ST.LAWRENCE has fielded a cricket team for almost two centuries.
The club moved to its present ground, Oak Meadow, in the mid-
nineteenth century, where cricket was played until the 1920s when
the ground was sold and the club moved across the road to the
Great Martins estate. The original pavilion, a wooden shed, was
replaced in 1937 by a more substantial wooden building. Surrounded
by trees and the country house, the ground was regarded as one
of the most attractive in the county. In the 1970s, the facilities
were further improved by the labour and funds raised by club members
which resulted in a brick pavilion.
Traditionally, players came from the village and surrounding area
but the new facilities and ground started to tempt players from
further a field. Fixtures, which were predominantly friendly,
started to include teams from London and Hambledon. The diversity
of the club was extended further when in 1973 W.S.L. CC attracted
a number of players from the disbanded Chrysalis CC primarily
made up of people from the film and music business. Many players
travelled up from London every weekend to play their cricket in
the glorious surroundings.
In 1984, Great Martins was bought by a Swedish builder, who with
no interest in the game of cricket, lost little time in dismissing
bat and ball for an ornamental lake! Despite stubborn resistance,
the club became homeless in 1985 and without compensation for
loss of facilities. Fortunately, a deal was struck with Morlands
Brewery (who now owned Oak Meadow) and the club was able to return
to its former ground on a ninety-nine year lease. However, this
meant the complete redevelopment of the ground. In this interim
period, the club survived by playing all its fixtures away and
then had the great fortune of being generously given a wooden
pavilion by Cuckfield CC who were having a new one built.
However, bad luck returned to hinder the club when the almost
finished pavilion was struck down by storms. Due to the support
of club members, sufficient funds were gathered to rebuild. The
pavilion was completed in the spring of 1987 and with a professionally
laid square, play was resumed at the club’s old home.
By this time, the club had joined the Berkshire League and successfully
negotiated its way to the higher divisions with a combination
of youth and experience. Before long a move to the more challenging
Chiltern League was achieved in the mid 1990s but successes were
few and the added commitment of having to field two sides every
Saturday proved too onerous. Within a few years the club was back
in the Berkshire League albeit in a lower division.
Despite struggles on the pitch, the club moved forward in terms
of continued ground improvement. Trees were planted on two sides
of the ground, boundaries were fenced and extra land was land
for car parking was donated by generous neighbours. The ground
was also purchased by the Yeo Memorial Trust, a charitable trust
in memory of a local resident and benefactor.
In 2001 the club revived its playing fortunes after a merger with
another local Berkshire League side, Twyford CC. As a result of
the arrival of new players and the emergence of promising colts,
a 1st XI (Division 1) and 2nd XI(Division 4) were re-established
as well as the non league Sunday XI. Three divisional awards were
soon achieved. In addition mid week fixtures were established.
The club’s playing and social membership grew and in 2003 the
club completed a major extension to the pavilion.
Waltham St. Lawrence CC is a well established and forward looking
club with excellent facilities and a friendly, welcoming membership.
If you’re not a member already then why not drop down to the ground
at Shurlock Row on match days, Friday evening social nights or
Thursday practice sessions.