Whilst the only positive proof of the origins of the cricket club date from 1799 we know that by that time they were already among the leading clubs in the County. In 1800 they played and defeated the Nottingham Old Club, the predecessors of the present County Cricket Club, by an innings and eighty eight runs at Holme Road with Richmond scoring seventy three runs and Sam Parr, Father of the great George, making fifty eight. The Old Nottingham side had their revenge the following year, however, defeating a combined Radcliffe and Bingham XI by an innings and ten runs.
The games between Radcliffe-on-Trent and Bingham were legendary. The score card still exists, kept in the library at Lords, of the encounter played on the 29th and 30th September 1802, Radcliffe winning the two innings a side game by thirteen runs, the names of H. Parr and S. Parr were key members of the side. The card has been reproduced opposite, including discrepancies, from a copy contained in the souvenir programme of the game played to mark the 150th anniversary of this auspicious encounter.
It would seem that the Parr family was a major influence in the formation of the club. In the middle of the 18th Century the game of cricket was very different from the one we now know. All inhabitants of the village on ‘high days and holidays, of which there were few, would congregate on the ‘fairest patch of common land’ and play a game which lasted the whole day and included all, from the youngest to the eldest, both male and female. This all changed in the 1780’s with the Enclosures Act that allowed all the common land to be fenced off and public access denied. This act was implemented in Radcliffe and indeed the whole of South Nottinghamshire in 1786. It is recorded that the Parr family, residing at the Old Manor House, was granted one hundred acres of land from the rear of the Manor down to the river. (The Manor still exists as on old people’s home next to the Earl Manvers public house.) Possibly their first action was to enclose the piece of land immediately behind the house and reserve it for the playing of cricket.
The club continued to play on this field until 1861 when the Great Northern Railway Company purchased a section of it to build the Grantham and East Coast line. The remainder still exists as the Radcliffe recreation ground. The club then took up residence at the Holme Road ground, a situation thay survived for just over one hundred years. In that period the club saw spectacular fluctuations in it’s fortunes, from the glory of the mid 19th Century, competing with both County and All England sides, to the gloom of the late nineteen fifties when it became obvious that a new ground must be found.
The current Nottingham Road ground has gone from strength to strength, and has recently undergone a huge development, with a large area of farmland beyond the original pitch having been bought to create a second pitch. This has meant an expansion of the club at both senior and junior level, with us now able to offer cricket to an even wider number of members.
With the Club now running 6 senior sides and over 140 registered juniors, the demand for cricket playing facilities has never been so great. Recently the Club has hired additional playing facilities as far away as Upper Broughton to go someway to satisfy this demand.
In 2002, the Club embarked on a challenging and exciting project to provide additional playing and coaching facilities at its ground off the A52, just outside the village. This involved the purchase of over 5 acres of farmland adjacent to the current ground, the construction of a top grade playing surface, the placement on an artificial wicket on the new square and the construction of a two-bay practise net facility.
June 2004 saw the completion of this phase of the project, the new ground looks an absolute picture. Altogether this phase cost £140,000 with significant funding provided by:
- Sport England, New Opportunities Fund.
- Rushcliffe Borough Council.
- The Foundation for Sports and the Arts.
- Midland Wine.
- Radcliffe-on-Trent Parish Council.
- The Lord’s Taverners.
- The Lady Hind Trust.
The Club started playing on the new ground in 2005, having purchased new ground maintenance equipment and portakabins for changing facilities. The Club has also planted a number of new trees to help enhance the environment.
The final phase of the project is now in the fund raising stage. This phase will extend the existing changing facilities to add two new changing rooms, as well as constructing a shelter on the new ground. The overall target for this phase is £60,000, already commitments have been received from:
- Nottinghamshire County Council.
- Rushcliffe Borough Council.
- Awards for All.
Any organisations who want to be part of this successful project, feel free to contact the Club.
Once finished it should provide the Club with facilities the envy of most other clubs in the Midlands. The Club would like to thank everyone involved in making this project the success that it will be, especially those organisations named above.