1860 - In the beginning
Despite The Cricket Club originally thought as being established in 1878, records found in the archives at Ashton and Glossop Libraries clearly show that Mottram Cricket Club was actually formed in 1860. The records found included match reports, score cards and articles involving Mottram Cricket Club, all of which appeared regularly in both the Glossop Chronicle and North Cheshire Heralds from 1861 onwards.
The first reference to Mottram Cricket Club found, appeared in the 1861 on the 14th September edition of the North Chesire Herald. It was a scorecard for the return match between Mottram and Hollingworth played at Mottram on 7th September. It was a low scoring affair, with Hollingworth 36 all out and Mottram 38 for 4. To appreciate just how long ago that was, there are reports in that same edition on the Crimean War and Abraham Lincoln declaring war on the south.
1878 - Gathering pace & The Glossop & District League
A glance at the expenditure column of the treasurer’s report, James K. Marsland’s cash book for 1878, denotes an entry of “£3.00 for ground rent, 1876 & 1877”. Also discovered was the minutes of the first ever committee meeting, when the clubs official inception took place. Presumably, although we cannot be sure, a gathering of friends on a casual basis was using the ground in question, and not under the guise of Mottram Cricket Club. Upon the formal formation of M.C.C, it appears to have been deemed prudent to pay the landowner his dues.
In 1878, donations totalling over £19 were gratefully received, and worthy of mention is Lord Tollemache’s gift of £5.00. Chairman Joshua A. Hirst and his merry men soon had to purchase some playing equipment. With no expense spared, 2 bats, 4 balls, along with some batting gloves and leg guards set the club back £3. 9 shillings. Repairs to the tent and “other repairs” totalled 8 shillings and sixpence. A healthy profit of £12 14s 6d was carried forward to 1879.
It became clear that the club could not solely rely on donations forever and so in the winter of 1879 a concert was held in the schoolroom with the “Lyric Minstrels” providing the entertainment. The club must have been delighted with the proceeds of £6 19s 6d. However, the pro’s fees soon swallowed up this princely sum as Jimmy Robinson, poached from Tintwistle, was paid £9, 8 shillings for his season’s efforts!
Obviously not much of a batsman, he managed only 94 runs at an average of 13.42, but fared better with the ball, taking 51 wickets with each one costing only 3.52 runs. He took 5 wickets in a match on 5 occasions. Amateur John Postles actually took more wickets than the pro this season with a haul of 54, including one amazing performance against Copley Mill, when he bagged 7 for 8. It is little wonder that the ball outshone the bat, as evidently, the club did not possess a roller until 1882, for which they paid £4.00. Robinson had been retained as pro until 1882, but there was to be a gap of nine years before another was employed. Mottram appeared to be consolidating ahead of a major outlay.
The grand sum of £17, 10s was paid to Lancashire Felt Cricket Club for a pavilion, roller and flagpole. J Storer was paid £5 6d for the removal and re-fixing of this building, and six panes of glass were purchased, at a cost of 7s 6d. How times have changed. Moles were rearing their ugly little heads, just as they are today. Mr J Wearing was paid 1 shilling and sixpence for dealing with the pesky burrowers. In 1891, it was decided to employ the services once more, of a pro. Henry Ridgeway was paid half of what his predecessor Robinson had drawn nine years before, and clearly Mottram were tightening their belts.
In 1894, Mottram became founder members of the Glossop & District Cricket League where they were to remain until 1999. There were to be no more pros, but a bowling feat by our B Goddard, was felt worthy enough to have been telegrammed to the Glossop Chronicle, setting the club back 7½d!
By the turn of the century, with Queen Victoria still on the throne and not a motorcar in sight, (at least not in Mottram anyway) the club was about to undertake the biggest project of their short history.
The New Ground 1901
It was reported in the 26th August 1899 edition of the North Cheshire Herald that -
“Mottram intend changing their field within the next year or two, Mr Taylor, of the Pack Horse, having given them permission to use the flat piece behind his house. This would make an excellent ground when laid. The present field is in such a public situation that a good many persons can watch the play without paying, which is often done.”
A further report in the 11th November edition of North Cheshire Herald also reported that -
“The committee of Mottram Cricket club have decided to change their ground. The new ground will be immediately behind the Pack Horse. Mr Taylor who rents both fields from Lord Tollemache, having kindly given his consent to the transfer.”
The move to the field behind the Pack Horse didn't materialise and instead, in 1901, the club moved from their ground on Broadbottom Rd to 'a new field' just off Hyde Road leased off Mr John Goddard, a local carrier. The whole mammoth operation had cost the combined sum of £88 10s 6½d.
H Broadbent received £64 for the laying and draining of the square and outfield. Messrs Timperley, Goddard, & Wilson were paid £9 6s 6d for the “carting of ashes,” which would have been used as the base for the square. F. Hall billed the club for animal bone dust costing 15 shillings, this being used as a fertiliser. Last but not least, J. Roberts needed £7 14s 9½d for the transport and re-location of the pavilion.
Things didn't start well as the first home match of the 1901 season against St. James had to be played on their opponents ground in Whitfield as the new Hyde Rd ground was considered unfit for play. Mottram sent a weak team and were soundly beaten. Mottram 49 to St. James 110. Things didn't get any better as it wasn't until 17th August that Mottram were able to play their first home match against Charlesworth on their new ground. Again they were well beaten. Mottram 28 - Charlesworth 69.
Return to the Old Ground 1912
Mottram returned to their old ground on Broadbottom Rd for the start of the in 1912 season. It is unclear why they returned.
The Glossop Chronicles 3rd May 1912 edition of reported that -
“Mottram, last season’s champions, signalled their return to their old ground off Broadbottom Road, which had been re-laid, by entertaining their old friends, the Tintwistle team. The hill toppers were assisted by Mr. John Chapman captain of Derbyshire C.C., who is one of Mottrams signed players this season. Mottram batted first and put on 222 for two wickets, John Chapman scoring 105 not out. Tintwistle were dismissed for 62”.
The 4th May 1912 edition of the North Cheshire Herald also reported on the match and the move back to the old ground. It reported that -
“It was decided last year to return to the Broadbottom Road ground. It was necessary to re-lay. and re-drain the crease and to carry out other improvements to the ground. This scheme has cost the club £70, part of which has been raised, but a substantial amount is still required. The ground alterations have been carried out by Harry Bagshaw, of Glossop, the ex -Derbyshire C.C. professional. Valuable assistance in determining the levels has been kindly given by Mr. S. Hudson, surveyor to the Mottram Urban District Council. In this respect, the crease is now as near perfection as possible. Various club members performed useful service in the re-building of the pavilion.”
It was during this time ironically, that we enjoyed, so far, our most successful period, in terms of silverware. Between 1910 & 1916, the league championship was won on four occasions, as the legendary Arthur Marsland, wove his magic with the ball.
The Great War then interupted the progress of the Cricket Club, with all organised League Cricket being suspended.
Following the Great War, naturally, proceedings did not resume where they once were. The years that followed were lean, with a Rhodes Bowl in 1928 & a League Championship in 1936 the only silverware claimed prior to the start of the Second World War.