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Cricket in Longstone in the 19th Century

Monday 26th December 2022
& News

This article is largely based on newspaper reports found in The British Newspaper Archive[1], together with other documentary information. It is not a history of cricket in general, but focuses on the sport in Longstone, Derbyshire, with references to cricket played in villages nearby[2].

By way of introduction, David Griffin, Heritage Officer for Derbyshire County Cricket Club[3], wrote of cricket in Derbyshire in the 18th Century:

The first recorded reference of cricket played in Derby was in 1785, when a single wicket match took place on 4 August in what is now the Friar Gate area between Edward Smedley and Thomas Hadley. Smedley won by eight notches, but a dispute then led to a fight between the two men which Smedley also won.

However, even earlier than that, Wirksworth defeated Sheffield on 1 September 1757 at Brampton Moor, Chesterfield.

There’s also a painting dating from 1789 by Derby’s Joseph Wright which shows the children of Swanwick Hall preparing to play cricket[4] and in 1792 a Derby side played Castle Donington in Derby.

In addition, John Shawcroft, in his book, Cricket Grounds of Derbyshire[5], though he describes the origins of cricket in the county as sketchy, refers to William Cavendish, the third Duke of Devonshire, as the first Derbyshire cricketer to make a name for himself,  and mentions that he played in a cricket match in Hyde Park, in 1730.  He also refers to a match played at Bakewell Common in May, 1775.

Although there is this evidence of cricket being played in Derbyshire in the 18th century, it is in the 1830’s and 1840’s that we see cricket being taken up in Longstone and nearby villages.  The history page of the Chatsworth Cricket Club website, records that cricket had been played by estate workers at Chatsworth since 1832, with the continuing support of successive Dukes of Devonshire[6].   Chatsworth Park, as noted in newspaper reports, was also the venue for cricket matches involving teams from villages not connected with Chatsworth.  For instance, the Derbyshire Courier of  14th September 1839 states “We understand that on Monday next, a match will be played in Chatsworth Park between eleven of Totley and eleven of Hathersage clubs”, and a report in the same newspaper of  22nd July 1843, referring to Baslow Wakes, states The forthcoming wakes is very likely to be attended with an unusual quantity of cricket matches, which will come off in Chatsworth Park”  presumably at the recently opened new cricket ground, described in the following report from the Buxton Herald:

Buxton Herald – Thursday 08 June 1843

Cricket – The cricket players of Edensor and Pilsley have had the gratification of having had an opportunity afforded them for making a debut on the splendid new cricket ground at Chatsworth Park, by a challenge from Calver and Curbar union club, but have respectfully declined to accept it. In reference to the new cricket ground at Chatsworth, we beg leave to remark, that amongst the many admirers and supporters of this favourite amusement, none have been found equal to J Paxton Esq of Chatsworth gardens, whose liberality and kindness upon all occasions have been manifested in the highest degree, and entitle him to the eulogium bestowed upon him by all parties.

David Griffin also refers to the Duke of Devonshire as being a member of the South Derbyshire Cricket Club, formed in 1835[7], and, clearly over many years, the Dukes of Devonshire were very much involved in cricket as players and supporters of the game both at Chatsworth and its surrounding villages: Edensor, Pilsley, Beeley and Baslow. In addition, as a major landowner in Longstone, the family would undoubtedly have had some influence on what took place in the village, and cricket was probably a game which they would have encouraged villagers to play.

The popular Wakes Weeks sports of bear and bull baiting were mercifully banned in 1835[8], and this appears to have resulted in alternative sports, such as cricket, being introduced into Wakes Weeks festivities in villages such as Ashford, Baslow, Chapel en le Frith, Curbar, Froggatt, Hassop and Hathersage, as a number of newspaper reports from the 1840’s indicate.

The following two reports provide documentary evidence of when people from Longstone first played cricket, and when matches first took place in the village –

Buxton Herald – Thursday 22 June 1843

Ashford Wakes,— Last week the annual feast of this interesting village, and an unusual degree of amusement and innocent pleasure was enjoyed by the worthy villagers and their friends. The inclemency of the weather at the commencement-deducted to some degree from their wonted amusements; but the great change which occurred towards the middle of the week, greatly compensated for the inconvenience experienced in the rainy part of the week. On Thursday, which was extremely fine, a cricket match was played at Ashford, between eleven of Ashford and Longstone, and eleven of Foolow, which was won the latter in one inning.

