It's just been one great story from when I can first remember, 1946-47, up to today. And I hope it continues for a good few years longer. Ian Morris - Astley Bridge 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

Wirksworth is a small market town, an ancient settlement in the hills of Derbyshire, from Roman times a prosperous lead mining centre.  It grew, enriched by lead, to be in Tudor times the second town in Derbyshire.  In the nineteenth century with lead uneconomic Wirksworth moved to the produce limestone with huge quarries surrounding the town.  The other important industry was textiles, built by the industrial genius of Arkwright.  Now it is a dormitory town, an attractive place to live, with thriving tourism and creative industries and an impressive annual arts festival.  Wirksworth is a diverse and florishing community with a strong, independent spirit and a dedication to the arts, the environment and radical causes.

Brief club history 

Wirksworth men played cricket in 1757 in the first match recorded in Derbyshire history and Wirksworth Cricket Club was formally established in 1849, playing at Broadmeadow in the heart of town, where we have played for over 160 years.  In Victorian times the club was one of the strongest in the county, three times hosting the All England team, and the Edwardian age was our first golden age with several club players representing Derbyshire.  That confident success died in the first world war and the twenties and thirties were undistinguished decades.

In 1939 cricket was suspended for 'the duration of hostilities', with bats, pads and stumps spread round Wirksworth for the next six years.  They pitched those stumps in the first post-war game.  When cricketers returned in 1945 they found the facilities in a disastrous state; field overgrown, ground equipment rusted, the enormous hedge uncut, the pavilion doors smashed and the crockery broken.  The boundary fence was rusted and the old wooden benches broken up for the victory bonfire.

'This is what we have been fighting for', Arthur Killer, club secretary, proclaimed and the club began a dedicated effort to rebuild.  Post-war the club played good class friendly cricket around the Derbyshire Dales, until in 1971 we joined the Derbyshire County League.

The 150th anniversary was celebrated in 1999 and currently the club, now united with ancient rivals Middleton CC, has impressive facilities; an extensive ground in a beautiful setting with a handsome new pavilion.  There are four senior teams, all promoted in 2012, seven junior squads and cricket for women and girls.  With strong community links and flourishing club and school partnerships Wirksworth & Middleton CC earned club mark and is now a focus club

The club and Taking the Field 

Roy Pearce is the club's appointed historian and has researched and written about early club history, especially Victorian cricket in Wirksworth and the golden days of the Edwardian age.  In 2011 as part of the TTF project he began to interview club stalwarts to compile a post-war oral history.  These interviews form the basis of a modern history he is writing (excerpts availble below).  The digital stories that appear here are a collaboration of TTF and Wirksworth & Middleton CC.

The 'Scandal' That Started Youth Cricket

The 'Scandal' That Started Youth Cricket

As a young boy, fearing he would be unable to play cricket at his new school, Andrew Redfern wrote a letter about his plight to the Minister of Sport. The letter caused quite a scandal! But it did also begin his long and happy relationship with Wirksworth and Middleton Cricket Club.

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A History of Middleton Cricket Club

A History of Middleton Cricket Club

Wirksworth & Middleton are now a united club, but it wasn't always that way. David Mason tells us a bit about the history of the Middleton half of the union.

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Innocence of youth?

Innocence of youth?

Roy Pearce tells us about his time coaching the Wirksworth and Middleton Kwik Cricket team.

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Hitting Sixes and Making Friends

Hitting Sixes and Making Friends

Charlotte Horton recalls her best memories of playing for Wirksworth & Middleton

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Talking about club generations

Talking about club generations

Sue Marshall and Roy Pearce talk about how all generations contribute to Wirksworth and Middleton Cricket Club, and what a great club atmosphere this helps to create.

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