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Cricket book captures 175 years of village life

A new book celebrating 175 years of village cricket opens up a window on life in Somerset through the Victorian and Edwardian eras to the present day.

The book, published by Congresbury Cricket Club in association with Congresbury History Group, tells much more than the story of cricket in the village over the generations.

“The more research I did, the more people I spoke to, the more I realised how the fabric of village life and the development of cricket were intertwined,” said local historian and author Clive Burlton.

The book, with 112 pages, 60,000 words and 250 images draws on the archives held by both the cricket club and the history group as well as recounting the memories of villagers and players, past and present. 

Clive, a club vice president, explained: “Among the many nuggets we’ve found is a photograph and an account of a 1907 men v women cricket match in the village with men batting left-handed with broomsticks!

“We also found recipes for all sorts of cakes and pies written by village ladies with known links to cricketers of the time which sparked the idea for a cricket tea bake-off at the Congresbury Fete on June 29.”

The oldest document uncovered is the scorebook from 1919. The first match after World War One was against Weston-super-Mare – the two clubs met again in April this year in a pre-season friendly almost 100 years later. 

The book tells far more than the story of Congresbury CC, looking at the development of cricket in North Somerset from the middle of the 19th century with extensive use of newspaper archives since the 1850s.

175 Years of Village Cricket will be launched at The Old School Rooms in Congresbury on Friday June 21 with a presentation by Clive Burlton starting at 7.30pm. Doors open at 7pm.

The book was designed and produced by Bristol Books and can also be obtained online at www.bristolbooks.org

Congresbury Bowls open mornings


Thanks to all those who came to our open mornings, we hope you enjoyed yourselves and we look forward to seeing you again. If you missed our open mornings you are still very welcome to come to our club nights held every Monday with free coaching from 6pm – 7pm. Please wear flat soled shoes. All ages welcome!

Congresbury Bowling Club, Mill Leg, Mill Lane, Congresbury

Villagers mark cricketing milestone

Families in Congresbury will celebrate 175 years of cricket this summer.

A 10-day Festival of Cricket in high summer will include a match against an MCC XI, a BBC West XI, junior cricket including All Stars, and a celebration dinner.

The annual village fete on June 29 will also be cricket themed and will feature a cricket tea bake-off using a cake recipe from the 1920s unearthed during research into cricket in north Somerset during the Victorian and Edwardian era.

Congresbury men v ladies in 1907 which the village plans to recreate in some form at this year’s fete. Photo courtesy of Anita Standen

Local historian and author Clive Burlton, a club vice president, explained: “Among the many nuggets we’ve found is a photograph and an account of a 1907 men v women cricket match in the village with men batting left-handed with broomsticks!h

“We also found recipes for all sorts of cakes and pies written by village ladies with known links to cricketers of the time which sparked the idea for the cricket tea bake-off.”

Clive, who is compiling a book to mark 175 years of village cricket, noted that while Congresbury Cricket Club cannot claim it is 175 years old – there have been too many rebirths to claim that heritage – there is no doubt that cricket has been played almost continuously in the area since the 1840s. There’s even one account of Langford playing in 1825!

“The men v women photo and a pencil-written account was found in Ernest Standen’s notebook on Theology. A religious man, Ernie played in the match and it was his wife Mabel who later commandeered his notebook to write down village recipes,” said Clive.

Congresbury skipper Justin Yau and Weston skipper Chris Davidson with the 1919 scorebook earlier this month

The oldest document so far uncovered is the scorebook from 1919. The first match after World War One was against Weston-super-Mare and almost 100 years later the two clubs met in a pre-season friendly in April with Congresbury emerging as winners. 

Cricket club chairman Geoff Wilcock said that the enthusiasm for the 175thcelebrations clearly demonstrated that cricket was alive and well despite reports of a general decline in the sport’s popularity. 

“We used to field three teams on a Saturday now it’s only two but we do have a healthy junior section and the All Stars programme is proving very popular with the five to eight year olds,” said Mr Wilcock.

“This year we are also launching soft ball cricket for women and girls which we hope will prove equally popular.”

Congresbury plays senior cricket in the West of England Premier League and the Bristol and District League and junior cricket in the North Somerset League. 


Congresbury Singers’ April concerts

Congresbury Singers are presenting two concerts in April this year.  

The first will be on Saturday 6 April 2019 at 7:30pm in St Andrew’s Church, Congresbury.   Directed by Gordon Pullin this will be Johann Sebastian Bach’s setting of St Luke’s Passion.  There is some academic debate about the authorship of this work but, whoever its composer, this is a charming work, essentially a sequence of recitatives, choruses and chorales, in a somewhat gentle but powerful telling of the Passion story.
For this performance we will be joined by Katie Chappell on violin and Bruce Saunders and Simon Perkins, baritones.  Tickets will cost £8.00 including refreshments and can be obtained in advance from Congresbury Post Office, or pay on the door. 

The second concert will be our annual touring performance of Stainer’s Crucifixion on Tuesday 16 April 2019 at 8:00pm in St Peter’s Church, Draycott.  Barry Rose will play the organ and Bruce Saunders, baritone, will again be joining us for this performance.  The performance will be free, with a retiring collection in support of the St Peter’s church organ fund. 

Bowler Ant is national champion

Congresbury bowler Anthony Page is an England champion after winning an indoor tournament in Nottingham last weekend.

Ant won the Disability Bowls England National Singles for Non-classified members at Nottingham at his first attempt.

He won three tough rounds before winning overall in the fourth round 19-13.

“The last round was nip and tuck at first, then I managed to get ahead in the last few ends,” said Ant, aged 45, who lives in Worle.

Champion: Congresbury’s Ant Page

He was brought up in Wolverhampton and first started bowling at age 11 on crown greens.