Derbyshire Courier – Saturday 05 October 1844

Longstone Wakes.- At this feast, which has just terminated, there was no lack of “friends” feasting, or amusement, but moderation seemed the order of the day. On the wake eve, G Morrwood, Esq, of Thornbridge, distributed a fat sheep amongst the poorest of the inhabitants, accompanying each piece of mutton with a quarter of a stone of flour, some potatoes and apples. The inhabitants highly appreciate this seasonable and substantial gift. The great improvement manifesting itself among the people is worthy of remark, for, but four years ago, and here might be seen the last remnant of barbarity – bear-baiting – with all its attendant blackguardism ; instead of which, now we have cricketing, quoit playing, skittles, dancing, &c.

None of the newspaper reports relating to Longstone Wakes give any information about who played in the cricket matches or whereabouts in the village they were played. There is an indication in some of the reports that Wakes activities took place in a croft near the church, presumably what we now know as Church Croft. It is my opinion that the cricket matches were played in the same place.

From the mid 1840’s it would appear from newspaper reports that schoolboy and junior cricket was starting up in various places in Derbyshire. It was at this time that the value of playing organized sport in school was being recognized by educators. In her article “Quotes from Great Longstone Primary School 1676 – 1969”[9] Sheila Hurst states that “In 1837 Mr Scott was appointed Headmaster (of Longstone School) and proved to be an outstanding teacher”. It is probably reasonable then to assume that Mr Scott was aware of these developments and promoted the introduction of cricket at Longstone School and that, as the following reports in the Derbyshire Courier from 1849 indicate, he received support from the Rev Hodson, –

Derbyshire Courier – Saturday 08 September 1849

Longstone School Feast.- This annual treat came off on Wednesday last. The day being beautifully fine added very much to the pleasure of the festive throng. At two o’clock those pupils who belong to the “School Cricket Club” assembled upon their grounds and commenced practising, the other boys were engaged in that and other amusements in a field adjoining. At three o’clock the girls assembled in their school room, and the boys in theirs, from whence they went in order to a small croft close to the church, where tables were fixed for them. Each girl carried in her hand a small, but very neat bouquet of flowers. Grace was sung by the choir, and in a minute were seated. Tea and cake were served in abundance, and ample justice was done to both. Several of the neighbouring ladies and gentlemen attended, and took great interest in the affair; the number of children was about 140. After tea the Evening Hymn was sung by all present. The boys then retired to their various games, the cricketers played a well contested practice match, (being engaged to play Ashford club in the wakes week). The Rev. J. S. Hodson was so delighted with the skill evinced, that he presented the club with the price of a new ball, 6s. About half past seven all retired highly pleased with their entertainment.

Derbyshire Courier – Saturday 22 September 1849

LONGSTONE v. ASHFORD. A very interesting cricket match was played at Great Longstone, on Tuesday, between eleven of Longstone School Club and the same number of the Ashford Junior Club. The play on both sides was excellent, but great disparity between the two parties. The following is the score:

 

ASHFORD.

Ist innings.                                                                   2nd innings.

  1. Milnes, b W. Fumiss   1                              bW. Fumiss             0

Wm. Jenkinson, c R. Furness     0                                st do                     13

  1. Hallows, c J. Hattersley  2                                run out                 19

Wm. Pullinger, c H.W.Wager    7                                c B. Taylor            6

David Milnes, b A. Hill              3                               b Wm. Furniss….   2

Henry Hall, c. W. Furness        2                                b H. Hill               0

Briggs Halliwell, b H. Hill       2                                 b do                      4

J Bridge, b H. Hill                   4                                  st Wm. Furmiss…. 0

  1. Mawav. c Hattersley  8                                b H. Hill               3
  2. Milnes, not out  0                                b Wm. Fumiss      3

Abel Tomlinson,cWm Furniss   3                                 not out                 3

Byes.                                       1                                  Byes                    0

Wide                                          1                                Wide                   4

Total                                       34                                 Total                 57

 

 

LONGSTONE.

Ist innings.                                                                   2nd innings.

Abel Hill, c Halliwcll….            2                                 b Mawry               9

Wm. Furniss, c Pullinger          0                                 b do                      2

  1. W. Wager, c Mawry.. 8                                 c E. Milnes          19
  2. Hattersley, cE. Milnes 0 c D. Milnes           0
  3. Fumiss, b Hallows .. 1 run out               1

Henry Stone, c. Tomlinson       0                                 do. do                  1

  1. W. Gregory, c Halliwell 0  do. do                  0
  2. Eyre, b Hallows 1                                 b Mawry           5
  3. Taylor, b do 0   run out               0

Samuel Archer, b Mawry         0                                   not out                0

Wm. Taylor, not out                 0                                   run out                0

Bves                                        1                                    Byes                    1

Wide balls                               2                                   Wide balls            0

Total                                     14                                  Total                37

 

Newspaper reports of cricket matches played by Longstone School Club do not mention where the games were played in the village, except in the above report from 8th September 1849 which states “the “School Cricket Club” assembled upon their grounds and commenced practicing”. Presumably this means what is now the school field.  The above report from 22nd September 1849 gives the names of the boys who played for the Longstone School Club. From the census return of 1851 it is possible to glean the following information: the ages of the boys in 1849 ranged from 7 to 14 but only 3 of the boys were under 10; 9 of the boys lived in either Great or Little Longstone with the other 2 residing at the school – one being a boarder and the other a servant; most of the village boys were the sons of farmers, agricultural labourers or similar.

