Hagley Cricket Club

Hagley Cricket Club

Hagley Cricket Club


The Formation and Successes of the Club in the 19th century

Hagley Cricket Club was formed in 1834 when the club started using the ground at Hagley Hall, adjacent to StJohn’s church. Although it is understood that cricket was played there prior to this by members of the Lyttelton family and their friends.

The cricket square is on the site of the former half-timbered hall that was replaced by the present Hall in 1754. No local records exist for the early period but at that time the side would have been made up by members of the Lyttelton family, members of the household and staff along with other local dignitaries.

In the 1860’s the earliest written reference to the cricket club appears, including a meeting to elect the club’s officers in 1862, including Rev. W. H. Lyttelton (rector of Hagley) as President. There were also reports of matches against Lye, Kidderminster, Kinver, Bromsgrove, Belbroughton, West Bromwich, Dudley, Bewdley and Halesowen. In 1866 the club membership numbered 52. Later in 1866 the Club split into two clubs as the Hagley Junior Club was formed for the villagers and other local inhabitants who could not compete at the same level of ability as the Lyttelton family and the main club players. This junior club played either on a field off Park Road(on which Lodge Crescent is now built) or at Thicknall Farm. Its results and history are very vague and there is no reference to the Junior Club after the First World War.

In 1867 a match was played by the Lyttelton family, composed wholly of members of the family, against Bromsgrove school, who they defeated by 10 wickets.

In 1886 the first pavilion was built, It was a wooden house built on wheels so that at the end of the season it could be moved away and stored. It contained one room in which both teams changed

In the 1890s the club suffered from competition from golf and although there are only a few reports available, it appears that the club was flourishing again during the end of the 19th century up to the start of the First World War, and had a number of playing members verging on first-class standard.


Events during the 20th Century include the 150th Anniversary of the Club

There was no cricket played by the club during the 4 years of the First World War. It took until 1920 for the square to be restored to an acceptable standard and the club to start playing again. From this time the President of the Club has always been the Viscount Cobham. The square was protected by various types of fencing which had to be taken down before and replaced after each match. The condition of the outfield was dependant on the grazing habits of the farmer’s cows.

In 1923 the pavilion was extended to include a changing room for the visitors and a tea room.

1932 saw a second team for the first time. Charles Lyttelton, later to become 10th Viscount Cobham and captain of Worcestershire played for the club whenever he could. He had a remarkable ability to score quickly, hitting 51 against Wem in just 15 minutes on the Club’s first tour to Shropshire in 1932.

The Club continued to play during the Second World War as a number of the playing members had not gone off to war and they were joined by members of other clubs such as Clent who discontinued playing during the war. Several matches were played against teams from the local service units who were able to commandeer transport to travel to Hagley.

After the war, it took time to restore the ground and pavilion to normal, as several club stalwarts retired and a number of new members joined the Club including Jack Wilkinson a former Worcestershire player who was the club’s most prolific wicket taker. In the 12 years he played for the club from 1944 he took a total of 606 wickets.

In 1954 a new Pavilion was built at cost of £575. The ground itself was first fenced in 1959 when the outfield could at last be mowed. It was originally made of posts and wire which was replaced by a wooden fence in 1964. In the same year the Club acquired a second hand motor roller; until then the playing members would roll the square with hand pulled rollers.

In 1962, the first Sunday cricket was played at Hagley although it had to be over by 6p.m.before Evensong. A series of colts matches were started by Arthur Spencer and Noel Jones in 1964 during the summer holidays. This idea was developed by Denys Fordham and the junior section was born. The success of the junior section can still be seen today, as the majority of the playing members started to play for the clubs as juniors.

In 1968 a septic tank was installed which allowed the rudimentary toilets to be replaced by flush toilets in a toilet block.

At this time the Club played friendlies at weekends although they entered some evening knock out cups, winning the Chaddesley Corbett Cup three years running between 1970 and 1972 and the Kidderminster Cup in 1972.

In 1975 the pavilion was further extended and included importantly for the first time a bar which proved to be an immediate asset to the social side of the Club, initially thanks to the work of David Auden. This was also the first year of the successful six-a-side tournament run on Wednesday evenings that continued for several years, kindly sponsored by Bill Andrews. Two concrete practice wickets were also laid, located in the current car park. These would be covered with rubber matting on practice nights.

1978 was the first season in which the club played league cricket in the newly set up Worcester Border League, initially matches were played on Saturdays and Sundays and the league was arranged on a percentage basis as not all clubs played the same amount games. It was not until 1984 that all league games were played on Saturdays. The Club did not get off to good start finishing bottom in the first year. The following year, the second team also entered the league. The clubs captain Tim Elliott became Chairman of the league and helped to establish it in the county.

Whilst league success eluded the first team in the 1980’s, the club won the league knock out in 1983. However the second team enjoyed a hat-trick of titles from 1982 to 1984 under the leadership of Brian Hewett.

The junior section continued to grow and in 1983 the Under 16 team won their league, a side that included Adrian Chiles as well as the odd appearance by a future England test cricketer Dean Headley.

In the late 1980s the current six foot high wire deer fence was erected outside the boundary, which allowed the existing wooden fence to be removed.

In 1984 the current scorebox was erected. In that year the Club celebrated its 150th anniversary. The highlights included a Celebration dinner held at the Stone Manor at which the guest speakers included Colin Cowdrey and Christopher Martin-Jenkins.

In 1993 the practice facilities were replaced when Lord Cobham agreed to reposition the deer fence at the top of the ground to allow the creation of the current practice artificial wickets and net frames. This entailed excavation works and the levelling of the new practice area. On the Club’s tour to Somerset, David Hill scored 201 at Over Stowey, which remains the highest score by a Hagley batsman.

The late 1990’s proved to be one of the club’s most successful periods in its history, with both the first and second team both winning league titles in 1996, 1997 and 1999. The second team also won their league knock out tournament in 1997 and 1998. The league was restructured in 1998 becoming the Worcestershire County League and in 2000, along with the Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire became a feeder league to the Birmingham League in the new pyramid structure.

The club’s success in 1999 meant that the club started the new millennium in the third division of the Birmingham league. This entailed the Club acquiring sightscreens and covers for the first time. Unfortunately after two disappointing seasons, the club was relegated back the Worcestershire County League.

The 21st Century begins and the Club celebrates its 175th Anniversary

Hagley Cricket Club and Hall

Hagley Cricket Club and Hall


In 2009 the Club celebrated its 175th anniversary with a dinner attended by over 300 people in the grounds of the Hall. The guest speakers were Graham Gooch and Jeremy Coney. The Club was featured on Sky Television’s Club Life programs which were screened during the lunch intervals of the Ashes test matches. The club also started a third team for the first time.

The first team struggled in the first half of the 2000s suffering 2 further relegations. The second team won the 2002 league title and despite being relegated along with the first team, won back to back promotions in 2007 and 2008.. Meanwhile the first team won promotion from division 3 in 2008 and again in 2011 back to division 1.

In 2011 David Hill become the latest club member to be elected as an Honorary Life Member in recognition of his outstanding service to the club. Other Life Members have included Fred Molyneux, Howard Smith, Peter Jackson, Denys Fordham, Tim Elliott, David Gale and Ian Yorke.


James Trinham