Woodborough’s Heritage

Woodborough, a Sherwood Forest Village, recorded in Domesday

Woodborough Cricket Club

It isn’t certain when the Cricket Club was formed, but we do have a selection of photographs that date from 1895. Cricket was played on a field behind some cottages at the lower end of Bank Hill opposite the entrance to Woodborough Hall.

February 1955 - On Wednesday 19th January 1955, a Parish meeting passed unanimously a resolution that a loan of £925 be applied for from the County Council to purchase 3½ acres just below the School on the north side. This will mean an extra 4d rate. Mr Taylor, who bought the field when the Manor was sold last September, has generously offered it to the Parish Council. So, I understand, we are almost back full circle to the ground used in Mr Hill’s day.

July 1955 - The Playing Field committee has asked that the following information be given: The Field now belongs to the Village, the Parish Council having taken over on the 16th June. The purchase price with expenses is £971 13s. 0d; a loan has been taken from the Nottinghamshire County Council.

At the moment no estimation has been received for preparing the field for levelling, the levelling itself and laying out as a sports ground, but obviously it will be a considerable sum.

The following article appeared in the Nottingham Post:

“The six hundred villagers of Woodborough are greatly relieved. For more than a quarter of a century the stalwarts of Woodborough had put on their whites and trod the soft turf of the cricket field, ready to do battle for the honour of their native soil. The Woodborough club it was agreed, was the scourge of all Nottinghamshire. And then came a thunderbolt in the form of a notice to quit. Stunned, the villagers - enthusiasts or not - watched as the outfield went under the plough.

That was last year. The mighty hitters and cunning bowlers of the cricket club trickled over to Epperstone rather than have no game at all. Deep gloom fell on Woodborough. Now reprieve has come. The owner of ground, Mr F Paulson, has kindly offered a field [behind the old school on Lingwood Lane] to Nottinghamshire County Council, which knows how keenly the subject is felt in the village. So Woodborough may miss one season of their beloved game - and in fact, may have their green extended to accommodate tennis and football.”

Photo on the right: spectators seated outside the club house 1927

This field mentioned above is owned by Mr F Paulson who bought the land at the 1922 auction and allowed cricket to be played there without rent.

Around 1950 the Club may have ceased for a time whilst funding for the field was arranged, see Woodborough Parish Council notes as follows:

Above left: Cup winners 1885 outside Woodborough Hall

Above right: Team of 1894

Above left : Team of 1904

Above right: Team of 1904 inscribed “won 16 - drawn 5 - lost 0”

Above left: Team of 1910

Above right: Spectators outside the club house 1927

Above left: Members and team 1935

Above right: At the crease 1935

Above left: Team of 1940

Above right: Team of 1970

Above left: Team of 2000

Above right: Team of 2015

November 1955: An estimate given by the surveyor for the scheme shown on a plan, (football, cricket, two hard tennis courts and a bowling green) was £4,200, and even the estimate for levelling alone is £800. Towards this a further grant of not more than £300 from the National Playing Fields Association is likely. The rest we must raise ourselves.

The Playing Fields Committee intends to co-opt several young people, and also to call a meeting of the youth of the village who comprise most of the intending players.

The sooner the money is raised, the sooner something is likely to happen. Meanwhile, now that the trees are up and almost away, levelling is the next stage.

October 1966: The future of the playing fields has now been decided. On 6th September the Parish Council met representatives of the County Council when it was agreed to hand over the major part of the site for the building of a new school, scheduled for 1967-68. In exchange for the site the County Council will be recommended to take over the outstanding loan, at present standing at £838, which was raised for the purchase of the land in 1955. The scheme also provides for the payment of £1,000 to the Parish and the provision of a new playing field on the land at the rear, which will be sufficient for a football pitch and cricket square. It is an essential part of the transaction that although the freehold of the new playing field will be held by the Parish, the use will be shared with the [new]school and, from the village point of view, an important consideration is freedom from maintenance problems. A section of the existing playing field is to be retained and earmarked as a possible site for a [new] village hall.

Parish Council Notes May 1969: The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the school on Tuesday 6th May 1969, and for the first part will take the the form of a Parish Meeting. The reason for this is to obtain a formal resolution from the village authorising the transfer of the former playing field land to the County Council for the building of the new school. The fact that the old playing field has been exchanged for the freehold of a bigger and (eventually) better playing field-plus the sum of £1,000, plus erasure of an outstanding loan of some £830, plus free maintenance by the Education Department Playing Fields staff in consideration of a joint user benefits does not alter the requirement to obtain parish approval. The law makes no distinction between advantageous arrangement of this kind and a simple straightforward sale of land. Incidentally, the village still retains possession of the southern strip of the old playing field on which the replacement tennis courts have still to be built, and the part fronting onto the road [Lingwood Lane] is noted in the layout plan for development if required for village hall purposes. The new school opened in 1968.

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There are gaps in our information between 1955 and 1966 and more between 1969 and 1982.

July 1969: Development of the new playing field, which was to have been levelled and laid out in the Spring, has been delayed by exceptionally wet weather. The Council are to meet the architect and contractor on the site to press for early positive action. The club was reformed late 1969 and played a full 1970 season. Out of 26 games played 10 were won, 10 lost and 5 drawn and 1 rained off.

Planning permission for the new Pavilion is expected at any time now [September 1982]. Quotations are being obtained from a number of contractors. These will be very carefully considered by Woodborough Parish Council, the Football Club, the Cricket Club and the architect. By October 1982 tenders for the building of a sports pavilion were received but not accepted, as at this stage they were considered too high for the funds available, but further consultations are taking place.

December 1982: Six tenders were received for the building of the shell only of the Sports Pavilion. The lowest tender had to be accepted and it is hoped that work will have started by early January. By March 1983 it was reported work is progressing on the internal fittings. Both the Cricket and the Football clubs are paying for the flooring tiles and that work in progress is being maintained and is in the final stages and completion.

Most of the information obtained has been taken from Parish Newsletters which contained edited minutes of meetings.