The final aspect of cricket from the 1830’s and 1840’s is that a number of newspaper reports refer to cricket matches between cricket clubs from villages in fairly close proximity to Longstone as well as other parts of Derbyshire. For instance, the Derbyshire Courier of  14th September 1839 states “We understand that on Monday next, a match will be played in Chatsworth Park between eleven of Totley and eleven of Hathersage clubs” ; Derbyshire Courier 11th October 1845 “A match came off at this place on Monday, the 6th instant, between the members of the Stoney Middleton and Curbar clubs”; and Derbyshire Courier 7th August 1847 “Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, two matches at cricket were played between the Froggatt and Curbar Clubs for two new balls.”

Moving into the first half of the 1850’s it seems that cricket in Longstone continued to take the form of games arranged as entertainment during Wakes weeks, held both there and in adjoining villages. There is, however, an interesting article which appeared in the Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal on Friday 26th September 1856 which details a game during Longstone Wakes week between Longstone and Middleton and which was won by the latter. The report then goes on “…and no wonder, there being no ground here where the young men can practise, which is much to regretted, for they are passionately fond of the game, and nothing would more conduce to improvement than the manly game of cricket.” This comment suggests that cricket in Longstone was becoming a more organized game involving some form of cricket club. This view is supported by an article in the Derbyshire Courier which appeared in June 1858:

Derbyshire Courier – Saturday 05 June 1858

ASHFORD v. LONGSTONE. A cricket match was played at Ashford on Monday last, being the feast Monday, between eleven of Ashford and the same number of the Longstone Club, which was won by the latter in one innings with eight runs to spare. The day was remarkably fine, which caused a large concourse of people to assemble as spectators. The bowling of Messrs. Fumiss and Hayward, as well as that of W. Hallows and R. Smith was good, considering the state of the ground where the match took place. The following is the score: –

ASHFORD.

Ist innings.                                                                  2nd innings.

  1. Smith, c R. Furniss. 1          b G. Bennett                            9
  2. Hallows, b W Furniss 7 b G. Bennett                            9
  3. Bridge, b W Furniss 2 b W. Furniss                           0
  4. Smith, bW. Furniss. 0 b F. Hayward                          0
  5. Stone,bW. Furniss 0          b F. Hayward                          5
  6. Thorpe, c G. Bennett 0 b W. Furniss                           0
  7. Smith, b F. Hayward 2 b W. Furniss                           1
  8. Sheldon, b W.Furniss 0 b W  Furniss                           3
  9. Smith, b W. Furniss.. 0 not out                                     5
  10. Smith, not out 0 b W. Furniss                           4
  11. Bridge, c G. Bennett 0 c G. Hill                                  0

Byes                                                                4                                                          6

TOTAL                                                          16                                                        42

 

LONGSTONE

Ist innings.

  1. Furniss, b W Bridge 8
  2. Hodgkinson, b W. Hallows 4
  3. Ward, c W. Hallows 4
  4. Parkin, b R. Smith 1
  5. Bennett, b R. Smith 9
  6. Havward, b W. Hallows 7
  7. Hill, b W Hallows 5
  8. Furniss, b W Hallows 13
  9. Furniss, b W.Hallows 0
  10. Bennett, b W Smith 1
  11. Oliver, not out 0

Byes                                                              14

TOTAL                                                          66

 

In addition, there is a report in the Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal from July 1858 which also makes reference to the “Longstone Club”:

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal – Friday 30 July 1858

Midland Railway Club v. Longstone. – On Saturday last, the 24th inst., a match was played on the Midland Railway Cricket Ground, between eleven of that club and of the Longstone club. The Midland having won the toss sent their opponents to the wickets, who after good and steady play retired with the small score of 32. The Midland then handled the willow, and obtained 92. Longstone then went to the wickets, and had obtained 4! runs with 8 wickets down, when rain put an end to the proceedings. Altogether very agreeable day was spent. The winning club in this instance is to compete with that of the Great Northern Railway club, on the Doncaster Race-course, on Monday next; much interest is felt between each club to the result. The match is expected well contested one. Annexed is the score –

