Cricket was first played at Chippenham in the mid 1800s and has transformed a lot in 150 years
Thursday 25th May 1843
The first recorded cricket match in the village.
A game was played between the teams 'Chippenham Victoria' and 'Freckenham Prince Albert' at Chippenham Park (noted as J.S.Tharpe's Park). It was popular at the time to play exhibition matches in the names of the royal family.
Chippenham won by 29 runs - the score card read:
Chippenham 38 (Smith 3+ wkts, Trundle 3 wkts) & 54; Freckenham 37 (Trundle 22) & 26 (C Taylor 3+ wkts)
A dinner was held afterwards at the Hope Inn (now Tharp Arms)
First Half of 20th Century
Cricket was popular in Chippenham in the first half of 20th century with the estate employing many more people and there were regular matches against local villages, usually played on a Sunday. Colin Pammenter who still lives in the village led the team in the 195Os and 60s when they played on a ground that was located a further couple hundred yards into the park from the current venue.
The Current Club
The current club wasn't formed until 1993. Following discussions in The Tharp Arms, the idea to start the club was born. However, the main problem was having somewhere for us to play. Eustace and Anne Crawley, who owned Chippenham Park Estate, were contacted to see if they had any land that we could use. The Crawleys were very supportive and agreed to lease the club the land where the cricket ground is now situated.
At the time this was a cow field and a lot of work and money was required to turn it into a cricket ground. We nearly gave up when we found the cost of just creating the cricket square would be £12000! However, with the help of a grant from East Cambs District Council (ECDC) and a number of fund raising events, which received fantastic support from villagers, we raised the money and laid the square in the spring of 1993. We could not play on the square for another 14 months but it did give us time to turn the cow field into a cricket outfield. It also meant we played all our games in the first year at our opponents' grounds.
The first game at the new Chippenham ground took place on the first Sunday in July 1994. Appropriately Colin Pammenter, who had captained the team in the 60's, got a team of Chippenham players from that era together to play us. The sun shone and the village turned out in force to watch this first game which the new team won, but only just!
From this moment the club has continued to grow and prosper. In 1995 we won our first trophy, The Henrotin Cup and the following year we won the Midweek League second division title. In 2010 we started playing Saturday League Cricket at Chippenham for the first time and won the CCA Junior League Division 4 at the first time of asking. This was followed by five successive promotions and the setting up of a Saturday 2nd XI.
We started our junior section in 2010, with a handful of youngsters from the village and this built up to the point where we now have over 80 junior members and six junior teams playing in the Suffolk Junior League. We are also an approved provider for the ECB All Stars and Dynamos cricket sessions.