Chelford as a village has had associations with cricket for almost 150 years. The present club is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, but earlier cricket in Chelford involved the Cheshire County Cricket Club, which played here from 1861 on a ground behind the old Dixon Arms on land now occupied by James Irlam and Son.
An early celebrity of the County Club was Thomas Nixon, born in Nottingham in 1815, who came to Chelford from Oxford in 1857 and set up a cricketing outfitter’s business, having already developed leg guards, cane handled bats and one of the first ever bowling machines. He died in 1877 and is buried in Chelford. When the County Club moved out in 1882, the ground was used by the Gentlemen of Cheshire until the Ministry of Food took over the site in World War II.
Chelford Cricket Club as we know it today was set up in 1948 on the present ground which was developed by local enthusiasts from a wilderness of long dank grass with thistles and docks, a mound at one side and a long ridge running towards the brook.
The club has been fortunate to have had a succession of excellent and loyal groundsmen including Mike Shenton, who had acted as groundsman for over 20 years before his recent death. The new pavilion was built in 1965 (for £1188!), and the score box was added in 1990.
A feature which has given Chelford the feel of a family club was the influence of the Potts family, Stan Potts being the first captain in 1948. Also involved were Stan’s brother Fred and his wife Dorothy, their son David, an outstanding opening batsman and wicketkeeper, and his three sons. Under David’s guidance the Junior team was set up and was very successful, winning the Festival in 1991 and representing Cheshire in the National U15 competition for County Club sides.Other notable names associated with the club are Professor Sir Bernard Lovell, who played in the early years and would try to introduce the game of cricket to visitors to Jodrell Bank, and another early player, John Oliver, who continues to provide enthusiastic support as club President.
One of the great successes in the Clubs’ history, has been the Junior Festival which was inaugurated in 1983 by three members, Mike Shenton, Derek Higgins and Paul Heath, and quickly became an important competition for junior cricketers from throughout Cheshire.
It is still as popular as ever and continues to this day.At present the Club plays in the TACS Cheshire Cricket League, and fields two sides on Saturdays. We also have Sunday, Midweek & Junior teams. Nets take place on Thursday evenings with all welcome.