 

LONGSTONE

1st Innings.                                                                  2nd Innings

 

T Ward, b Wragg.                                           4          c Goadsby b Wragg                18

W Furniss c Johnson b Plackett                     4          c Johnson b Wragg                   4

G Bennett run out                                           0          c Wragg b Plackett                   2

G Hulley run out                                             0          b Wragg                                    4

J Ward c and b Wragg                                    0          c Harland b Plackett                1

W Farnsworth b Plackett                               2          b Plackett                                  4

F Heyward c Birch b Plackett                        5          c Goadsby b Wragg                  1

S Hodgkinson b Wragg                                   5          c Richmond b Plackett              0

W Hill c Burnham b Birch                              2          not out                                       0

H Hill b Wragg                                               4

H Eyre not out                                                2         

Wide                                                                2          Wide                                         1

Byes                                                                1          Byes                                          3

Leg Byes                                                         1          Leg Byes                                   3

TOTAL                                                          32                                                          41

 

 

MIDLAND RAILWAY CLUB

1st Innings                                                                   2nd Innings

 

Mr Evans run out                                            8

G Richmond b Furniss                                   5

W Birch b Farnsworth                                   12

W Smith c Bennett b Farnsworth                    1

C Goadsby c Hodgkinson b Farnsworth        0

J Johnson b Heyward                                   10

J Wragg b Heyward                                      38

E Plackett not out                                           3

J Burnham b Heyward                                    0

J Harland c Hodgkinson b Heyward              0

J Eaglesfield b Heyward                                 3

Wide                                                                1

Byes                                                                4

Leg Byes                                                         7

TOTAL                                                          92

As reported in the Derbyshire Courier, another match was played by Longstone against the Midland Railway Club in 1859 in which they fared better than in the previous year. The Midland Railway Club was important in the sporting life of Derby. It was formed by a group of Midland Railway accounts clerks as the Midland Railway Cricket and Quoits Club and later added other sports including football.[10]

As the Midland Railway Cricket club were playing cricket to a high standard it is difficult to explain why it should have played games against Longstone. It may have been a promotional exercise, in connection with the future development of the railway line in 1860, particularly as the ‘Rev G C. Tooth, Wm. Longsdon, Esq, Jno. Sleigh Esq’. and others accompanied the Longstone players.

By 1859, it would appear that Longstone had become a club who were now playing competitive cricket:

Buxton Herald – Thursday 30 June 1859

Cricket Match. – On Saturday last a friendly game of cricket was played on the new cricket ground at Wye Head, betwixt the Buxton and Longstone Cricket Clubs. The wickets, considering the long dry season, and the newness of the ground, was got into the best possible condition. The ground was profusely decorated with small flags, thanks to the care and attention of Mr. Upcher. The Longstone party first handled the willow, and were disposed of for 60 runs ; the Buxtonians then made their appearance at the wickets, but it was soon evident that they stood no chance against the splendid bowling of W. Foundsworth, and W Furness, which was also well seconded by the field. We were very glad indeed to see considerable number of visitors and inhabitants present among whom we noticed E. W. Wilmot, Esq, and family, who seemed to take a lively interest in the progress of the game. In conclusion we would remark, that until the Buxtonians pay more attention to fielding, and get some better bowlers, they can never expect to compete successfully with club like Longstone. The following is the score : .

LONGSTONE

Ist Innings                                                                   2nd Innings

  1. Ward, c G Hibbert, b W Smith 0 (5) st J Favill                        29
  2. Furness, b W Woodruff, 0 (6) run out                             17

R Furness, b W Woodruff                             15          b Smith                                  19

  1. Parkin, b W. Smith, 15          b W Smith                               1
  2. Foundsworth, b W. Woodruff 0 (7) c and b W Smith                9
  3. Heyward, b W Woodruff. 1 (9) run out                               2
  4. Hodgkinson, b W. Smith, 1 (8) c W Smith                          0
  5. Bennett, not out, 13          (1) c J Favill b W Woodruff   2
  6. Hill, b W. Smith, 0 (2) b W Smith                          1
  7. Hill, run out. 10          not out                                     0
  8. Bennett b W Woodruff 0 b Smith                                    0

Byes                                                                4                                                          3

Wides                                                              1                                                          1

Leg Byes                                                         0                                                          2

TOTAL                                                         60.                                                       86

 

BUXTON

1st Innings                                                                   2nd Innings

