Club Honours: Lincoln League Champions 1935 and 1936, Lincolnshire League Division 3 Runners Up 1975
Leagues played in: Lincoln League
Contact details: Ted Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org
By Ted Robinson
Despite the intermittent nature of reporting of cricket matches in the Lincolnshire Chronicle, it is likely that the Waddington Club came into being in 1846. Certainly in 1849 whilst building Bracebridge Asylum it is reported that a team of joiners drawn largely from the village played a cricket match against a team of plumbers.
In 1860 the controversial Archdeacon George Gresley Perry, Rector of Waddington 1852-97, accused the village cricket team of being unchristian for playing on Good Friday!
In 1868 Waddington played Ingham and in 1869 they had games against Ingham and Hykeham, these games taking place on the Mill Mere or Fox’s Field in the Lowfields.
Waddington entered the Lincoln Cricket Association league in 1908 – and finished joint bottom of the fifth division (of five)! However, they continued to play in the league throughout the interwar years (league cricket largely stopped during both world wars), and even finished as champions in 1924, losing only one game. The local press carried a story describing Fred Waite as an excellent captain and cricketer, having achieved this with a squad of just fourteen players. The village was delighted and a dance was arranged in the village hall, at which the players were presented with their trophies.
In 1946 the club moved from their old ground, the Mill Mere, to a ground known as “Mill Field”, which was situated on the cliff edge south of where the ruin of Brumby’s Mill stands. They remained there until the end of the 1952 season when they came under pressure to move. The Kesteven County Council exchanged the field with Mr Brumby for land he owned on Mere Road where All Saints School is now based. The old pavilion which had given many years service on Mill Mere before being moved to its present site was once again dismantled and sold for £12. The pavilion still stands in a very dilapidated state at Harmston Hall where it gave service to the cricket club until 1964 before ending its days as a gardeners shed.
In 1955 the club moved to the Sidney Hall Memorial Field but, forced to share it with AV Roe, the ground-sharing arrangement caused tensions over whose turn it was to carry out maintenance. Eventually the poor conditions of the pitch created problems recruiting new players led to the club’s demise at the end of the 1958 season.
However, the club was revived in 1968, after land for a sports ground was acquired by the Parish Council on a compulsory purchase order, situated on the Grantham Road with access from Mere Road. A new village hall was built on the ground with changing rooms, and the club entered the Lincoln League in 1970 and the Lincolnshire League in 1974.
Waddington suffered another setback in 1982 when just prior to the season, four of its star players were seduced into joining Rustons. Les Arthurs, then club captain, valiantly tried to keep the club going, even arriving early on Saturday mornings in order to cut the entire outfield with a handmower. The club was wound up again at the end of the 1984 season.
The latest manifestation of the Waddington club arrived in 1989 when the St Georges Hospital Cricket Club, which had moved from Branston Hall Hospital to Harmston Hall Hospital until the Care in the Community programme forced the closure of the hospital in 1988, moved to play at Waddington’s old group and took over their name. The Waddington Playing Fields Association was approached and agreed to reform the club, and a square was laid in the bottom corner of the ground where the defunct hockey club used to play. The Parish Council also gave permission to erect a pavilion, after many years of refusal.
The new club entered division four of the Lincoln League in 1990 and has now progressed to division one, running a second eleven and youth and evening teams.