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Chawton Cricket Club History

The game of cricket has a long and distinguished history in Hampshire, with records dating back over two hundred years. The villages of the county have played a major part in this illustrious history and Chawton is no exception.

The village has had a cricket club for well over a hundred years, earliest records dating back to 1883.  It is believed that the club has always played its cricket on the present site, until relatively recently within the Chawton House Estate, owned and managed by the Knight family.  The connection survives to this day; the current President Robert Knight continuing a long and illustrious tradition.

In the early days the club played far fewer fixtures (around ten per season compared to over forty today).  Some of these fixtures survive today such as Medstead, Old Alresford, Ropley and Alton, others like Privett, Wyck, Courages and Beech no longer exist.  The emphasis has always been on traditional friendly cricket and it is only in the last ten years that the club has entered the more competitive Hampshire Saturday League.

Success, although not always measured in silverware, has come to the club; two-time winners of the Medstead KO Cup, three times promoted in the League and past winners of the popular Indoor Winter League.  Of greater merit, perhaps, are the club’s successes in keeping alive the traditional village game; encouraging youngsters to participate and above all ensuring a friendly welcome to all that come to play at Chawton.

All village cricket clubs have an endless list of characters who have graced their grounds and Chawton is no exception.  Generations of families have left their mark: the Pink's, who between them have contributed well over 100 years of service to the club, the Knight's, who have been ever present throughout, the Dedman's in recent years, and in earlier times, the Wyeth's, Skates’ and Stacey's.  Many, such as Derek Mitton, Dick Whittle and Arthur Stenning have since passed away but leave behind fond memories.  Others have served the club with distinction: Charlie King (Secretary & Treasurer 1948-72), Mike Earle (Captain 1969-81) and Frank Slann (Chairman 1967-80) to name but a few.

The cricket ground itself has seen many changes, not least its abandonment during two world wars and the breaking up of the Chawton Estate, but it still retains its charm, the envy of many visiting teams.  Recent developments, in conjunction with the Parish Council, have brought the ground ‘closer’ to the village and its many visitors.

The club continues to thrive, an important piece of Chawton’s heritage, a link with the past and hopefully a part of its future.  The club's present custodians work hard to provide the facilities and ambience necessary to ensure that Chawton Cricket Club upholds the traditions of our great national game and is part of Chawton village life well into this new Millennium.

Tim Jenkins
Club Secretary

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