  1. Fayill, leg before w, 6 (5) c and b Furniss               11
  2. Skidmore, b W Foundsworth 1 (7) b Foundsworth                  0
  3. Skidmore, b W Foundsworth 0 (8) b Foundsworth                11
  4. D, Sutton, b Furniss 2 (4) b Furniss                           3
  5. Woodruff, b Furniss 3 (3) c Heyward                         4
  6. Upcher, b Foundsworth 1 b Foundsworth                       0
  7. Smith, b Furniss 1 (1) run out                               5
  8. Smith not out 6 (2) c Heyward                         3
  9. Hibbert, b Foundsworth 4 (10) not out                             1
  10. Clayton, b Foundsworth 2 (9) b Foundsworth                  0

J, H. Lawson, c G. Bennett                             0.         run out                                    0

Wides                                                              5                                                          4

Byes                                                                7.                                                         0

TOTAL                                                          38.                                                       42

 

It is also significant, as will become clear later, that the abovementioned cricket matches from 1858 and 1859 featured 2 members of the Ward family – Thomas and Joseph, and 3 members of the Furness family – Robert, William and Thomas.

 

The years between 1860 and 1885 appear to be an interesting period in the evolution of Longstone Cricket Club as there are a number of conflicting pieces of information which need to be clarified:

On page 126 of Longstone Records, published 1906, GT Wright wrote “The present Cricket Club dates from 1885, and the Secretary is Mr. William Nadin, whose predecessors were respectively Messrs. John Davis, George Ward, and Thomas Davis. About 25 years before that date a club was formed under the Secretaryship of

Mr. George Ward, but after some years it became extinct”.

Firstly, Wright is more or less correct in suggesting the cricket club was formed about 1860. However, I think he is probably incorrect in stating that George Ward was the first secretary. According to the 1861 census George Ward was only 15 years old whereas his brothers Joseph and Thomas, who had played in the 1858 and 1859 games were 21 and 24 respectively so it is more likely that either one of George’s older brothers was the first secretary with George’s time as secretary falling between that of Thomas and John Davis.

The evidence for the comment about the “present cricket club dating from 1885” is in a report in the Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald from March 1885:

Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald – Saturday 14 March 1885

LONGSTONE

Cricket Club Meeting.—On Tuesday night. March 10th. a meeting was held at the White Lion Inn, for the purposes of forming a cricket club for Longstone. Mr. John Thornhill occupied the chair, and read a letter from Mr.Gilson Martin to the effect that His Grace the Duke of Devonshire had generously offered a cricket ground to the young men of Longstone. Tbe following resolution was carried unanimously – “That a cricket club be formed and  called the Longstone Cricket Club.” The following officers were elected for the year 1886 : President. Captain Smithers; Vice President Mr. Fleraven; committee Messrs. Joseph Johnson, Isaac Bennett. Jasper Oliver. E Welby and A Bossom. Captain, Mr. George Ward. Treasurer and umpire, Mr. John Thornhill, honorary secretary, Mr. John Hutchinson, the Cottage Great Longstone. who will be pleased to receive challenges an early date.

The point regarding whether the cricket club “…….after some years… became extinct” is more difficult to prove or disprove from newspaper reports. Whilst there are a number of reports of Longstone cricket matches in local newspapers between 1860 and 1885 they are not very regular. This is partly due to the Derbyshire Times requiring a payment for inserting cricket scores which resulted in very few cricket scores from any cricket clubs appearing in the newspaper. In addition, it is likely that the cricket club only played a handful of games during a season. I found reports on Longstone cricket matches from the years 1861, 1867, 1869, 1870, 1874, 1875 and 1884 which may suggest a period of extinction between 1875 and 1884. There is, however, another newspaper report 1899 which infers cricket was played continuously between 1874 and 1885, as detailed below

Derbyshire Times – Saturday 25 November 1899

PRESENTATION AT GREAT LONGSTONE. A purse containing between four and five pounds has been presented to Wm. Morton for his services the cricket club for a period of 25 years service. The presentation was made by Mr Rogers Dixon (the president) in the name the club in few aptly chosen words, and suitably responded by Mr Wm. Morton, who has for some years been the groundsman. The annual supper was also held at the Old Harrow Inn, when between 80 and 90 sat down to the good fare provided by Host Johnson. The chair was occupied by the president, who left no stone unturned to make the evening a success. The music was of a high order.

This report also provides the evidence for the long held view that Longstone Cricket club was formed in 1874.

In addition, from newspaper reports it would appear that the school cricket club continued to exist between 1860 and 1885. One report refers to School Club playing a match at Thornbridge Hall.

The final question about this period is that of where Longstone Cricket Club played their cricket.  The report in the Derbyshire Times from March 1885 states “His Grace the Duke of Devonshire had generously offered a cricket ground to the young men of Longstone”. Unfortunately, the report gives no indication as to the locality of the “cricket ground” or whether the cricket club took up the offer.

