Whilst we are in no doubt that cricket was being played at Leek Wootton in 1889 and the 1890’s, there is very little written record after 1893 until 1919.
The earliest score book we have is for the 1937 season and they are virtually complete to date, together with a complete set of fixture cards from 1954 and a copy of the card for 1937 and 1939. The annual Report and averages for 1890, 1891 and 1893 make interesting reading. In 1890 and 1891, the averages were worked out to a decimal place, but in 1893 averages were recorded in fractions.
In 1891, “General Waller offered to give a cricket coat of Club Colours to Members not otherwise provided with them who should make an innings of double figures in a match”. Six members were so rewarded for an innings of genuine merit!!
In June, 1919, a meeting was held to consider the question of a Parish War Memorial to those who lost their lives during the First World War and a General Meeting followed in November, 1919. It was decided that the Memorial should be in the form of a Recreation Ground and it was not until Easter, 1921 that the transfer of the land was completed. At a Public Meeting held on 14th April, 1921, it was resolved that:-
“A General Sports Club be formed to encourage and control sports in Leek Wootton under conditions to be laid down by the War Memorial Trustees”.
The Trustees still control the use of the Ground and the Sports Club Committee is responsible to them for the running of the Club.
The first Pavilion on the War Memorial Recreation Ground was sited in the North West corner of the ground on a site close by the existing maintenance shed. In 1939, consideration was given to providing a new building because “the present Pavilion was too small to offer comfortable changing space for visiting cricket teams as well as store all the equipment owned by the club”.
Sir Wathen Waller agreed to let the Trustees have a piece of land measuring 90 yards by 17 yards as an extension to the Ground, thereby allowing a new Pavilion to be sited so as to provide for tennis and bowls as well as cricket and football. An appeal for funds was launched and the Pavilion was built in wood with a cedar shingle roof, for £211, just prior to the outbreak of war.
To read the story about how the club moved from the bottom of the Recreation Ground to it’s current location please read The President’s Recollections.