A History of Heaton Cricket Club
With The Local Leaguers Heaton's Enterprise - Story of a 29 Year Struggle
A NEW HOME
A series of sketches in which we intend to trace the rise and progress of local League clubs could not be better or more appropriately produced than by telling the story of Heaton's establishment in the forefront of the organisations now operating under the aegis of the Bolton and District Association. For today, a new ground is being formally opened, and a new pavilion brought into use - that is if the weather allows, and fine though it be at the time of writing, there is always danger in taking meteorological affairs for granted. The same ceremony was fixed for a fortnight back, but the conditions then vouch-safed would have been more in accord with the inauguration of swimming baths, and the function had to be postponed. Today they were hoping for better things. The history of the Heaton club forms an interesting story. For much of the data in regard to the earlier days we are indebted to Mr. James Henderson, a one-time and a long-time secretary. He was a most enthusiastic official, and in conjunction with other loyal and willing workers, whose names are given below, he set the foundations upon which subsequent successes have been built.
It is not generally known that Heaton is among the oldest of local clubs, but it's probably because, for the greater part of its time, It has been outside tile limelight of senior cricket. It is only five years ago that they won a place among the upper twelve - it was only ten then, as it was in the first year of formation. But Heaton were in at the beginning. They helped to give the Association its send-off, and they are one of the few organisations still in existence who have retained an unbroken connection with it. The others are Tonge, Farnworth, Astey Bridge and Bank-street. The two first-named have been identified with the First Division throughout the 22 years. But to begin with the inception of the Bolton and District Association in a historical sketch of Heaton would involve skipping a page, for before that deservedly popular competition was born, the youth of the district was banded together in a club that still has many pleasant recollections for the older generation. There were not as many organisations then, but they played the game just as enthusiastically and, if we accept the evidence of some of them, quite well.
'TWAS IN 1882
To trace the real beginning of Heaton we go back to the year 1882, so that the organisation which today marks another epoch in its history is in its 29th season. It came into being primarily as the result of efforts by Mr. Samuel Shuttleworth, a gentleman who has retained the keenest interest in the club, and who is one of its staunchest supporters - at a distance, of course-to-day. It was he who made the first bat, and it is said it would not quite meet the strict requirements of M.C.C. rules of the present time, for it was formed out of an old cart shaft. It was good enough to start with however, and evidently funds were more plentiful afterwards, for they could scarcely have done all that was done in the opening season with so primitive an appliance. The venue of the home matches was a field in the neighbourhood of Markland Hill, in close proximity to the residence of the late Sir Benjamin Dobson, and designated "The Flats". The reasion for the title is not stated, but it couldn't have had any connection with those who took their recreation there.
THE FIRST REMOVAL
It was about 1811 that the first "flitting" took place, but it was not a big job for it was only a case of transferring operations to an adjoining field. Meanwhile, Mr. Henderson had taken up the secretarial reins, and he was instrumental in raising the necessary funds to meet the removal expenses, while he also did much to set the club on a solid foundation in other ways. By means of vice-presidents and playing members' subscriptions over £54 was raised, but this was swallowed up in laying the crease - a crease, by the way, which was afterwards said to be the finest in the Bolton and District League - the purchase of a tent, etc. As the latter provision involved the expenditure of only £10, it is safe to assume it was not near so ambitious as the present pavilion at Lower Pools. However, things went merrily on until 1892, and meanwhile cricket was becoming more popular, and another club had sprung into existence - Heaton Association. There was considerable rivalry, but it terminated with the amalgamation of the two organisations, with headquarters at the Village Club ground.
THE FIRST LEAGUE TEAM
Mr. secretary Henderson did not see the widom of the fusion, and the result was that he retired from the office he had so successfully filled. Meanwhile, League warfare had been entered upon, and good work was accomplished in the junior division, and afterwards the "A" Section of the District Association, though no great honours were obtained. It may be interesting to recall the team that sought for the first pair of points. It was led by Sam Shuttleworth, and included J. Henderson, W. Vaughan, Ellis Partington, W. Pennington, W. Johnson, J. Pilling, J. Austin, J. Sedden, S Ashworth and A. Walsh. Among, those who participated in subsequent games were, A. Ormrod, H. Yates, T. Little, G. Coughlan, H. Coughlan, "Pat" Coughlan, A. Broadbent, M Broadbent, O. Winder, J Sharman, J. Henderson, C. Bennett, A. Shuttleworth, S. Taylor and B. Balshaw. Here are few of the old brigade who are actively associated with the club at the present time, but there are one or two, and the limitation is counter balanced by the band of workers who have taken their places.
The old ground on Chorley Old Road could tell tales of many stirring battles, but for all that the honours list is not a big one for a club in the 29th year of its history. Many years passed before they had the distinction of figuring in a Cup final, and then they wore defeated by YMCA on the Grammar School Old Boys' Ground, in Bromwich-street. Perhaps the most successful season was that of 1906, when as champions of their section, Heaton were called upon to meet Park-street to decide possession of the silver plate. They won by 87-32 and followed this up by defeating Lostock in the test match, and thus qualifying for admission into the Senior Division of the League. Prior to this Heaton Association had attained a certain amount of success, for in 1891 they figured in the final, and were beaten by Great Lever, while in the following season, the year of the amalgamation, they were defeated by Brunswick in the same stage of the competition. But if nothing very substantial has been gained in this respect the Heaton men have at least won something and it is the goodwill of cricketers in general and the reputation of being thorough sportsmen. Silverware tarnishes, reputations are something to be kept unsullied.
IN SENIOR CIRCLES
When a place in the Senior Division was won at the back end of the season 1906, the club cast about for a professional, and Ada'm Hurst took up the role. His stay was short, as he was only at the Village Club a season before giving way to Walter Warburton, who, after three years' service has made way for Vincent Pickerill, who now holds the office. The League records since 1907 are nothing much to boast about, but in an epoch making year we are looking forward to an improvement in this respect. The finish of the last four seasons has found them placed as indicated in the appended lines:
The new ground at Lower Pools is ideally situated, and it they win the support which their enterprise merits they will not be long on the debt which has necessarily been incurred has been liquidated.
A "FLITTING" AND FINANCE
The laying out and arrangement of an enclosure such as now presents itself, and must of course cost money. Under ordinary circumstances it would probably have involved an outlay of at least £150, but thoughtful heads and willing hands have reduced the burden by more than a third, and even with the debt with which the lease expired on the Village Club ground (£39), the total liabilities will probably not exeed £100, or at any rate be much more. The club is indebted to the band of young fellows who have given up their spare time in the laying out, and in the construction of the pavilion, which is one of the finest in the League. The ground may not be all that may he desired yet. As a matter of fact, it is a long way from it, and must remain so for at least this season. But in course of time it may be, and will probably be made, one of the best in the League - and there are some good ones. All that the club asks for in the preasent season is the consideration of the Weather Clerk. They seem to have got a good side together, and given the main consideration, decent weather, moderate success, at least cannot be denied them. And if the achievement is greater than anything attained In the past, it will not be begrudged any more than it will be undeserved. History History Records Professionals Sponsors Heaton CC would like to thank all their Sponsors for the 2015 season. If you would like to support the club, please contact the Secretary here... Useful Links Bolton Cricket League Lancashire Cricket Board Lancashire Cricket Club Umpires Association Greater Sport ECB Sport England Safe Hands Policy A team of people comprising a Junior Co-ordinator, a Club Welfare Officer, and a number of Team Managers,
Coaches and Assistants run junior cricket at Heaton CC.