However, in an article entitled “A sort of social history of GLCC….” which appeared in Under the Edge in April 2010 it was noted “For as our archives reveal, the first recorded entry of cricket being played on Kiln Croft [what we all now commonly refer to as the Rec.] was  in 1860”. Certainly cricket was played at Kiln Croft in 1897. A report in the Derbyshire Times of 11th September 1897 about a court case in respect of an assault sets out “The complainant was James Murphy, Great Longstone … (who) was watching a cricket match from his garden …” .Robert Thornhill in Longstone Notes describes that a man named Murphy lived at Roseberry Cottage which was on the site of Western View and that its garden extended some distance into Kiln Croft, now generally called the cricket field. It is also known that Mr G J Furness gifted the recreation ground to the village in 1921. In addition, in Longstone Records there is a section detailing a survey of the Wright Estate carried out in 1770 which indicates that Kiln Croft was occupied by Martin Furnace. Notwithstanding the complexities of land tenure relating to the ownership and occupation of land, the Furness family may have either owned or occupied Kiln Croft for some considerable time. Furthermore, as mentioned above, 3 members of the Furness family were playing cricket for Longstone in 1858 and 1859 and another member of the family played in the 1890’s. As a result it would be reasonable to assume that the Furness family entered into some form of agreement which allowed the cricket club to play cricket at Kiln Croft from the late 1850’s and that the agreement continued until 1921 when the land was gifted to the village.

A newspaper report in 1887 refers to a match at Edgestones (Monsal Head):

Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald – Saturday 01 October 1887

LONGSTONE.

Cricket Matches.- On Wakes Wednesday a cricket match Married v. Single, was played in this village, and the married gentlemen proved their superiority. On Saturday a match was played on the Edgestone’s ground between an eleven from Calver and a team got together for the occasion by Mr. George Lowe, and as will be seen by the scores the visitors were in a fair way to being beaten when time was called The batting of Bedingfield, Cocker and Tillbrook was worthy of commendation and the bowling of Lucas was much to good for the Calverites 6 wickets being down for l9 runs at the call of time. Scores –

Edgestone

J Oliver b Singleton 1, H Ward, b Singleton 0, T Sheldon run out 6, C Lucas, b Moseley 18, J Bedingfield b Singleton 34, James Lowe c Hulley By Moseley 3, Hallowes b Moseley 0, Tom Cocker  b Moseley 13, J Tillbrook c Gascoyne b Cocker 17, J Bottom by Cocker 1, W Lupton not out 0, byes 4, wides 1, Total 92  

Calver

Singleton b Lucas 2, Frith c Lowe b Lucas 1, Beresford b Lucas 3, Cocker b Bedingfield 0, Hulley not out 8, Siddall b Lucas 0, Moseley run out 1, byes 1, wides 1, no balls 2, Total 19

After the match a capital supper was provided by Mr. Lowe, and a convivial evening was spent.

Whilst the Edgestone team comprised some Longstone cricketers it was “a team got together for the occasion by Mr George Lowe”  The occasion being Wakes Week and Mr George Lowe being the new Licensee of the Bull’s Head (Monsal Head Hotel) who was doubtless seeking to bring in some trade to his pub.

It seems very clear from increased newspaper coverage that cricket was flourishing throughout Derbyshire during the final 14 years of the nineteenth century. I think the same could be said for cricket in Longstone but it is really only between 1897 and 1899 that there are regular reports of matches played by Longstone Cricket Club, and even then not every match they played was reported on. In addition, it would appear that the Club was generally fairly successful. For instance a report in the Derbyshire Times of 18th September 1886 states “The Longstone cricketers have been very successful this year – having won every match so far.” However, there is no indication as to how many matches Longstone Cricket Club actually played that year.

Newspaper reports of cricket in Derbyshire during the 1890’s also identify that there was a hierarchy of cricket clubs, based on their location, and the cricket played. A number of cricket leagues were now in existence: Derbyshire League comprising 10 cricket clubs, Scarcliffe and District comprising 11 cricket clubs, Mid Derbyshire League comprising 6 cricket clubs, the Notts and Derbyshire League, the Derbyshire Alliance, Wales and District League, Staveley and District League, Norton and District Sunday School League and Glossop and District League. For the most part these leagues were centred on Chesterfield, and the industrial areas in east Derbyshire and west Nottinghamshire, and comprised either colliery or other works teams.

