Oyez! – 125 years after first match

Special ceremonies to mark the 125th anniversary of the very first match at Jesmond combined with two exciting matches and warm sunshine to make it a day to remember.

13-0225LD-055Town Crier Marjorie Dodds lead the events, and declared:

Welcome to Jesmond Cricket Club
Current national cricket club of the year
On this momentous day

125 years since 22 men did play

Her full poetic announcement can be read here.

13-0225LD-060_webHistoric plaque specialist Brian Forster, of Infinity Days, presented a memento of the date in 1988, to Club Co-Chairs Nick Humble and Olwyn Hocking.

13-0225LD-071aAnd players from the two matches gathered for a Blessing of the Stumps. The day was shared with St George’s Church – also celebrating 125th anniversary – and it was fitting that Rev Nick Chamberlain conducted the Blessing.

13-0225LD-067He observed that both church and cricket club have a history of serving the community and being places of meaning. The scattering of ashes at the cricket ground was one of many examples. More, here.

13-0225LD-068Then Humanist Celebrant Les Milne reflected on “this beautiful green oasis”. The legacy included the spirit of fairness in cricket around the world and the value of team support echoing the interdependance of human life. More, here.

13-0225LD-043Victorian ladiesSpectators enjoyed Lammas ales – perfect for what was Lammas feast day – Victorian cocktails and a barbecue. The first match was billed as a friendly between St George’s Dragons and Jesmond’s All-Stars (drawn from Junior WASPS and the women’s team). In reality it was fiercely competitive, narrowly won by the home team. Then Newcastle CC took on Benwell Hill in a Banks Bowls Cup match. That too resulted in a home victory – a perfect end to a wonderful day!

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Altogether five club teams were in action on the anniversary day – two seniors, two juniors and an All-Stars team of juniors and the women’s squad. A fitting way to reflect the changes 125 years on!

St George's Dragons and Jesmond All-Stars, together with umpires Tony Huzzard and Gillian Woodley and scorer Ellie Davis.

St George’s Dragons and Jesmond All-Stars, together with umpires Tony Huzzard and Gillian Woodley and scorer Ellie Davis.

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Displays and children’s activities were provided in the Thomson Pavilion Suite. They included a revival of Dice cricket – especially popular after West Jesmmond school launched it earlier in the week. Umpire Tony Huzzard brought along his own set from his childhood, including the special hexagonal device to decide whether a player is out or not.

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You can enjoy lots more pictures on our Facebook page.

There are reports on West Jesmond’s Victorian day (complete with ghost cricketers!) here and the school’s two days at the Jesmond Ground here.

And there’s plenty of background on the remarkable history of the Jesmond Ground here. It includes the original newspaper reports of the First Match and of the fancy dress ball in 1887 which raised vital funds to create the Ground.