It's a family atmosphere, everyone's welcome - it's nice Kim Baker - Spondon 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

Researching your Club’s History

Researching your club’s history is, I should warn you now, a highly addictive undertaking, although I’m sure you’ve all found your way here because you’re already interested! It’s a fascinating pastime for people all over the country, uncovering real nuggets and gems of information and really fascinating stories.

Take a look at this digital story from Blaina to see how they were inspired to find out some great stuff about their history:

                                              'Collecting our history'

This page is just some helpful hints to get you all started and some important things to remember in your research – some suggestions about where to find information, some points on referencing and some thoughts on organising your research. Please comment with your own tips, advice and so on – the more help the better!

General Advice

  • Do not worry if your club’s archive has been lost, has bits missing or even completely non-existent! There are plenty of sources of information, in often surprising places, that can uncover real gems.
  • Do get a group of people together who are interested – trawling through archives on your own can get a little boring, and it’s always fun to share your results with others who care as much as you do!
  • Technology really can help you collect and organise your research.
  • Get in touch with your local history society. They will know the best places to find the information that you need and most importantly, they will be able to put your findings into context. At Blaina CC, for example, they realised that for one period of time their fixtures were arranged around a particular train line – this contextual knowledge helped them understand why the fixtures were arranged as they were.
  • Remember that you’re not just researching the history of the cricket club but also the community its in – you may find local historical information from around the club really useful in explaining certain events.
  • Do not forget to treat what people tell you with a pinch of salt – especially if they are remembering things from a long time ago! Be as tactful as you can with this, but people’s memories are always a tricky business, and mistakes can always be made – especially with dates. Take this into account with your research, look for written records to verify what people tell you, and if you can’t find record of an event someone has told you about, try the records for a few years either side.

Finding and Organising Material

  • Firstly – if you and your club are in the lucky position of having a good archive, then fantastic! That’s the place to start. Have a look through the committee minutes, match fixtures, scorecards, budgets and financial records – all of these can open up the history of your club.
  • If you don’t have your own archive, don’t worry. Many of these get lost throughout the years, and there are plenty of other places you can find out about your club:
  1. Ask your club elders and stalwarts – they’ll have a good idea about events in their time at the club. Of course – do try and verify everything they tell you (especially if these things happened many years ago!) but an informal chat or some oral history interviews may be the place to start
  2. Local newspapers will often contain reports on matches, meetings and so on, so you can glean loads of information from there. Your local reference library will probably have these on microfilm and often you can search through for specific terms. There are also a number online after being digitised by the British Library here
  • During your research – make use of technology. Digital cameras are really useful to take pictures of documents/newspapers etc that you can take back home and read through closely then. They can save you a lot of time!
  • When making notes, make sure you clearly record WHERE you found the information and the DATE that you found it. Not only do you need this for referencing if you ever publish your work, but most importantly if you want to find it again you need to know where to look!
  • Think about organising your work into decades – by dividing the work into chunks you can build the narrative of the club easily. Keep notes of key events and when they happened, you can then start to build the ‘story’ of your club around this.
  • Databases or spreadsheets are really good tools to keep track of the work you’ve done. You can then order your notes in date order even if you gather information from many different areas.

Referencing

  • As noted above, it’s really important to write down where you found information. This is mostly for your benefit – if you need to find it again you need to know where to look! It’s also important for when you come to writing up your research, any quotations or particularly interesting stories need to be referenced.
  • You don’t need very much information to do this, and it can be split into two main categories:
  1. For published material, you need the date it was published; the title e.g. ‘Cricket in my life’ (book) or ‘Monmouthshire Merlin’ (newspaper); the page number you are quoting from and, if it’s a book, the author’s name and publisher.
  2. For unpublished material, the date and title of the source should be enough, e.g. ’25 Sept 1963, AGM minutes’

And finally, don’t forget to write up your histories and share them with us here at Taking the Field!