On the other hand, cricket clubs in the more rural areas of west Derbyshire played “friendly matches”. In addition, the cricket clubs playing friendly matches appear to fall loosely into two groups. Firstly, there were those based in the larger settlements, for instance, Bakewell, Belper Meadows, Buxton, Darley Dale, and Matlock. These clubs generally played against other larger clubs, and there was a good standard of cricket. This is borne out by some of the cricket clubs played against by Bakewell First team in 1897: Bradford (Manchester), Buxton,  Wallasey, Didsbury , Sheffield Wednesday, Tideswell,  Ockbrook and Borrowash, North East Manchester, Derby Midland,  Darley Dale, and Ashton-under-Lyne, as reported in the Derbyshire Times 17th April 1897. In addition, in 1895 two players for Belper Meadows scored centuries, as reported in the Derbyshire Times 28th September 1895

The second group of cricket clubs, playing friendly matches, were basically village clubs, like Longstone, Ashford, Cressbrook, Eyam, Rowsley, Stanton in the Peak, and Youlgreave who tended to play other village clubs.

During the first half of the 1890’s Wakes Week cricket both in Longstone and other villages provided Longstone Cricket Club with a number of its matches:

Derbyshire Times – Saturday 22 September 1894

LONGSTONE WAKES.

The ” wakes” have been held at Longstone this week and as may be imagined there has been, an influx of visitors into the quaint little village The usual auxiliaries to be seen at the wakes were present in goodly numbers and the visitors seemed to have a fair jovial time of it. At the White Lion the popular host and hostess Mr and Mrs Buzzard, gave a public tea on Monday to which a large number sat down, and afterwards dancing took place in the large club room, the Stoney Middleton brass band being engaged for the occasion. in. fact they have played for dancing each evening of the week. On Thursday there was another public tea, which was also well attended, and in the evening the dancing room was well filled. No fewer than four cricket matches have been played during the week. On Monday, Sheldon the visitors and good game ended in favour of the home team. Sheldon —M Frost 0, W Hellas 2; W .Taylor 0 ; W Brocklehurst. 5; J Brocklehurst 3, A Brocklehurst 6, A Brocklehurst junior not out 8, J W Brocklehurst 0, A Gyte 0, E Brocklehurst 0, extras 7, total 31. Longstone – W Morton 3, J Wood 0 ; G Ward 0 ; A Bennett 8; J Parkin 1, C H Buzzard, W Parkin 2, H Turner 10,  G Ward 8, A Turner 0; J T Oldfield 3, extras 4, total 39 A Furness for the winners bowled remarkably well, taking six wickets at low cost, and doing the hat trick. On Tuesday Calver was the opposing team when Longstone again .won this time with ease. The scores are as follows Calver – W Cocker b Morton 0, J Froggatt b Ferriers 1; J Cocker run out 0,  R Hallam c and b Ferriers 0, W Gill c Wood b Ferriers 0, J Mosley st Holmes b Morton 1, J W West b Morton, Tupton not out 16; Burton b Morton 3 ; H Mason c Taylor b Mason 10, France b Ferriers 2, extras 9 ; total 39:— Longstone: W Holmes c Hallam b Froggott 20; Wood not out 25, C H Buzzard c and b Calter 10, A Taylor not out 2; To bat G W Parkin, J Johnson, W Morton, A Furness and G Wall ;total. 68. for three wickets In wakes week; the Longstone Club have invariably played at least four matches and the year they disposed of Ashford for four runs still lives the memory all Longstone “wicketers” Two years in succession  did Ashford get a severe drubbing, the total score twenty two players being 13  – a 9 and 4.

The 1895 Wakes Week cricket was somewhat special, as the following report describes –

Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald – Saturday 21 September 1895

There have been great doings Longstone way this week. The Wakes Week commenced on Sunday, and the village has a somewhat busy appearance. Monday it  was exceptionally thronged, this being accounted for by a grand cricket match, which had been arranged by the Longstone Club and Mr Solly, Cressbrook. The Longstone team was very strong one, as it included W. Storer, the County wicket keeper. Porter, the bowler, and Bennett, also of County fame. A very interesting afternoon’s cricket was witnessed a large number of spectators.

William Storer has been described by David Griffin as “…one of Derbyshire’s greatest players…” More information about his career can be found by following these links.[11]

John Shawcroft (in his Book Derbyshire Bowlers pp 18-19 Ref) refers to George Porter “as the Spondon giant for he stood six feet two inches high and weighed fourteen stone three pounds. His career began in 1881, much of his cricket being played in the leagues, although he returned to the county side later on. A back injury finished his career after only thirty six matches, in which he took 129 wickets for Derbyshire. Afterwards, he became an umpire but died of sunstroke at Spondon in 1908, aged forty-six” J W Bennett was a lesser known Derbyshire cricketer playing only 16 matches for the county.

