It has been a privilege to look after the ground. It became my life and the family’s life really Alan Williams - Blaina CC
Project supported by MCC Lord's and University of Glamorgan

Marylebone Cricket Club, Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood, London, NW8 8QN | Project enquiries: Neil Robinson | 020 7616 8559

Montgomery (in Welsh, Trefaldwyn) in Powys, lies 1.6km from the English border with Shropshire in Welsh Marches, 20 miles West of Shrewsbury.  The town was established around a Norman castle and the parish church of St. Nicholas both built in the early 13th century.  St. Nicholas is still in constant use in the centre of the town and there are substantial ruins of the castle overlooking the market town which now has a population of around 1,250.  Offas Dyke runs nearby and the town also has an excellent museum in the Old Bell.  Montgomery used to be the market town of the County of Montgomeryshire until local government reforms of 1974 created the county of Powy.

Brief club history 

The club probably originally owes it's existence to the Herbert family, the owners of Lymore Hall in the early 19th century, who owned a private cricket ground on the present site of our beautiful Lymore Park ground.  The earliest match that any reports can be found for was played on 17th September 1847 when the Shrewsbury Chronicle reported a game between 'eleven gentlemen of Montgomery and eleven of Newtown.'  The earliest actual scorecard that exists for Montgomery Cricket Club is probably the oldest existing card that survives in Wales.  It relates to a game played at Lymore Park against Llanidloes on 25th July 1851.  Fiercely contested, Montgomery won by one run.

In 1882 the Lymore Park Ground hosted what is probably the most memorable match in the history of the Montgomery Cricket Club - a United All England XI came to play a Montgomery 22 in an exhibition match.  A newspaper report notes that the game took place over three days between 16th and 18th June 1882.  Marquees and stands were erected and in perfect weather a large crowd watched the game.  The All England XI scored 76 and 97, but with scores of 120 and 115, Montgomery won by 62 runs.

The club has just completed a history of the club publishing two books of newspaper cuttings from 1840-2000 and including an oral history of the club from 1940 to the present day.  Extracts of which are available on our website.

The club has always been a significant player in cricket in Mid Wales, regularly providing players for the County team and now boasts ECB Clubmark Accreditation with three youth teams and two senior teams playing in the FBC Manby Bowdler Shropshire County Cricket League.

The club and Taking the Field 

Montgomery Cricket Club, with support from Heritage Lottery Fund, has, in 2012 completed an oral history project, through which we have been in contact with Taking the Field.  We hope that the 40 hours of interviews with players from 1940 to the present day, the collection of photographs from 19th century on and the two books of newspaper cuttings about the club from 1840-2000 will add to the rich history of the game.

Memories of playing for the Montgomeryshire County teams 1958-1960

Memories of playing for the Montgomeryshire County teams 1958-1960

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How a feather and a glacier mint were a must for cricket coaches in Chirbury in the 1930's.

How a feather and a glacier mint were a must for cricket coaches in Chirbury in the 1930's.

John Bennett, one of the finest players to play for Montgomery, tells of his early school days in Chirbury (a village three miles from Montgomery) in the 1930's where he was coached in school yard by a retired teacher using some interesting coaching equipment! 

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1960's club bowling legend Bert Davies and the 7 LBWs in one innings

1960's club bowling legend Bert Davies and the 7 LBWs in one innings

Brian Purslow - one of the best players from the Montgomery CC teams of the 1950's and 1960's - recalls a notorious game against Welshpool in the 1960's, with Philip "PR" Jones, Chris Weaver and John Jones, when Montgomery paceman "Fizzer" Bevan got 7 LBWs in one innings with a little help from the Montgomery CC Umpire Harold Davies. 

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Watching Test Cricket on the first TV in Montgomery and playing with England "bodyline" opener Gilbert Parkhouse

Watching Test Cricket on the first TV in Montgomery and playing with England "bodyline" opener Gilbert Parkhouse

Harry Williams, Kenrick Evans, Bob Bayliss and John Bennett - all distinguished Montgomery CC  players from the 1940's and 1950's - discuss watching Test Cricket on the first TV in Montgomery - which Harry actually installed.

John Bennett also recalls playing for North Wales with England Bodyline tourist and opening batsman, Gilbert Parkhouse .

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PR umpiring the Laws of Cricket to within an inch of their life!

PR umpiring the Laws of Cricket to within an inch of their life!

Philip Jones (PR) was a much loved player, umpire and personality at Montgomery Cricket Club and Mid Wales cricket as a whole from the 1950's to the 1990's. Every player has a PR story and this is one from Eddie Williams - captain of the club when we first won the Border Counties League in 1984. Eddie is reminiscing with Rob Kinsey and Stan Davies - both were players from that Championship winning side. 

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John Jones recalls playing for Montogmeryshire 1958-1960

John Jones recalls playing for Montogmeryshire 1958-1960

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The first TV in Montgomery and memories of Bodyline Ashes batsman Gilbert Parkhouse

The first TV in Montgomery and memories of Bodyline Ashes batsman Gilbert Parkhouse

Kenrick Evans, John Bennett, Harry Williams, and Bob Bayliss - all players from the 1940's and 1950's remember watching cricket on the first TV in Montogmery and John Bennett also recalls his memories of playing for North Wales with Gilbert Parkhouse - the English "Bodyline" Ashes Batsman.

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Montgomery CC Umpire Philip Jones enforcing the Laws of Cricket to the letter!

Montgomery CC Umpire Philip Jones enforcing the Laws of Cricket to the letter!

Eddie "Squareman" Williams reminds fellow members of the 1984 Borders Counties Championship winning side, Rob Kinsey and Stan Davies, of a story demonstrating the strict aderence to the Letter of the Laws of Cricket by Club Umpire Philip "PR" Jones.

This extract is from the Montgomery Cricket Club Oral History Project - more information and extracts can be found at our club website - www.montgomerycricketclub.co.uk 

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