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Coxhoe Cricket Club

A cricket team existed in Coxhoe as far back as 1866 according to Mr W. Errington  who researched its history some years ago with the help of Miss Mary Bell, daughter of one of its founders Nicholas Gent Bell, late vice president of the club.

A,  newspaper report in the Durham Advertiser 8th September 1866 says a game of cricket is played at Joe Elliott’s farm at Stobb House, Sleekburn.  Names of the Coxhoe players were J. Snoeden, G. Ward, N. Hartley, G. Bows, T. Russell, J. Lambton, H. Gardener, H. Foster, A. May, W. Coates and T. Cowell. 

Further evidence of early games was found in an ’Advertiser’ letter of 14 Aug 1868 about a game between Coxhoe and Sedgefield Rovers.  Scores were Coxhoe 46 and 19, Sedgefield 31 and 34.

Coxhoe village cricket club started in 1889 , its founders members were Mr John Wood J.P. of Coxhoe Hall; Nicholas Gent Bell of Avenue House; William Fawell, a local farmer; Robert Sanderson, joiner & timber merchant; Joe Truesdale, reporter; Dr William Oliver of Cornforth Lane;  J. Pallister, a grocer.  Some of its early players were R. Hunt, J. White, J. McClain, M. Boocock, T. Weightman and J. Weightman. 

Those that joined later were Nicholas Mohan, building contractor; Charles Jackman, plumber; Albert Brighouse, manager of Steetly works; William Wood of Cornforth Lane; Frank Barkhouse and many others.


Coxhoe Cricket Club

Photo from R. Taylor’s Collection-Coxhoe Hall Cricket Club, C 1895
At first it was called ‘Coxhoe Hall Club’, they had a badge to wear on their blazers which was of an oak tree with an arrow embedded in it and games were played in a field near Mill Farm near to Coxhoe Bridge railway station. One member who played when he was young was William Stokoe of Bowburn, and according to the newspaper article 10 May 1968, remembers going to away games via a horse and brake belonging to James Laing, a local farmer and sometimes staying overnight.

The field used by the club was in a valley below Coxhoe Hall which was often flooded in winter, it was near a stream which flowed to the Mill.

 Sometimes it was completely frozen over; and they had skating parties, often at midnight, with braziers lit nearby, and hot drinks and potatoes etc.
By 1908, the Cricket Club was able to rent the field at Cow Close which they still use today.  Its name was changed to ‘Coxhoe C.C.’ about then.  Two of its players were two schoolteachers from Cornforth Lane, A. Turner and A. McPherson, who both lost their lives in WW1.  During the 1921 & 1926 coal strike, volunteers helped to extend the playing area, players remembered are, George Webb, Bob Wood, Albert Glendinning, John Heron, John Anderson, Bert Mohan, Frank & William Fawell to name a few.

Apparently  the farmer would cut the outfield, but this was only done at haytime.  Mr Errington remembers, “They had to have big hitters to score runs, as at times the hay cocks were still drying on the field when a game was in progress, and the players who fielded in between the hay could only be beaten by a lofted shot.  Butcher Lowe, as he was known, was a terrific hitter and was only happy when he could put a ball in the Brickyard pond in the next field, a good distance away, but something he did often much to the teams delight.”

The club had another name change in 1921 to ‘ Coxhoe and District C.C.’, which opened the gates to more players from other villages such as Pedlar Benson, Frank Wormsley, Joe Tarn, Tom Yeardley, Joe Etherington, Harry Holmes, Harry Ayton, Albert Walker, Jack Spence, Jim Sewell, Albert Brighouse, Horace Stone, Harry Wright, James Finity, Ralph Swinbank.

They played in the old Wear Valley League for some time, and in the Harlepool League, and won the championship of the latter in 1921, the photograph of this team is still in the pavilion today and other pictures of later years.

Winners of the 1921 Harlepool League

Winners of the 1921 Harlepool League

R. Harvey, J.Wright, J. Heron, T. Horniman, I. Harrod, J.Etherington,J.Sewell
A. Glendenning, J. Spence, J. Lowe, J. Harrod R. Swinbank, H. Stone

In 1946, immediately after the War, the fortunes of the Cricket Club were at a low ebb.  Bert Mohan, Club treasurer, found they had only 4d in the bank, but things improved as men returned from the war and local traders helped with donations.  The late Arthur Kitchingman, who was secretary for six years, also helped the Club on its feet again.

In 1951 the club won the Championship, they defeated Willington on their own ground after a play-off for the championship, Coxhoe was 139 for 7 after 45 overs, and they only won by six runs.  J Hutchinson with 49 for Coxhoe and W. Gatenby 35 were the best scorers, and for Willington, J. Bibby made a great impact, and not until he had been dismissed did Coxhoe seem to have a chance. 

In 1952 and in 1955, they again won the Championship.  Samuel Errington was the captain during this period. Later, when experienced George Allison came to play, he made a big difference, and he also helped to mentor the younger players in the club.

The Cricket club was able to purchase the field they used from Mrs Clark of West Cornforth in 1953, with the help of a loan from R.W.A. Heppell, the clubs President.  Money was raised with things like jumble sales and a dance and was repaid in just over two years.  The yearly danced continued for 15 years until popularity dwindled.

They won the Northern Echo and Despatch Cup in 1962 at Etherley, beating Lands.  Coxhoe made 191, with Ted Simpson scoring 60, the highest of the match, Lands scored 97.

By 1967 they had won the Cup three times, Ted Simpson is remembered making 120 against Wolsinham, and Ronnie Taylor once made 99 when overs ran out.

The tearoom was bought from the golf Club in 1930, moved and re-erected by club members, who also donated a pound each, this was later repaid once finance was arranged.  It was John Wood from Coxhoe Hall who performed the opening ceremony.


John Wood at the opening ceremony

John Wood at the opening ceremony

Pavilion opening

Cricket team

Cricket 1920's

Scorecard 1953

Cricket Team 1955

Hownan Cup 1954
G. Rees, S. Jackson, M. Ramshaw
E. Frisby, W. Barrow
J. Tate, D. Vaulks, S. Spinks
C. Hutchingson, J. Kirkpatrick, A.Staples

Coxhoe C. C. 1956

Presidents Cup Scorecard

Cricket team 1962

Coxhoe Cricket Club 1962
J. Bainbridge, S. Jackson, E. Frisby, A. Veitch, R. Taylor, W E Simpson.
W. Gatenby, D. Lumley, G. Allison, D Valks, G Spinks.

Cri8cket Team 1968

1968 Winners of Mid Durham League & Northern Echo Cup

G. Allison, T. Gibb, G. Spinks, D. Chisholm, G. Story
R. Taylor, A. Armstrong, A. Flocket, D. Vaulks, A. Yeitch, G. Storey

 

Durham Cricket Festival 1984 programme cover

City of Durham Cricket Festival 1984

Souvenir Programme

and we will leave the final word to Mr Billy Etherington and an article from

The Northern Echo, 25th February 1972

N Echo article 1972

 

 

 

 

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