Leagues played in: South Lincs & Border League
Contact details: Jo Green, Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org
Adapted from the Lincolnshire Cricket Board Premier League handbook, 2000 and Michael Sewell, ‘Grantham Cricket 1850-1950’
The earliest record of Grantham Cricket Club is 1817 at Billingsborough. There is evidence that cricket was played on the London Road ground, which belonged to the Earl of Dysart, as early as the 1860s. Lionel Tennyson, grandson of the famous poet Alfred, played at Grantham for the Machine Gun Corps side in 1919. Alfred Shaw, who was a member of the first English side to play a Test match in Australia (at Melbourne in 1878) was a Grantham professional during the 19th century.
Michal Sewell, who joined the club in 1944, recalled:
“There were photographs of Shaw, and of W.G.Grace, and others, on the walls inside the old pavilion. I can remember that pavilion myself. It had been there for many years. It was a wooden building, and the front, as was usual in those days, had flaps which opened out in the summer, with a desk just behind for the scorers and spectators to sit at. There was a passageway behind that, and the dressing rooms immediately further behind.”
Sadly this pavilion burnt down one Sunday night in 1944, having been lent to a local munitions factory who used it for a game and left some lighted cigarettes inside. Another wooden building was bought to replace it.
Grantham organised a popular limited-overs evening competition in the 1930s and 1940s for a trophy called the Thompson Cup. The trophy was presented by WE Thompson who had been captain of both Grantham and Lincolnshire. Thompson Cup matches attracted crowds of several hundred and the gate money – entrance was 3d – helped bring in money for the club. In the decade 1930-1939 Grantham CC reached a prime level of activity, fielding four sides each week for most weeks, two on Thursdays and two on Saturdays. Sunday fixtures were added for the first time in 1948.
The club was a founder member of the South Lincs & Border League, winning the inaugural championship in 1970.
Until 1989, matches were played at London Road (now home to a supermarket), with the move to Gorse Lane coming in 1992. This ground has two pitches, the smaller of which plays host to the club’s five junior teams from U9 to U17.
Grantham is one of the few remaining clubs to organise a Cricket Week Festival, hosting a programme of day and evening cricket in addition to a Kwik Cricket tournament for primary schools.
The quality of both ground and facilities has brought Minor Counties cricket back to the town after a break of many years.