Alcester has had organised cricket for a long time but it has been difficult to follow the comings and goings of the variously named clubs since the mid 19th century as little documentation exists. Now, at least, we have some information with the coming to light of the minute book of 'Alcester Cricket Club' for 1891 to 1905. This is another invaluable archive from the late Aubrey Gwinnett's collection.
The minutes for 1892 to 1893 are concerned with buying equipment and getting a ground, so it appears that this was a new venture. A pavilion is mentioned, with furnishings not yet completed: the ground is rented from Dr. Jephcott for £10.0.Od per annum and is on Crookes Lane. (This, no doubt, was later obliterated by the Conway Estate). The General Committee in 1893 appointed itself to pick the.teams, the 'Match Committee' having resigned after a very short existence.
The local football club was allowed to use the ground, mostly on Saturdays, but for a suitable remuneration: one can only think that the wicket in summer was far from first-rate.
The club, however, liked to do things properly: sight screens (called 'batting screens') were ordered from Mr. Averill and number plates ordered for the scoreboard. The composition of teams is nowhere indicated but it seems that the average age was not a low one, for in 1894, Dr. Jephcott agreed to find two boys for bowling and looking after the equipment, especially on practice nights; they were to receive 10/- each per season. The only other paid servant was 'Gallimore' in 1895 who was 'to attend to the ground for 2/6 per week.' In that year 'nets' are mentioned.
It is apparent that most matches were evening ones, presumably with limited overs: however in 1894 two or three day-matches for Wednesdays or Thursdays were mooted. Unfortunately, the minute books give no score sheets but an undated entry says that 1,341 runs were scored for the club and 944 against, with batting averages more consistent (these statistics give little or no indication of the club's strength).
In 1899 the club bought a roller: normal supplies such as bats, pads and balls were regularly purchased; sometimes it was not bats as such but 'new blades fitted to handles'.
By 1903 the committee had weightier matters to attend to: it considered two fields in 1903, the Crookes Lane one obviously not being available, though the reason is not stated. The chosen venue is not given but a small pavilion was agreed to, money being available from the sale of the old one.
In September 1905 it seems that the club is facing closure, for the committee is intent on selling its bats and the Golf Club has offered to buy the roller. The minutes end here and there is no explanation of what is undoubtedly the end of the organisation.
Autumn 1994 Index