“My father got me into it. My four uncles played too,” said Ant.

“It was my life. It was everything I did, six nights a week from April to September.

“I got to county standard and played for Staffordshire at junior level.”

He started bowling again in 2017 when he joined Congresbury, and in 2018 won three of the club’s singles titles and reached the final of the men’s championship.

Ant, who works in a supermarket bakery, was born with a condition called scoliosis – curvature of the spine – which is painful at times.

Congresbury Bowling Club’s 2019 season starts on April 13.

New members are welcome. Turn up every Monday at 6pm for coaching. Equipment provided.

Flow – Depression and Anxiety Peer Support Group

Activity Depression and Anxiety Peer Support Group
Details We meet every Wednesday 10-11am in the room behind the
Methodist Church Hall. Come and join us for tea and a chat.
There’s no need to book, just turn up.
Contact Sarah Heiermann
Web facebook.com/flow.north.somerset
Email flow.nsomerset@gmail.com

Congresbury Acro Gymnastics Club

Activity Acro gymnastics for boys and girls between 4.5 and 16 yearsTaster session for £1. Sessions are held at St Andrew’s Junior School Hall on Fridays from 4 to 5pm for general gym and 4-7pm Fridays plus 4-6pm Mondays for competition group. Coaches are BGA registered, qualified in Acro gymnastics and CRB checked.
Details
Contact Sheila Mounsdon Phone 01934 876518 Email sheesh07@hotmail.co.uk

Congresbury Art Group

Activity Watercolour painting group. Also experimenting with acrylics, pastels and other mediums.
Details A friendly group of local people who meet every Wednesday, during term-time, at The Old School Rooms, Congresbury from 10 o’clock until 1 pm. A mixed ability group ranging from beginners to more experienced painters who all learn from each other and also from tutors as and when funds allow.
Contact Jenny Byett Phone 01934 835435/td> Email jenbyett@yahoo.co.uk

Congresbury Billiards & Snooker Club

Activity Club open every evening from 5:30pm in the War Memorial Hall. Two full size tables. League play available for more serious players.
Details The lights over the tables are paid for by tokens available from the Social Club bar in the War Memorial Hall.
Contact Irving Prowse Phone 01934 832004

Congresbury Bowling Club

Activity Lawn green bowling from April to September for men and ladies of all ages from junior up to the most senior. Short Mat bowls is played indoors in the clubhouse from October to March.
Details Please visit our Web Site
Contact Dave Byett Email conbcsec@gmail.com

Congresbury Brass

Activity Non-competing brass band.
Details Details An established, friendly brass band who play at village fetes, bandstands, carol services etc, raising money for charitable causes where they can. We welcome players of all standards, and have even tempted several returning players to pick up their instrument for the first time in over 10 years! We play a variety of music old and new, classical and light and seek to support any personal favourites. Practices are on a Friday evening 7.30 – 9.30 in the Methodist Church Hall, Congresbury, where we support and encourage each other to play to our best in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere that rounds off the week. There are some instruments available on a free-loan basis.
Contact Stuart Lovell Phone 07986 007829 Email www.congresburybrass.com

Congresbury Community Preschool

Activity Under 5’s education – learning through play
Details We are a well-established Pre-school in the village of Congresbury, founded over 25 years ago in the old school rooms. We have grown considerably over the years and are lucky to have our own portakabin building with a lovely spacious garden within the grounds of St Andrew’s Primary School. We now offer places to all children from 2 to 4 year olds. All staff have recognised childcare qualifications and years of experience in supporting children to reach their full potential as set out in the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation stage. This states that as practitioners we must consider the individual needs, interests and stages of development of all children in our care. We provide opportunities and activities that enable the children to develop their skills in all areas of learning in line with their individual needs.
Contact Teresa Turner Phone 01934 707262 Email congresburypreschool@aol.co.uk

Congresbury Evening W.I.

Activity Monthly meetings with varied speakers and occasional visits of friendship.
Details Non-political, non-religious group. Meeting second Wednesday of each month at 7:45pm at the Methodist Hall, Congresbury.
You will find more information about the W.I. on our Web Site.
Contact Mrs W Manning Phone 01934 838209

Congresbury Football Club

Activity Provides football facilities for both junior and senior players.
Details Please visit our Web Site.
Contact Chris Sherwin Phone 01934 876083 Email chris.sherwin@bristol.ac.uk

Congresbury Footpaths Group

Activity Congresbury Footpaths Group was founded in March 1993 with the aim of ensuring that the footpaths within the village boundary were walked regularly. This is still done today, although walks are not confined to the village and the Group will often travel to neighbouring counties, especially for the Sunday walks.
Details There are two walks per month – on the first Tuesday and the third Sunday. Tuesday walks are in the morning and are about 2 to 4 miles in the vicinity of the village or locations nearby. Sunday walks are planned for the day and can be from 5 to 9 miles and are further afield. Bluey, the village mini-bus is used on Sundays to transport members. Meetings are held twice a year to plan the walks programme. There is a summer outing in July to the seaside, where there is a choice of activities, from an energetic ramble to a lazy day on the beach. In the Autumn members enjoy a weekend away, for many years in Devon, but now we’ve ventured as far as Cornwall. A traditional Boxing Day walk attracts a good number of villagers and guests. Membership costs £2.50 per year and there is a small cost levied for each walk, plus a charge for Bluey, The group is covered by insurance. The winter and summer programmes and posters for each walk are posted on the 3 village noticeboards, on the village website and in the library. Details of each walk are also printed in the local newspapers, magazines and the village diary. New walkers are always welcome, and their dogs, where allowable.


Contact Mary Abbott Phone 01934 834207 Email may_abbott@uwcluc.net
Julia Koblizek 01934 838182 julia.koblizek@btinernet.com