A ‘useful and highly ornamental institution’: the origin of Wrenthorpe Cricket Club

Wrenthorpe or Potovens has had a village cricket team for over 150 years. Early local press coverage is scant, the first reference to a Wrenthorpe cricket club tracked down so far, is the result of a New Scarborough [Alverthorpe] v Potovens match, in the Wakefield Express of 6 August 1870. The first full score (Wrenthorpe v Eastmoor) is covered in the 3 September edition of the Wakefield Free Press. Later that decade, there was even a second XI.

The current cricket club appears to have been founded in 1889, as mentioned in this article about a fund-raising event from the following year.

Wakefield and West Riding Herald
Saturday 26 April 1890

CONCERT IN AID OF THE CRICKET CLUB

What was described as a “grand concert” took place in the Church school-room [School Lane] of the above rural village on Monday evening, and it was largely patronised, the room proving almost inadequate in its accommodating capacity. The Rev. T. J. Puckle, the vicar, who presided, after the proceedings had been opened by the playing of a solo on the pianoforte by Mr. George Hepworth, narrated the objects of the gathering. He said the concert had been got up by the members of the local cricket club, which organisation, he hoped, would prove a useful and highly ornamental institution in the village. The club was quite in its infancy, and the progress it made last year – the first year of its existence – fully justified them in hoping that it would live and grow and prosper, and he trusted that that if the large audience was only a forecast of the large audiences that would come and witness the cricket matches when played at home.

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