The history of Cricket is deeply woven into the Counties of Kent & Surrey and we have made real efforts to capture and document the history of our Club. The effort still continues and we are grateful for any help or contributions that will help us to build upon this important contribution to local history.
I am indebted to my friend and Cricket historian Roger Packham for recently locating in the Archives of the London Weekly Dispatch (4 August 1822) the earliest known reference to Cricket in this area 'A game of cricket will be played tomorrow at Duppas Croydon between 20 gentlemen of Oxted, and one given man, against eleven gentlemen of Croydon for 250 sovereigns'.
Although other teams are recorded in the Victorian era as playing as “Oxted United” and “Oxted Victoria”, Oxted & District Cricket Club, with Mr C Hoskins Master as Chairman was formed in 1890.
Hoskins Master was the local squire at the time and his generosity to the local community continues to this present day, as a result of the Trust Deed of 1922 making over the Recreation Ground - formerly 'Marls Field', and now 'Master Park' - for the use of the Parish of Oxted for leisure and sporting purposes.
Trees slightly obscure the view from the Church of the cricket square now, but surely Patrick Murphy’s assessment in the Rothman’s Book of Village Cricket (1992) “..so long as man can play cricket in front of Norman churches like St Mary's, there will always be enthusiasm for the game" remains as true as ever.
Another of our beautiful Grounds - Limpsfield Common (now known as "Grub Street" but listed on early Maps as "The Bowling Green") is known to have hosted Cricket since 1850.
In 1915, FE Green wrote that “The Limpsfield Cricket Green makes one of the most picturesque pitches in the county … nursemaids and children perambulate the common in fear of the scarlet coat and the whizzing ball.... The Limpsfield Cricket Green makes one of the most picturesque pitches in the county...”
These pages are not going to win any literary prizes. They are largely written by our Cricketers, about our Cricketers.