Origin of the Club
The first written record of a Brightwell Village Cricket Team playing a match is in the Parson of North Moreton Albert Barff’s Scrapbook of North Moreton (1858 to 1872). The Scrapbook is a collection of manuscripts and Barff writes “We had two games with Brightwell, in the first match Moreton beat, in the second Brightwell beat”. As this is the first written record to be found so far, 1858 is the date that has been adopted as the year Brightwell Cricket Club was founded.
The Cricket Ground
Brightwell Parish Records show that the Brightwell Cricket Club has played on the Recreational Ground, in Mackney Lane since 1897 when Brightwell Parish purchased the ground from a local farmer, Edward Fairthorne. This is evidenced by an indenture that sets out the conditions for the use of the land.
As with many village cricket grounds, in the beginning the cutting of the outfield was undertaken by a flock of sheep, which was very effective but resulted in the need to sweep the “Sheep Droppings” off the square before the pitch could be prepared. The square being rolled by a working horse fitted with padded hooves pulling a roller.
Cricket was suspended during the war years and during the Second World War a search light was positioned on the centre of the cricket square. After the cessation of hostilities the club resumed playing with an expanded fixture list as improved motorised transport aided mobility and it became possible to play matches on Sundays.
The cricket square originally laid in the 1800’s was moved in the mid 1960’s from its original position to the right of centre of the current football pitch to a new location in the centre of the Recreation Ground. This was done to provide enough room to move the football pitch from the southern end of the Recreational Ground the current position adjacent to the main entrance.
The Heart of any club is the pavilion. The first cricket pavilion was a very grand affair with a thatched roof, veranda and white picket fence and would have originally been built towards the end of the 19th century. The fate of the original pavilion is unknown; it was replaced in circa 1924. the second pavilion started life as a railway signal box and served the club well for the next 53 years until tragically, it was burnt down on the 25 December 1997. Temporary changing rooms and showers were created in the storage shed next to the pavilion until 2003 when a state of the art facility was built for use by all the community and named the Jubilee Pavilion in commemoration of the Queen Elizabeth the Second Jubilee.
The Cricket Club
Over its long history the Brightwell cum Sotwell Cricket Club has predominately played “Village Cricket” considered “Friendly Cricket”. There is a competitive edge to most games balanced by friendly banter; as a result games are devoid of the intense competition experienced in League Cricket. Games are arranged with as many of the Surrounding Oxfordshire Villages as possible, interspersed with visiting Nomad and the occasional Touring Sides. The Cricket Club won the Friendly Cup in 2005 for the second time, the last time was in 1998. The Friendly Cup started in 1989 and is played for by 8 local Oxfordshire Village Sunday Cricket Sides.
The club is particularly proud of the 8 fathers and sons available to play for the club in 2006, providing many games with a real family feeling.
All involved with the Brightwell cum Sotwell Cricket Club are looking forward to 2008, when the Club celebrates its 150th year, quite a legacy for the club and the village.
Officers of the Club 2006
President: Jim Sanger; Chairman: Phil Jones;
Captain and Treasurer: Laurence Harvey;
Vice Captain: Robert England;
Secretary and Fixtures: Tony Windsor (834908)
Groundsman: Steve Metcalf;
Vice Presidents: Gilbert Talbot, David Dobbin, Tony Hayzelden,
Bill Bradshaw, Trevor Wintle, Frank Plazas, Neil Inwood
Life member:Sam Holland
Match Ball Sponsors 2006
Bell Garage, Brightwell Garage, Lock&Co., Root One Garden Centre, Timberland Flooring, Windsor Business Solutions