More detailed information can be found in a number of newspaper reports which appeared between 1897 and 1899 about Longstone Cricket Club which tell us that in 1897 there was a Longstone Reserve Team. It is also possible to provide an analysis of the whole 1898 cricket season, by making particular reference to the following report which sets out the Club’s averages:

Derbyshire Times – Saturday 22 October 1898

LONGSTONE CRICKET CLUB, 1898.

Matches played 20, won 12, lost 6, drawn 2.

Longstone made 1038 runs for 184 wickets, opponents made 802 for 192 wickets.

BATTING AVERAGES,

No.of Innings Times not out. Total Runs.      Average.

 

Frank Slack                   7                    2                                    88                  17.3

George Ward              14                    1                                  120                    9.3

William Holmes            6                    0                                    57                    9.3

William Morton          18                    3                                  114                    7.9

Albert Wager              20                    1                                  119                    6.5

Chris. Ward                  5                    4                                      6                    6.0

George Taylor              3                    0                                    15                    5.0

Joseph Johnson           14                    2                                    58                    4.1

Ernest Thorpe              8                     0                                    38                    4.6

Anthony Furniss         16                    0                                    67                    4.3

Charles Brightmore      5                    0                                    20                    4.0

William Wager            15                    1                                    53                    3.8

John Wild                    18                    2                                    60                    3.7

G Hollingwerth             9                    2                                    23                    3.2

W Parkin                     15                    0                                    31                    2.1

 

BOWLING AVERAGES.

Overs.             Maidens.         Runs. Wkts.                 Average

J Wild                          173                  51                    223      73                    3.0

W Morton                    104.                 27                    154      43                    3.5

G Ward                         70                  11                    128      23                    5.4

A Furniss                      65                  18                    112      19                    5.9

The main features of the matches were the low scores and that they comprised a single innings per team.  On average, the Longstone team scored 52 runs per game and their opponents 40 per game, with each innings probably taking approximately 20 – 25 overs. The highest individual score by a Longstone player was 45 runs by G Ward at Harpur Hill, with 25 runs by F Slack being the highest individual score by a Longstone player at Longstone. There were a number of good bowling performances by Longstone players – W Morton took seven wickets for 10 runs at Cressbrook, and  J Wild took six wickets for 8 runs, and Morton four for 8 against Rowsley at Longstone. Having two teams it is likely the cricket club had a playing membership of 25 – 30.

The school cricket team was still in existence in 1893 as shown in a photograph of 13 boys on page 216 of Longstone Records and presumably continued after that date. The census of 1891 recorded a male population for Great Longstone and Holme of 245[12]. It is not unreasonable to estimate that about 50 Longstone men and boys were active cricketers during the 1890’s. This represents about 20% of the total male population, and probably a higher percentage of males of cricket playing age.

Finally, there is a photograph of Longstone Cricket Club players dating from 1890[13]. The photograph appears to have been taken at Kiln Croft and gives a good idea of both cricket attire, equipment and the playing surface which seems to be unmown grass.

Article researched and written by Richard Hurst, who played cricket for Longstone CC between 1971 and 1984,  an Historical Researcher who can be contacted at [email protected].

[1] https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/

[2] Many of the books about the history of cricket can be found in the Wikepedia article – The History of Cricket https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_cricket

[3] https://cricket.derbyshireccc.com/2020/04/together-we-are-all-derbyshire-club-formation/

[4] https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/the-children-of-hugh-and-sarah-wood-of-swanwick-derbyshire-robert-wood-b-1781-john-wood-b-1776-mary-wood-61185

[5] Shawcroft, J. (2008) Cricket Grounds of Derbyshire.  Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians, p.8-10

[6] https://www.chatsworthcricketclub.com/

[7] https://cricket.derbyshireccc.com/2020/04/together-we-are-all-derbyshire-club-formation/

[8] http://www.wirksworth.org.uk/X534.htm

[9] Longstone Local history group Newsletter No 23 2012

[10]https://www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/things-to-do/whats-on/the-rise-and-fall-of-derby-midland-football-club-6503538

[11]https://cricket.derbyshireccc.com/2020/12/derbyshires-england-test-cricketers/  https://cricket.derbyshireccc.com/2020/05/derbyshires-finest-batsmen/

https://cricket.derbyshireccc.com/2020/10/derbyshires-greatest-wicketkeepers/

[12] Census Returns – Hilary Clarke in Aspects of Nineteenth Century Longstone – Longstone Local History Group 2000

[13]https://picturethepast.org.uk/image-library/image details/poster/dchq008943/posterid/dchq008943.html

 

 

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