A BRIEF HISTORY
In the summer of 1900 four young men on a cycle ride stopped for a rest outside the Snake Inn. Their names Herbert Bradley (later Storah), Herbert Foster, Joe Slack and Hedley Clarkson. They bemoaned the fact that there was now no cricket club in Old Glossop (All Saints having recently folded up). They decided to approach Lord Howard and asked him if they could let him rent rent them a piece of land to form a club. Lord Howard agreed to let them rent two small fields in Hall Street (later Manor Park Road). Tommy Foster, the old Derbyshire player began laying a wicket in 1901 on land straddling the stone wall between the two fields. The stone wall being thrown in to level the wicket.
The Old Glossop club entered the 2nd Division of the Glossop and District League for 1902, and the first match was at home on April 19th of that year against Hadfield (not St. Andrews). 2nd XI who were dismissed for 7 runs, Joe Slack taking 4 for 4 and Ike Shirt 2 for 3. Hadfield had 9 men only.
The local paper of the time however stated that Old Glossop was an old association which many local cricketers have been gratified to see revived!
The “sporting” nature of the wicket was unfortunately emphasised on August 5th 1905 when Isaac Berry of Hurst C.C was killed by a slow ball from Joe Slack, when it hit him in the heart. He was dead by the time the horse ambulance arrived at the top entrance. Joe Slack never played again. The club won the 2nd division in 1903 and were promoted to the first division and began to run two teams, Tommy Foster became captain for a time and others to appear for the club before the 1914-1918 war were J.W. (Bill) Stapley, the England footballer, Alf Rose as a youngster, who played for Derbyshire when playing for Cresswell C.C. and Herman Foster the fast bowler
In the middle of the first war, the club closed down, but after the war an influx of good players secured the championship and knock out gold medal winners 1920. These included Alf Berwick of Northamptonshire and Derbyshire, ex Glossop professional, his son Bill who had been a professional, and subsequently became one again for a while before retiring, and Jimmy Kenyon.
Indeed in 1919, these two set a club record of 231 unbroken opening stand, which stood as a club record till 1993. Berwick (an Everton and Oldham Athletic footballer) scored 130* and Kenyon (a Millwall and Stockport County footballer) scored 93*. In the club accounts Berwick regularly shown as receiving “grocery :-£2/10/0d, and Kenyon 10/0d for marking out the wicket - a job which his son said he never did. Crowds were large and the club employed gatemen who issued tickets for admission. Friendlies were played at Whitesuntide against Ashton C.C fairly regularly and also against Micklehurst C.C and Monton C.C, but the match which aroused most comment at the time and one which was talked about for decades afterwards was in 1920, when on September 11th, in front of the largest crowd reputedly ever assembled at Glossop North Road ground, Old Glossop beat a much vaunted Tintwistle team in the final of the Gold Medal Competition (pre Rhodes Bowl) by 203 runs to 39.
When Lord Howard’s Estate was broken up in the mid 1920’s, Samuel Thomas Ashton, a long time chairman and patron, and editor of the Glossop Chronicle raised £60 by two shows at the Glossop Empire, for the club to buy the ground. At the sale, however, he bought the ground in his own name and resold it on a reversionary clause to the club for the same amount. If the club folded the ground would be resold for £60 to the Ashton family “for as long as King George the fifth and his heirs do reign.”
S.T Ashton retained the bottom strip near the bud garage (which land had also bought at the sale and resold to North Western Buses) On this land he kept hens and there was even a duck pond on the field near to where the sough entrance is located. Where the garage is, the parish church had played football.
In the late twenties, Alf Berwick relaid the wicket and made it bigger, and in 1937, a team captained by Bill Reddington won the league and Rhodes Bowl. In the team was Charlie Walsh, the Barnsley, Preston North End etc. footballer. The club along with the Glossop League closed down during the war and the ground became almost derelict, but in 1946 it was cleared up and operations resumed.
New changing rooms were completed in 1963, built with George Wharmby’s help (along with many others) these replaced the building of the early twenties, which had replaced an earlier one on the same site. These former ones were always painted striped in deference to Lord Howard’s earlier insistence. The cost of the new building was £240 which included a grant of £60 from the National Playing Fields Association.
In 1973, a new large wooden building was purchased from Union Carbide to replace an earlier tea hut which had been bought after the war from Francis Sumner (1920) Ltd. Union Carbide charged £400 and it cost £200 to erect it and felt it, and quite a bit more to equip it out. It was near the boundary because the club had not yet completed the purchase of the George Ashton’s strip of land (for £100-again with a reversionary clause). A peculiar point about this was that the same solicitor acted for both sides in the purchase.
Ashley Allsopp’s return from Glossop C.C, heralded a new dawn on the field, other good players were attracted and the club did the double in 1982. One incident which needs mention was the secretary’s scorching of the wicket in 1980 which required the Old Trafford groundsman Chris Hawkins help to rebuild it.
In 1982, the club applied to join the Derbyshire and Cheshire league. Speculation has been rife as to why that should be, but basically, many felt that some of the grounds recently admitted (at the time) to the Glossop League were poor, and the club was in danger of losing its best players, also the league had gone back to time cricket and the attitude of some of the teams to that was in question. Also it was felt that there would be a higher standard of play, which proved to be true.
It was realised that a new permanent pavilion was a possibility and over a period of years, money was put away for that purpose. Together with what the club had saved, various grants and a generous gift from Mrs Doreen Woodcock; on March 2nd 1993, Lawlor Construction cut the first sod for the new pavilion.
With a D&C League championship behind it in 1987 and a division title in 1986, cup success for the 2nd team in 1993, the club hoped the new venture would herald even more success for the future.
For some years, the club had entered the village competition, but without much success. More successful, however, was the entry into the Derbyshire cup competition for a few years. In August 1981 over two nights at home the club were narrowly defeated by Chesterfield C.C in the semi final, and in 1986 at Queen’s Park there was a very high scoring match which again ended in defeat, but in which David Thornhill made a memorable century.