The Long Marston Cricket Club was formed in 1867, although there is evidence that an eleven from Long Marston played (and beat) Tring Cricket Club two years earlier in 1865. Perhaps this taste of success prompted the players to go on to form the cricket club.
The cricket club played at various locations around the village including The Brade (field behind Marston Court) and latterly the Long Marston Recreation Ground on a coconut mat over concrete, but in 1961 moved to its existing site. This move came about when it was heard that the Rev. Anthony was prepared to sell the Marlin’s allotments.
The cricket club had weekly committee meetings and the chairman, Len Dean, instructed Treasurer Chris Proctor to find out from his wife Jenny (who was Father Anthony’s housekeeper) if it was true that the site might be available. The result was positive, a whip round of club members for the £40 deposit was held and the balance required was accrued by the committee. Trust deeds signed in 1961.
Terry Clay was one of the people who signed the deed and became a trustee. Apparently this was by accident as, at the time, Terry a young boy working in the yard at Deans was asked to come in to provide an additional signature as legally required. To this day he remains a trustee.
The club completed its pavilion in 1965 and the building was officially opened in 1966. Several extensions over the years have bought the clubhouse to its current state.
In the late 80’s extra land was purchased from the estate of Little Farm, Long Marston. The club negotiated the purchase of this land, which enabled increased boundaries to be established, eventually bringing the pitch up to county standard.
The Long Marston Cricket Club has hosted matches in the National Minor Counties Championship every year since 1994, the first of these matches against Suffolk in that year, with international star Derek Randall as their pro.
2010 saw Long Marston Cricket Club hosting games in the ECB Trophy National 40 Over competition, played by the second elevens of the top county sides, as well as the MCC Unicorns A (combined Minor Counties side containing many top level players).
The Cricket Club continues to thrive and currently boasts three teams playing in the Oxford Cherwell League. In order that all three teams can play when two are scheduled to be at home, the Cricket Club has come to an arrangement with Mentmore Cricket Club to use their ground in exchange for Long Marston providing pitch maintenance, guidance and support.
A bore hole to the original allotment well was recently sunk. Fortunately the borehole struck water but unfortunately, much to the players’ disappointment, not beer!
Article was written by Paul Dumpleton.
For more information, visit the Long Marston Cricket Club website.