Leagues played in: Rutland League
Contact details: Gail Genever, email@example.com
By Gail Genever
The present Uffington CC was established in 1858 but information about it is surprisingly scanty. Its inaugural match was played between two sides from the village, probably in Uffington Park. In one of its early fixtures, in September 1859, Uffington were beaten 78-90 by Stamford Evening Star at Uffington in a well-contested game. The club quickly flourished and by 1861 had been joined by several former supporters of Burghley Park club which had become extinct.
The cricket club enjoyed strong patronage from the Earl of Lindsey and Lord Bertie. The Earl provided a pitch on the lawn in front of Uffington House, whose wicket was prepared by the Hon Montague Bertie and, after home matches, Lady Lindsey would provide a lavish dinner in the house for the teams and spectators.
In the late 1850s and early 1860s, Uffington Park CC fielded several members of the Lindsey household, including Sir Ivor, Montague and Arthur Guest and their step-father, Charles Schreiber.
The gentleman’s game was occasionally marred by controversy. In June 1861, Uffington Park were beaten by Witham by 16 runs but complained that their opponents had fielded two professional cricketers, contrary to a previous agreement. This assertion created ill-feeling between the two clubs with Witham refuting that they had professionals in the team or that there was a prior agreement as to who was to play and who was not. In retaliation against the slight, Witham asserted that in a match against Walcot Park earlier that month, the score was tampered with in order to preserve the reputation of the Uffington club.
Many games were low-scoring but the nadir for Uffington cricket unquestionably occurred on 20 May 1889 when the Uffington team was ignominiously bowled out for just one run in the second innings of their match against Barnack CC, the only run being scored by the opening batsman.
It is unclear when the name of the club changed from Uffington Park to plain Uffington, and it seems that that names were used interchangeably for a time, but the Uffington Park title does not appear in fixture lists or match reports after around 1890.
In 1921, Uffington CC joined the Stamford and District League and were champions of Division 1 in their first season, for which they were awarded the Dixon Challenge Shield. They played in this league until at least 1924, but they had reverted to playing friendly matches by 1926. In the 1950s, the club had a strong team playing friendlies against local town and village teams. In 1961, they won the Burghley Sixes and they were victorious in the Orton Sixes in 1969 and 1972. In 1989, Uffington entered Division Three of the Rutland League as founder members, their first return to league cricket since playing in the Stamford league in the 1920s.
For many years, the club played their matches in a field on the east side of Greatford Road opposite the Pound Field and a custom-built wooden pavilion was erected by the road in the 1950s, in the position of the present beet square. However, the rough and irregular surface of the terrain could never satisfactorily be prepared to the requisite standard for matches and when local farmer Mr JR Naylor offered the club the use of a superior field a short distance away on the opposite side of the road, they readily accepted.
In 1996, the old pavilion was replaced with a redundant mobile classroom from Uffington School, which was bought from Lincolnshire County Council for £358.57. A pre-fabricated former office building and a toilet block, given by Carlby Tennis Club, was added later. A synthetic wicket was laid down the side of the square in 1997 and the Somes Trust donated practice nets in 1999. In 2012, the club embarked on a programme of fundraising events to purchase a new pavilion.
One highlight was a five-day sponsored cycle ride by club members, over the 2013 May Bank Holiday, to six famous English test match venues, which included an appearance on Test Match Special at Headingley. Grants were received from the National Lottery Fund and Stamford Skells Trust, and the balance was raised through personal donations and a Buy-a-Brick campaign. Some £39,000 was collected and half as much again was contributed in kind. The new pavilion was inaugurated in May 2014 by BBC Radio TMS presenter Jonathan Agnew.
Junior cricket was re-introduced in 2013 and in the 2014 season, U9, U11 and U13 teams competed in local leagues. As well as its on-field activities, the club runs two table tennis teams in the local league, and has an annual golf championship.