Club Honours: 2014 ECB Premier League champions
Leagues played in: ECB Premier League
Contact details: Hedley Stroud, email@example.com
Adapted from Ted Elsom’s history of the club, ‘Bourne Cricket Club 1803-1989’
It is widely accepted that Bourne played its first match – against Sleaford – in 1803. Lunch was provided at the Bull Hotel (now the Burghley Arms) at 25d a head.
Bourne, after various homes, began playing at their delightful Abbey Lawn Ground in 1920. The first Minor Counties match played at Bourne was in 1955 and Lincolnshire have been regular visitors to Bourne ever since.
In 1920 the ground was owned by a syndicate and rented for £7 annually. The ground was let for grazing, and the Club was restricted to the width of grass that could be cut for wickets. If that width was extended by inches, there followed a letter of complaint that the grazing area had been reduced! In 1925, wire netting was purchased to protect the square from grazing animals.
While in its early days the square was maintained by the players themselves on a voluntary basis as part of their commitment on practice nights, from 1930 the club employed a groundsman, ‘at a weekly wage not to exceed 20 shillings’. In 1931 the Bourne United Charities purchased the Abbey Lawn from the owners at a cost of £700, ‘to preserve it as an open space forever and for use as a sports ground’.
In October 1939 an appeal had to be made to members for donations in order to liquidate the club’s debt. Over £22 was received in donations and the club finally showed a credit balance the following year. The formation of the Ladies Committee in 1925 – who gave more than £635 to club funds between 1925 and 1970 – and a Social Committee in 1951 helped the club’s finances considerably. The opening of the club bar in 1974 was a turning point for the club, and led to the strengthening of the social and playing membership.
The club pavilion was tragically destroyed by fire in 1965, but a grant was received from the Department of Education to help meet the costs of the new one, which was opened in August 1966.
The Bourne Club has always tried to be at the forefront of cricketing development and were one of the original members of the South Lincs and Border League when it was formed in 1970. They have been champions on three occasions and runners up five times.
Many Bourne players have represented the full Lincolnshire side, including David Christmas, Gareth Evison and Hedley Stroud. Andy Afford and Richard Yates have gone on to play for Nottinghamshire.