Recreational cricket will start up again on Saturday (July 11) played under strict covid-19 guidelines from the England Cricket Board.

A Congresbury 1st XI will entertain a Weston-super-Mare CC team at the King George V Playing Field but because of restrictions relating to the pandemic the clubhouse and bar will not be open.

Tomorrow’s fixture echoes the first match Congresbury played after the country emerged from the ravages of World War One in May 1919 which was also against Weston-super-Mare. This match was replayed last year to mark its centenary.

May 2019: Congresbury captain Justin Yau with Weston’s Chris Davidson and a copy of the May 1919 scorebook

Congresbury CC has been running junior cricket for under-9s since mid-June when training in small groups was allowed to resume and more junior cricket is planned in the coming weeks.

“The under-9 sessions are going very well, and are very popular with kids and parents,” said cricket club chairman Geoff Wilcock. “Other age groups are starting soon and we hope to resume our regular Friday evenings with All Stars, girls’ cricket and ladies’ cricket all, of course, suitably managed.”

To celebrate the return of cricket, Congresbury CC is selling its popular book – 175 Years of Village Cricket – at the discounted price of £10. The cover price is £15. All proceeds will go towards supporting cricket, especially junior cricket, and help maintain the playing field as an amenity the whole village can enjoy.

‘Cricket and fabric of village life are woven together’

The book, published last year 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, a former player and now a club vice president.

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. 

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.

The book will be on sale at Welcome Congresbury in The Precinct.

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