21 Jun 2022
Whickham Cricket Club, Axwell Park Colliery Welfare Team (1944), Whickham FC
Whickham Cricket Club
Formed in 1860. At that time there were four balls per over and they could be delivered underarm (unlike village cricket as played today). One of the oldest surviving clubs in County Durham and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2010. They have always played on the Glebe Field in Whickham.
The first recorded fixture was 22nd June 1861 at Winlaton. Whickham scored 33 and 24. In response Winlaton managed 28 and were 30 for 3. In 1862 Whickham Cricket Club was listed in the famous Lillywhite’s Guide. That year they spent £5 on equipment and 12 Shillings on ale! In 1862 during a match with Winlaton it was reported that ‘The gay dresses of the ladies, combined with the white and blue of the cricket, giving the field a picturesque appearance,’ One leading Bowler was C.R.Carr who had a number of 7 wicket hauls that season. In 1864 the club was again mentioned in Lillywhite’s Guide. The club had 40 members. The captain was C.R.Carr and the Secretary was E Taylor. Honorary membership was £1 1shilling (a Guinea) and playing membership was 6 shillings. In 1874 William Burn took 5 wickets in 5 balls against Benwell. A feat that was to be repeated by T Mowbray in 1886 against Tyne Dock (5-3-7-7). There have only been three other occasions this has been achieved in the history of cricket in County Durham. William Burn was noted for his aggressive batting and hit so many balls over the north hedge the club made a special ladder to retrieve them.
In 1906 the Derwent Valley League was formed and Whickham won the championship in their second season. 1920 Whickham was in the North Durham Senior League where they played until the commencement of World War 2. After the war they played in the Northern Combination League, which they won in 1947. This is popularly known as the Compton/Edrich season. 1950 saw them in the North West Durham League. This was a strong league but in 1985 they won it and left to join the Tyneside Senior League.
Formed in 1944 and dubbed the 'Home Guard' team. In order to be able to play on the Glebe (see HER 15698) the club had to have a colliery affiliation so they renamed themselves Axwell Park Colliery Welfare Team. The mine closed in 1954. The National Coal Board sold the Glebe to Whickham Council who leased it to the newly formed Glebe Sports Club, representing both the cricket club and the football club. The football club reverted to its original name Whickham FC. It achieved fame in 1981 by winning the FA Vase at Wembley. The semi final against Eton at the Glebe attracted over 3000 people. Because they share the ground with the cricket club, Whickham FC has to play its first 7 to 8 fixtures away. They then have to erect a temporary barrier along the touchline that backs onto the cricket field.
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Historic Environment Records
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Tyne and Wear: Sitelines
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