History And Grass Roots Of The Club

 

Although cricket in Bodiam was thought to have existed one hundred years ago, the earliest recollections we have were provided by Alan Karn as follows:

 

"Before World War 2 (approx 1937) Junction Cricket Club

 

Location: Junction crossroads on Hastings to Hawkhurst road A229. They had no pavilion in those days and I understand that although the playing square was good nevertheless the outfield was uneven and rough due to a molehill problem and much time was spent in trying to level the ground .It is believed that the field was ploughed during the war for a crop of potatoes.

 

Characters: The Green brothers (Harry, Fred and Bill), the Garrett brothers (Leonard, Stephen, Maurice and Gilbert), Frank Piper, Dyer Bishop, Tom Weeks, Harold Lawrence, John Levett and Ernie Simmons (blacksmith).

 

Opposition: Hawkhurst Moor, Etchingham, Robertsbridge, Staplecross, Icklesham, Newenden, Sandhurst and Barnfield.

 

Transport: By lorry, with straw bales for seating.


 Barnfield Cricket Club

 

Location: Ockham Farm on the Bodiam to Hastings road just above the railway line.

 

Characters: The Webb brothers *Basil Worsley (scoutmaster) *Ayworth, Chris Winchester, Howard Willard, Norman Clout (*these two players were very quick between the wickets and caused many overthrows.)


End of World War 2 (1945) the two teams amalgamated since neither club had enough players to field a team and the Junction Cricket Club had lost its ground to potatoes.

 

Hence the formation of BODIAM CRICKET CLUB.

 

Location: the field immediately below the station.

 

Some time after 1953 the club then moved to the Newhouse site, complete with thatched pavilion and remained there until recent years."


Mrs Dora Churcher has discovered Bodiam Cricket Club minutes dating from 1956-1974.

 

Although there is far too much detail to list here, the following interesting points arise:

  • 'Team selection was made by the committee on Mondays in the Castle Inn.'
  • 'In 1958 it was decided to appoint a 'boy' to pick up the litter after each home match at a shilling per game.'
  • 'Subscriptions had been abolished due to difficulty in collection.'
  • 'In a match away at Nutfield U.14s were not allowed to travel.'
  • 'In 1959 it was reported that the stoolball club were not leaving the pavilion tidy or arranging for the litter to be picked up. It was decided to take this matter up with their secretary!'
  • 'It was decided to make our own teas with the help of several of the cricketers' wives as the two shillings and nine pence a head quoted by the Castle Inn was deemed too expensive.'
  • 'Bodiam reached the final of the annual six-a-side tournament at Hastings Central Cricket Ground in 1965 but were soundly beaten by Eldridge and Cruttenden. The team were presented with engraved tankards.'
  •  'In 1968, at the AGM, the treasurers report was not complete due to several members subscriptions not being paid and consequently the financial books not closed until their collection had been finalised.'
     
  • Club members during those years included John Hook, R.Watson, P.Knapp, B. Hall, S. Foster, R.Weeks, Alan Karn, J.Reed, C.Hillier, R.Carey, P.Barnett, D.Clout, A.Smith, R.Weller and R.Stephenson.
  • 'In 1974 match fees were: Adults Home 20p and Away 10p. Also in this year the club folded due to shortage of players.'                     
  • 'In 1979 John Goldsmith formed a team named the Seven Stars, shortly afterwards changing their name to Salehurst and playing home games on the Bodiam pitch.'
  • In 1980the name changed to Bodiam once more with legends Tony Wilson, Giles Cullingford  
  • and Paul Barnett being part of the set up.
  • Although there are no further records until 1992, cricket was continuously played up to the present day.