PCC – Part 1 Early History
Cricket has been played in Pucklechurch for over 100 years although it is uncertain as to exactly when Pucklechurch CC was formed. The earliest record we’ve found so far appeared in the Bristol Mercury & Daily Post in May 1878 – a match was played between Clifton Alliance and Pucklechurch at home. The Clifton Alliance team scored a massive total of.....71 runs all out and Pucklechurch, who needed just 28 runs to win, still managed to lose with a total score of 43-9!! Fortunately a game played on June 22nd - Pucklechurch v. Shakspeare - appears to have had a happier outcome:
“This match was played on Saturday, at Pucklechurch and resulted in a victory for the home team by an innings and 17 runs to spare.”
Scores from these early matches, including that against Bristol Wanderers also played in June 1878 seem to suggest that the standard of cricket played left a lot to be desired!
Details of individual players and their performances are often listed but it’s not easy to learn more about them. Census returns can help with this occasionally and so we’ve learned that the Rev. E. Langley was Curate here until 1879, Hillyer was a School Master (living in Parkfield Rank) and Gibbs a farmer of 200 acres (Dodds Farm).
We also know that by 1892 PCC was definitely flourishing alongside a village football club, so much so that the funds of the two clubs were amalgamated - an Annual Supper was held when accounts were presented and prizes given for the best batting and bowling averages. According to the Parish Magazine for 1893 a third member also received a pair of trousers for his excellent bowling average!
As far as the venue for these early matches are concerned we have no direct evidence to show where they took place. Our home ground, Pucklechurch Recreation Field, was originally a huge field called the Burrell and at one time the property of a Bristol Brewery. Between the two World Wars this land was sold to the District Council who built a number of council houses on part of it, and sold the rest to the Parish. It has been reported that before the Parish Council acquired the field, sports enthusiasts had always experienced difficulty in obtaining suitable ground for their activities.
Part 2 Coming Soon!