The Jesmond Ground has been a beautiful green space in the midst of an ever-changing urban setting for 125 years.
It was acquired for cricket in 1887 when it became the Constabulary Ground. The first match was in July 1888, between the 10th Hussars and the Lords of Northumberland.
But it was preserved for posterity thanks to a remarkable whip-round by “the great and the good”. Leading figures including Earl Grey pledged large sums to buy the ground with a condition that it be dedicated to the pursuit of cricket. Their handwritten letters went on display for the first time at our 2013 Heritage Open Day – see pictures and read the story here – before being donated to the Tyne and Wear Archive.
The Ground has been the focal point for community activities and events of special personal significance, from christenings to funerals.
Until now, much of the history of the ground has not been conserved or shared. But volunteers are now bringing that wonderful history to life. One cricketer who took part in our first Heritage Weekend wrote of his impressions of what he’s learned: The Turret – reflections of a current cricketer. The aim of the Heritage Project is to share the Ground’s amazing stories with local people – and cricket fans around the world.
One research project underway is to capture the stories of the people commemorated by the Memorial Benches. If you know any background, or even better, know any relatives, please do get in touch. The stories are being recorded by pupils at West Jesmond School, with the assistance of Jesmond Local reporters. This is the full list of the memorial benches. There’s more information and pictures here.
If you have stories, photos or would simply like to be involved, please do get in touch. Email email@example.com or contact Secretary Olwyn Hocking on 0191 281 0746 or write via the club address.
The long tradition of sporting involvement, volunteering and community events is inspirational – once known, it helps encourage new generations to get involved with one another in maintaining and enjoying activities at the Jesmond ground.