Earl Stonham Cricket Club was originally founded in 1954 and cricket was played from then until 1966 when the club sadly folded. In 1988 Earl Stonham Cricket Club was re-formed by a group of local enthusiasts (initiated by John Player and Derek Griffiths) when Stowmarket CC, who had been using the Earl Stonham ground, relocated into Stowmarket. The following summer the first fixtures were played and soon the decision was taken to apply for entry to league cricket.
The club joined the Mick McNeil Suffolk Cricket League and over the next few seasons made steady progress through the divisions until reaching Division One, by which time the league had become the Harpers Sports Suffolk Cricket League. However, in 2005 the restructuring of local league cricket resulted in the Harpers League becoming a Sunday league and a decision was taken to apply to the Club Colours Suffolk Premier Cricket League in order to continue playing cricket on Saturdays. After winning the Suffolk Premier League in 2011, the club decided to switch again to the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Cricket Championship.
Meadlands Cricket Club were ground-sharing with Earl Stonham CC during 2005 and 2006. At the end of a successful 2006 season a joint decision was made between members of Earl Stonham CC and Meadlands CC for Meadlands CC to become Earl Stonham CC's second XI for the benefit of both clubs. The Earl Stonham second XI play on Sundays in the Hunts County Bats Suffolk Cricket League.
The following piece of writing is a quaint and somewhat intriguing account of Earl Stonham Cricket Club between 1954 and 1966 written by one of its founding members, Colin Edgar.
"Cricket Lovely Cricket"
I started playing for Earl Stonham in 1959, although the club was formed in 1954. By 1966 our playing strength had dwindled and in order to fulfil that seasons fixture list (before the club finally closed) I had to draw in friends and some players from school. During 1959 to 1966 we played on wickets which were very dodgy and high scores were hard to come by. Some grounds I remember well, Saxtead Green (the little triangle near the windmill where the wicket keeper was only a few yards from the road), Kerrison School, Thorndon ('That bowler coming on killed his Mum and Dad') and Brundish (where the pavilion key was kept under the roller). Some outfields were made more interesting by the occasional cow pat. The following players from that time spring readily to mind: Bill Chaplin, Don Dix, Tony Stiff, Roy Rivers, Cyril Rush, George Beaumont, Gordon Hannay (rarely sober), Fred Morley, Michael Beaumont, Maurice Rivers, Robin Wrinch, Trevor Meggs, Ody Stannard, John Hill, Malcolm Elliot and Keith Tydeman.
Colin Edgar, 2006
Earl Stonham Cricket Club celebrated its resurrection in the Autumn of 1988 after nearly twenty years in oblivion. Stowmarket and District C.C. had just returned to town with a new ground and clubhouse, having played its cricket at Forward Green for a number of years. I had captained Stowmarket Third XI in that last summer, but had no desire to leave the village green for Chilton Fields. From a chance meeting in the 'Dog' with villagers Terry Clarke (landlord), Derek Griffiths (local worthy) and John Adams (a real cricketer), it became apparent that there was a genuine desire to keep cricket in the village for the young (and not so young) people of the village. An autumn get-together was advertised for all interested parties.
Over twenty people turned up at the pub in time for that first meeting, very keen to see the rebirth of village cricket and even more keen to get off to Yarmouth to celebrate Dave Porch's stag night, leaving 5 of us to conduct the business! However, a second and subsequent meetings followed, lots of attendees, officers appointed, funds raised, mowers assembled, kit purchased, site screens repainted and the winter passed in an atmosphere of enthusiastic and energetic anticipation.
Spring came and the first games were celebrated with large crowds, fun events, post match festivities - a great success. I'll leave others to tell the rest of the story, but just a few memories: Neil (Buff) Chaplin's box falling out of his boxers; Stonham's first (and only) streaker; Diver on the boundary spreadeagled and surrounded by beer cans; Griff shouting "One Pound" at every fund raising event; lots of 'fat blokes' in the close fielding positions.
This website needs your memories to jog mine...
John Player, 2006