A History of Morden Cricket Club
1891 - PRESENT
Morden Cricket Club was established. The little Village Club owed its formation to the generosity of John Innes, a local Nurseryman. This was opposite the village green which is now the site of the Northern Line Tube Station. Morden was formed as a Saturday only Club, and the Club was dependant on the generosity of the gentry.
1914 – 1918
There was no cricket during the First World War and there was some disorganisation for several years thereafter.
Sir Joseph Hood presented his Recreation Ground to the Council, about the same time Gilliat Hatfield donated Morden Recreation Ground, off Central Road to the U.D.C. The remainder of his Morden Property became the biggest council estate in England. This site contained a “country house” wicket, which was allocated to Morden Cricket Club.
The village green was sold to the underground railway authority, the tube station being completed in 1926. There was a split in the Club, and South Morden C.C. was formed, later to become Morden Village C.C. in 1947. There was some animosity over the use of the title ‘Morden’.
Morden Park, an areas of 185 acres was acquired by Merton and Morden U.D.C. of which 80 acres were taken by L.C.C. for school playing fields. The Surrey County Council contributed towards the purchase price of the remainder of Morden Park, which was to be an open space in perpetuity. The tenants of Morden Park from 1930 to the outbreak of war was Morden Park Golf Club.
With the advent of the Second World War the cricket ground was dug up in the “Dig for Victory” campaign. Ending that period of the Clubs use of the Recreation Ground.
The Grant of Arms was made to the District Council by The Royal College of Arms. The Club adopted the “Two Lions passant respectant of the field”. The two lions are taken from the arms of the Garth Family, which owned the Manor of Morden from 1553 to 1884.
Cricket restarted after the war.
The Club was reformed on February 25th. Games were played at Morden Cricket Clubs.
The Club applied to join the newly formed Surrey Associated of Cricket Clubs.
The Joseph Hood Ground was re-allocated. The council was approach to put down a proper table for the Club on Morden Park, as we were the premier side in the district.
The Club was allocated Morden Park with three other Clubs, these were NALGO on Saturdays and Morden Hall C.C. and Tavern C.C had Sundays on alternative weeks.
The season had started with a shock as Merton and Morden Council had refused the Club any use of Morden Park, a deputation was received by the Council and the justice of the claim was acknowledged, it was decided to split the hire three ways and the Club received 8 home fixtures.
The Club commenced to run two Saturday sides and one Sunday.
The Club was still refused permission to self cater, however the catering manageress was given permission to drive the tea into the ground instead of the teams making the tedious trek to the Golf House.
To give some idea of the inconvenience under which one played in those days everyone sat amongst the bushes, as there was no pavilion. If the tea was not delivered, it had to be collected. Initially no plates were supplied. A letter was sent to the Medical Officer of Health complaining of the numerous mosquitoes.
Before the present car park and football pavilion were constructed, there used to be an old shed near the present entrance. This was used for changing purposes, but it was necessary to find the park ranger, first.
The Parks Authority had turned the wicket through 90 degrees, the angle of the sun, particularly late in the season, made it very difficult for the batsman at the London Road end, this was discontinued the following year. The George Hill C.C. was absorbed in this year.
Plans for a new £12,000 pavilion for the Club were laid, the pavilion had been scheduled in the rate estimate but was still only a gleam in an architect’s eye.
In April the pavilion was near completion. A deputation asked to see the open spaces superintendent to push the Club’s claim for full use of the pavilion.
The Club applied for security of tenure.
The Club had again applied for bar facilities and the application had received front-page publicity in the local paper. This was opposed by Merton councilor J.T. Botten. He objected to £1,000.00 being spent for the exclusive use of a few, Councilor W.J. Gibson agreed. The committees estimates were awaiting consideration by the Finance Committee.
Additional Club rules had to be drawn up in anticipation of bar facilities being granted. A Club Registration Certificate would be necessary, these rules have since been modified due to the changes in the law.
On 17th March a meeting took place to arrange for the pending merger with Rushdon C.C.
Morden C.C. joined the Slazenger League following the collapse of the South West London League of which Morden were members from 1976.