Bedminster Cricket Club
The earliest records of the club begin at 1847, although we were undoubtedly extant before that date. By 1851 we were fielding two teams, and the name "Grace" was appearing in the scorebook. (WG Grace only recorded three pair of ducks in a match. One of these was for Bedminster against Swindon G.W.R. We have a copy of the score sheet.)
Our first ground was in Coronation Rd., Bedminster, behind what is now St. Paul's Church.
From there we moved to Greenway Bush Lane (where Grace scored his pair of ducks, when he was caught and bowled in the first innings by a J. Laverick, who also dismissed him in the second innings, on May 7, 1870.) In spite of Graces non-contribution, Bedminster won by 8 wickets.
Greenway Bush Lane was bought by the Wills family to build the tobacco factory which still exists today.
Bedminster CC moved to Ashton Gate, and shared the ground with Bristol City FC, with the Bedminster Chairman, Dr.Sir Ernest Cooke also chairing the City Board. Ashton Gate was too small for cricket (one of our players, A.E. North scored 239 runs, including 26 sixes, against Thornbury, before the tea interval, in 1905.) At that time the membership totalled over 400, and was one of the 33 founder-members of the Bristol and District Cricket Association in 1892. Fewer than a dozen of those names remain.
The stress of football and cricket on the same pitch could not continue, and Bedminster leased 7 acres of the Smythe Estate in 1912 and moved to "The Clanage.". There followed a highly successful period for the Club, interrupted by the two World Wars, when, on both occasions, the ground was requisitioned for military use. In 1941 it became the site of a Balloon Barrage Unit, and traces the "occupation" still abound.
Our lease expired early in the 90's, and in the middle of that decade we were served with an order to quit - with no notice whatsoever. Arsonists burnt our pavilion to the ground twice in three months, and almost put us out of business. The Club rose to the challenge, and the players themselves built a new pavilion to roofing stage, when suddenly we were left homeless. After some desperate negotiations, and with support from the City Council, we moved "into the next field" with a 50-year lease from the Council at an advantageous rent. This still left us with only Portacabins to change in, but ingenuity overcame this problem, together with the hope that before The Lottery would help us build facilities in keeping without requirements. This materialised after many years of planning applications, repeat planning applications and ups and downs and we now have the best pavilion and playing area around and we continue to make improvements year on year.
We run 5 Saturday sides and a Sunday team and also have a thriving Youth Section. We have 2 pitches which we look after ourselves, and have built 3 all-weather practice nets. We provide professional coaching for the youngsters, and book 4 practice nets every winter.
We have re-structured the club to ensure regular funding, an ever-expanding Youth Section, a general increase in membership, and a closer bonding with the people living close by.
We are now the only Cricket Club in Bristol 3, where facilities for youth are scarce and badly needed. All of us here are determined to make Bedminster Cricket Club the success that Bristol 3 deserves.