had the assistance of Miss Mabel Bentley of Knutsford, one of the best lady players in the County”. Miss Bentley took 16 wickets in a two innings a side game. In a game played at Timperley on 27th August, W Bracegirdle carried his bat for 35 out of a total of 83, the first recorded instance of this being achieved by an Ashley batsmen.

 

1894 – Opponents included Chelford, Brooklands, Fulshaw and Bowdon.

 

1895 – Letter received from a firm of solicitors suggesting the club may be contravening The Highways Act by wheeling bicycles down the path to the ground. First recorded 2nd XI game v Altrincham Grammar School.

 

1896 – Ashley are dismissed for 16 against Bowdon 2nds, E Davies scores 15 the other run is an extra. Bowdon score 165 in reply.

 

1897 – Of the 12 games played 5 were won and 2 were drawn.

 

1899 – Hockey played at Ashley

 

1900 – President, Rev G Birtwell and 5 other Vice Presidents resigned from the committee. The General Meeting was held in November in the Greyhound Inn.

 

1901 – The “tent” was broken into and a number of unspecified items were stolen.

 

1902 – A professional concert party, “The Merrions”, were engaged to entertain the members at The Literary Institute (later part of the now defunct Stamford Hall) at a cost of £18. Committee members distribute 2,500 handbills to houses in the Altrincham/Hale area, a further 1,500 are given out in the streets on the night of the concert.

 

1903 – C Disraeli MP invited to become Patron. 1st and 2nd XI batsman and bowler of the year to receive 5/- prize; if funds allowed it the fielder of the year to also receive 5/-

 

1904 – Club colours agreed. The square was re-laid in part. C Disraeli MP is deleted from the list of Patrons. In a game against Mr W J Crossley’s XI R.A. Lambert takes all 10 wickets for 22 runs, 7 were clean bowled. R Hall (6*) carries his bat in the first innings of a game against Bowdon 2nd XI on 27th August.

 

1906 – Annual dinner held at the Greyhound Inn. Tennis played at the club. Throughout the year 32 committee meetings were held, a Mr Davenport attended 28 of them.

 

1911 – Village fete held on the ground on 15th July. Admission 3d before 5pm, 6d after 5pm. The club now owned a horse, which was used for mowing and rolling.

 

1914 – Ground enlarged by 6 yards. A pavilion fund was started. Rent increased to £10 per year.

 

1915 – At EGM the Secretary revealed that fixture secretaries from numerous clubs had written to say that owing to the War their membership had been greatly depleted and they were obliged to cancel all their fixtures.

 

Wed 16th April 1919 – Ashley CC reconstituted. During the coming season the club would play 16 games; 6 were won and 10 lost.

 

1920 – New pavilion erected by Mr. Collier at a cost of £79.

 

1921 – Local Member of Parliament Major Hamilton became a Vice President and paid a subscription.

 

1922 – The club had 48 playing members. The drainage had been troublesome for a number of years and the surface drains were cleared out. A horse was still on the ground staff. An extra 2nd XI was formed playing mid-week or away games.

 

1923 – C Vickers takes a hat trick and 4 wickets in 5 balls. T Rowlands scores the first recorded club hundred.

 

1925 – A Mr. Gill wanted £33 for cutting the long grass around the ground. A fee of £25 was eventually agreed on. The tea pavilion was demolished.

 

1929 – The club now owned a petrol mower. A 3rd XI played Cleveland (Hale) on Saturday 1st June at Grove Lane, Hale, this is the first reference to an Ashley 3rd XI.

 

1930 – Only 2 matches were won. The clubs holds its first tour, during Whit Week to Wirksworth. J K Allen scores a then record 511 runs.

 

1931 – Of 20 matches 6 were won and 11 lost.

 

1934 – 11 out of 23 matches were won. A new ladies pavilion was erected. A match levy (6d) was introduced. H Wood scores 516 runs.

 

1935 – K Allen and G Jackson put on 199 for the 1st wicket, opposition unknown.

