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Club History

The following article is taken from The Surrey Championship Year Book 1998


by Roger C Packham

Before the present Chipstead - Coulsdon & Walcountians Club's foundation in 2004, it was generally accepted that the old Chipstead Cricket Club commenced in 1860, and a Centenary Year was celebrated in 1960 which culminated in a fondly recalled visit from the MCC. The club's collection of score-books dates from 1880. Fixture cards from 1895, and minute books from 1907.There is a note in the archives to the effect that the 1860 date formalised an already established custom, when the estate workers from Shabden Park (the country house opposite the present ground) were treated to a barrel of beer and organised cricket by an enlightened Squire. In 1862 the Surrey professional Fred Caesar, was engaged to play.

Cricket, 'though, was well known in Chipstead throughout the 19th century, and the earliest reference is to a match in 1800 against Caterham on Caterham Common. The 150th anniversary of this match was celebrated at Queen's Park, Caterham on June 17th 1950 when Tom Sheldon, a prolific wicket-taker for Chipstead from 1880 to 1939, bowled the first ball - thus enabling him to claim a playing association of 70 years.

The various pre-1860 matches involving Chipstead which so far have been discovered were frequently against Merstham and Caterham, and the early home matches were played on the Green in front of the ancient St Margaret's Church. The Victoria County History adds that "the Church itself was used as a pavilion where beer and bread and cheese could be had by the players". It is also said the matches were "notched on the edge of the altar". As recently as 1936 an obituary of the Chipstead blacksmith, William Shurman, who was born at Mugswell in 1849, stated that his passing severed a link with the old Chipstead cricket when matches were played on the Church Green.

Once the present ground was established opposite Shabden Park, possibly in 1860, fixtures became regularised and the club enjoyed a golden era in the 1890s when the MCC visited with strong teams. In 1893 Chipstead won the fixture by 27 runs, and in 1895 and 1896 W. Roffey had the satisfaction of scoring 118 and 75 for the home side. In the latter year the MCC included John Shuter, the famous Surrey captain from 1880-1893.

The First World War hit the club grievously, and many playing members are recorded on the Church Green war memorial.

Lord Marshall, President of the club from 1913 to 1936, proved to be a wonderful benefactor during his residence at Shabden Park (1910-1936). and in 1927 the club's AGM at Peter Aubertin Hall placed on record "its great appreciation of the generosity of the Right Hon. Lord Marshall in providing the club with the handsome pavilion for the use of its members". Until quite recently this pavilion stood in the south-east corner of the ground.

There are memories of the occupation and participation of the Canadian soldiers during the last War, after which the club continued with two Saturday XIs, resisting the call for Sunday cricket until 1966.

It was decided in about 1973 that a small nucleus of distinctly useful cricketers needed some reinforcement, and so it was that on the 1st January 1974 Chipstead & Coulsdon Cricket Club was formed by a merger of Chipstead Cricket Club and East Coulsdon Cricket Club.

The East Coulsdon Club was formed in 1947, on the wave of post-war enthusiasm by members of the East Coulsdon Residents Association; in 26 years they had produced some good local players, many of whom were to contribute significantly to the new club.

Based at Marlpit Lane, Coulsdon, East Coulsdon Cricket Club were dependant on the local Council for facilities and maintenance, and had raised funds to acquire it's own private ground at Netherne. However, when the invitation from Chipstead Cricket Club was received in 1973, Special General Meetings of both clubs were held and the merger agreed. The 'park team' injected playing strength. enthusiasm and funds to supplement the old Chipstead Club at one of Surrey's loveliest grounds.

Old Walcountians CC was formed in 1946 by former pupils and teachers of Wallington County Grammar School for Boys.
It was initially a wandering side, subsequently playing home fixtures at the school and additional facilities at the Paynes Poppetts ground, and finally moving to the present ground at 'Clockhouse' in 1964. Members laid out the grounds and built the clubhouse at this time.
OWCC were founder members of the Surrey Slazenger League in the mid-70's, and in the mid-80's were invited to join the new 3rd Division of the Surrey Championship. Recently, mainly lack of player numbers has led to relegation to the Surrey County Fullers League. Four years ago the club the Fullers Old Boys Sunday League, a limited over competition comprising of 10 sides and including Old Emanuel, Whits and Mid-wives.

The amalgamation has been a great success, and there are still many players and officials whose association with the clubs pre-date the merger of 24 years ago. This era has coincided with the acceptance of league cricket and, after successful spells in the South West London League and Surrey County League (champions in 1986), the club was invited to join the Surrey Championship in 1988.

There have been many excellent cricketers through the years, and to maintain standards the club believes a youth policy is essential. In recent years it has nurtured and encouraged young cricketers, and currently has some 80 colts under it's wing, who enjoy weekly coaching and practice and play competitive matches at under-13, under-15 and under-16 years of age. The under-15 side won the East Surrey Colt's League Cup in 1996 and again in 1997. Many colts have become senior players with the club. David Ward and Nicholas Falkner were Chipstead colts and both went on to play the professional game with the County, Nick also playing for Sussex.

In addition to three league teams, the club runs a Saturday 4th /5th Xl, two/three Sunday teams and enjoys midweek fixtures.


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