Part 1 - the early years:
The first recorded game of cricket at West Bergholt was from the 15th July, 1831, when the Essex County Standard reported that a County Cricket match was played over three days at West Bergholt. The report went as follows.....
GRAND CRICKET MATCH
On Wednesday last a grand match of that noble game cricket, commenced at the Cricket Ground, West Bergholt, between the Gentlemen of the Essex and Norfolk Clubs. The game was commenced at half past 10 o’clock but the unfortunate state of the weather prevented it, and at 3 o’clock the Essex gentlemen went in. Some fine play followed, and at the close of their innings they had scored 114 notches. This was by six o’clock. The gentlemen of the Norfolk Club then went in, but about 7 o’clock the match was adjourned until next morning.
Thursday 14th. The morning was again unfortunately unfavourable to the match commencing so early as was intended but at about 1 o’clock the Gentlemen of the Norfolk Club resumed their play and in their first innings scored 110 notches, being only 4 behind the Essex. The Essex then went in for their second innings still showing some excellent play, and at the conclusion scored 173 notches, making in all 287. The Norfolk had then 177 to go in against, they having 110 notches in their first innings. The game continued with great spirit till dark and then adjourned until Friday morning.
Friday morning. This match which has excited so much interest was resumed again this morning at half past ten. The morning being favourable. There was some excellent batting but at 12 o’clock all the gentlemen of the Norfolk Club having gone in, the match ended, scoring in their second innings only 88 notches.
Return match is fixed for the 25th August next at Swafham, Norfolk.
Andrew Clark is putting together a complete history of the West Bergholt Cricket Club. He has played for WBCC for over 30 years, his father (Nobby Clark) also played for the club for over 40 years. If anybody reading this can help him with any more information about the club (personal recollections, photos, letters, scoresheets etc. etc.), please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the club website.