A bit about our past.

The Early years

Little is known about the first cricket played in Verwood. Records show a team called the 'Furze Hackers' played on Dewlands Common.

We do know Verwood cricket club came together on the 6th April 1891, a meeting was held at the school room Verwood with the purpose of forming a committee, the following officers were appointed:

         President              Rev. Claud Brown (40) Vicar (an Australian!)

         Vice-President:     William Fryer (62) Retired barrister

         Captain:               John Hutchinson (25) School master

         Vice-Captain:        Sam Read (25) Under gardener

         Secretary:            Rev. Walter Hulme (35) Curate

         Treasurer:            Frank Martin (41) Station master

         Committee:          William Read (23) Labourer

                                    William Cox (27) Gardener

                                    Sydney Bailey (17) Blacksmith's apprentice

                                    Abednego Green (19) Sacristan

                                    John Read (21) Potter 

The first known match was on Saturday 12th September 1891 v Ringwood at Verwood.

The scores: Ringwood 65;  Verwood 28 & 34. Ringwood wining by 37 runs on the first innings.

This was a return match, the scores for which are not know but Ringwood were again victorious.

Verwood cricket thrived in the early part of the 20th century, the village even having a ladies team. One known result from July 1912 was Verwood ladies v Alderholt ladies played at Alderholt which resulted in a win for Verwood by the narrow margin of 2 runs. E.Shearing batted & bowled well for Verwood. Scores: Verwood 28  Alderholt 26.

 This same year founder members the Rev. Claud Brown & Sydney Bailey were still playing for the club which also included licensee of the Albion inn, Samuel Parker. A photo of this 1912 team can be found in the archives gallery, not all those in the pictured returned from the first world war.


The Post War years

Historical Memories

Christmas whist drives, advertised as having more than forty prizes, all of which were donated (Roy Turner using his charm to persuade local traders etc. To give a prize) were the main fund raising activity during the late forties & early fifties. Public response in the village resulting in the old village hall bulging at its ageing seams.

In 1955, as I recall, a golf competition was held in the recreation ground. 9 holes & fairways were cut around the ground. It was financially a great success. Villagers came in great numbers every evening during the week with the grand finale on the Saturday. As I recall it cost 1/- per round. We raised about £200 which, with a grant from the playing fields association, purchased a motor mower with a seat & roller.

On the playing field the club was very successful. Champions of the Wimborne Saturday league year after year. In the early fifties an application was made to play Sunday cricket & despite strong opposition from the local church & chapel, permission was granted by the Parish council.

Sunday cricket became, over a short period, a good class of game. Many of the top Bournemouth league giants (Throop Corinthians, Bournemouth electric, Adastral, and Richmond Park to name a few) plus the old Somerley side, Wessex Wanderes- all top class sides in those days with a scattering of minor counties players in opposition. Even with the class of opposition, Verwood reigned supreme. A collection box used to raise £4 to £5 every match.

Also during the early post war years, an evening league was held, comprising of teams from the village for a c donated by the late Mr H. S. Craven (The Craven Cup). Competition was fierce with teams like the Fuzzackers (with the local stars Brian & Geoff Hall), Dewlands (with a young Alan hall), Farrow and Ball, the Cherries, Station Road (I wonder if Gerald Froud remembers his evening behind the stumps) All these games were played on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday as I recall and played on a wicker cut adjacent to the present square. It created great interest especially during the early years of its existence. Alas those days will never return.

Towards the end of the fifties the Verwood cricket club lost all its senior players and officials over a very short period of time. A few of the young members tried to keep the club going but in about 1960 or 1961 the club folded. The wicket was kept in a reasonable state by myself during the sad period of about 18 months, hoping that cricket would return to the village.

The turning point came when the Woodland C.C approached what remained of the Verwood cricket club to play evening league (Wimborne) at Verwood. The club then revived a Verwood and woodlands C.C with Mr Cottrell as chairman. In 1963 the committee decided to apply to the Bournemouth league and much to our great delight and surprise we were successful. The Bournemouth league was almost a closed shop at the time. So in 1964 we played our first game against Kennedys on Kings Park 3, being dismissed for 36. However our opponents were bowled out for 26- a famous victory. That year we were champions at the first attempt, repeating this in 1965 by winning Division Three.

A.Hall (1988)