 

1936 – Ground enlarged by a further 28 yards.

 

1937 – F Goodacre takes all 10 wickets against Mobberley. In the Manchester Guardian there is a reference to polo being played at on the ground.

 

1938 – After an approach from Altrincham Cricket Club the following was resolved, “this committee is in principle opposed to the idea of a League or Association.” Alistair Carmichael completes 4 successive innings of 50 or more.

 

1939 – 10 Ashley members serving with H.M. Forces were made Honorary Members and were given preference for games when they were on leave. TocH Hockey club rent the ground for £2 10/- and 7/6 per game.

 

1943 – The club joined forces with Bowdon Vale to turn out “an Eleven” and this association continued until the end of hostilities. V H Howe took 9 wickets in one match.

 

1946 – One Ashley XI played this season.

 

1947 – Sunday cricket played for the first time. A limit on membership is placed at 45. Prospective players would have to attend nets and appear before the committee; they would then be told the likelihood of them gaining a respectable number of games.

 

1948 – The club advertises for a groundsman in the Altrincham & Bowdon Guardian, J K Stockton applies for the position.

 

1949 – A Brown (106 @6.66) and J N Allott (103 @ 7.64) both take over 100 wickets in all cricket

 

1952 – Tea pavilion purchased from Garswood Tennis Club, who played near Princess Parkway, for £90. J N Allott took 6 for 0 against Prestbury.

 

1953 – A catering secretary was appointed.

 

1956 – Ashley agreed to join a proposed Cheshire Cricket Association if and when it was formed.

 

1957 – Ashley became a founder member of the Cheshire Cricket Club Conference. Its aim was to preserve traditional friendly cricket. To placate those wanting league cricket complete with points a knock out competition with limited overs was formed to be played in the evening.

 

1958 – The club declined to join the Cheshire Cricket Association, organised for competitive cricket. Ashley hosted a Pakistani Eaglets team that contained, amongst others, Mushtaq Mohammed.

 

1960 – A President’s Match against Urmston was staged mainly as a reunion of past members. An advert was placed in the Altrincham Guardian inviting applications for membership. Eloquent appeals to take charge of the emptying of the toilets fell on deaf ears.

 

1962 – Calor gas lighting installed in both pavilions. Our current landlord, Mr Brooks purchased Tatton Estates. No sale of the ground was possible neither would a long lease be offered. The sale of intoxicating liquor was also ruled out. We were assured there was no likelihood of the club losing the ground.

 

1963 – A junior section was formed under the guidance of Stuart Naylor and Bert Pendlebury. The club celebrated its 75th anniversary with a dinner at the Unicorn Hotel in Altrincham with Mr Cyril Washbrook (Lancashire and England) as the principle speaker. A Presidents Match was held with two professional league players, Bob Bartels and Lou Laza and D Millner of Derbyshire County Cricket Club.

 

1964 – The Chant Trophy, a rose bowl donated by Mr Chant for meritorious service to the club disappeared, as did Mr Chant.

 

1969 – Mr E A Coupes passed away and left £2,000 to the club in his will. He would walk from his home in Sale to watch Ashley when in his seventies. His umpiring abilities were often called into question and with reluctance he was asked to stand down. His dignified acceptance of this request came with the remark that his eyesight not being all together what it was.

 

1970 – The club joins the Cheshire Cricket Association.

 

1973 – A six would now be awarded if the ball fell in or cleared the gutter. Previously the ball had to clear the hedge or one of the pavilions.

 

1974- The Cheshire Cricket Association decides that games will be played on an overs basis as opposed to time cricket.

 

1975 – Outline permission was received to install a bar. The club won the Cheshire Association knock out trophy beating Runcorn in the final.

 

1977 – The committee instructed all team captains that it was not club policy to run out the non-striking batsman without warning being given. A bar is installed in the pavilion.

 

1978 – The club joins the Cheshire Cricket League. Under 18’s win Cheshire Cricket League Trophy defeating High Lane.

 

1979 – A 28 year lease agreed with Tatton Estates, enabling the club to approach Macclesfield Council for a grant to help with the cost of a new pavilion.

 

1985 – A club tour takes place to Warwickshire. The club was relegated into Division Two.

 

1986 – On the 3rd July the committees of Ashley and Old Alts CC meet to discuss a possible merger.

 

1986 – At a meeting held on 25th July the club resolved to amalgamate with Old Altrinchamians Cricket Club. The position of Chairman was created, Peter Birtles was elected to the position.

 

1987 – 3rd XI re-created and will play in the Cheshire County Cricket League

 

1989 – 3rd XI finish as runners-up in the C division of the County League.

 

1990 – 1st XI loses only one game and goes through the season without being bowled out; they are promoted as champions to Division 1. A new pavilion is discussed at the AGM.

 

1991 – Club is reprimanded for fielding only 8 men in the first 2nd XI game of the season.

 

1992 – An application for help with the funding of a new pavilion is turned down by the Foundation for Sport and the Arts.

 

1994 – 1st XI relegated to the 2nd Division. One of our 3rd XI opponents complained to the league that we were fielding ineligible players; they were later reprimanded for the same offence and they had 77 points deducted. Grant funding secured for the new pavilion. Steve Tyrrell scores a then league record 1037 runs, including 5 centuries.

 

1995 – AGM held in the new pavilion funded in part with the help of Macclesfield Borough Council. Roger Arnoll retires (for the 1st time). 2nd XI wins the knock out competition.

 

1996 – 2nd XI wins the league championship. They win 9 of the last 11 games.

 

1999 – 1st XI shares the league title with Bollington. Roger Arnoll returns to playing.

 

2000 – The club tours are revived; this year the team visits South Wales losing to Ammanford and beating Dafen.

 

2003 – The 2nd XI travelled to Malpas with only 7 players. Ashley hosts a Cheshire Cricket League representative fixture.

 

2004 – The 1st XI is denied promotion to the 2nd Division. The annual tour this year is to Devon.

 

2005 – The 1st XI wins the 3rd Division championship. Ashley is awarded Club of the Year at the Cheshire Cricket League annual dinner.

 

2006 – 1st XI promoted to Division One as runners-up. 2nd XI wins the Twenty20 cup and promotion to Division A as runners-up. Ashley is the 624th club in the country to receive the Clubmark accreditation.

 

2007 – The club enters an Under 9s team into the Cheshire County League (CCCL) and an Under 13s team into the South Manchester Junior Cricket League (SMJCL); the Under 13s reach the semi final of the League Cup. The club actively recruits an amateur overseas player for the first time, Trevor Daly, an opening bowler from Victoria.

 

2008 – 4th team created, which will play in the 4th Division of the CCCL. Another junior side, at Under 15 level, joins the SMJCL. Matt Wardle tops Under 15 league averages and is highest run scorer in the division. 13 years old Alex Eaton is highest run scorer in the whole league. The lease for the ground is renewed and runs until 2037.

 

2009 – Under 18 and Under 11 sides enter the CCCL and SMJCL. The club achieves Clubmark re-accreditation. Planning permission sought from the new Cheshire East council for a three lane practice net and a score-box.

 

2010 – First junior trophy is won; an Ashley side made up of Under 9s wins the Sale CC Under 11s tournament. Three lanes of artificial nets built on the Eastern side of the ground, total cost is over £42,000, with support from the ECB, Cheshire East council, the Lord’s Taverners, Cheshire Action Group and the Cheshire Cricket Board.

2011 – 1st XI reaches the semi final of the Cheshire Shield; the first time the club has made it so far in any county cup. Construction begins on purpose built score-box in the south west corner of the ground.

2012 - An Over 40’s team will play in the Chapel Press Cheshire County Cricket League. The club will run a third Saturday side as an academy for promising juniors, it will play in the newly created 6th Division of the Cheshire Cricket Alliance and will use Rostherne CC’s ground as its home pitch. 1st XI relegated to Division 2.