Lincolnshire’s Cricket Heritage

The first record of cricket played by a Lincolnshire county side is in 1828, when a Norfolk v Lincolnshire match took place at East Dereham. (Lincolnshire won by an innings!)

We know, though, that village cricket in Lincolnshire dates back further than this. The first mention of Stamford Cricket Club, for example, was in 1770. A Spalding v Boston match took place a few years later, in 1792. It rained (nothing changes!), and sadly this “occasioned the grass to be slippery, and one gentleman by a fall dislocated his knee, another had a broken leg, and one a black eye”!!

From these slightly uncertain beginnings, Lincolnshire cricket has grown into its present day state where there are 29 ECB ‘Focus Clubs’ in operation and many more besides, as well as a number of flourishing leagues. International cricket even came to Lincolnshire in 2013, when England Women played Pakistan at Louth Cricket Club, thanks to the efforts of one Arran Brindle.

Lincolnshire Cricket therefore has a rich history – and the ‘Our Lincolnshire’ project wants more people to know about it! For that, we need your help…


Arran Brindle, one of England Women’s star performers of recent years, hails from Louth in Lincolnshire. Photo credit: Don Miles.

Are you involved in cricket in Lincolnshire? We want to tap into your expertise. Have you or someone else at your club done research into its history? Have important things happened at your club which you think we should know about? Share it with us!

Would you be prepared for us to come and visit you at your club and interview you or any of your club members about your experiences of Lincolnshire cricket? Who are the stalwarts of Lincolnshire cricket that we should be speaking to? Let us know!

Ultimately our aim is to produce a website with information about the history of cricket in Lincolnshire. We’d love to work with you on this, and hear your ideas about what you think should be included on the website. Get in touch!

You can also submit images of any objects which you have at your club relating to cricket history – such as old bats, balls, or caps – for inclusion in the ‘My Lincolnshire Collection’.

For more information on the cricket heritage section of the ‘Our Lincolnshire’ project, or to share information about the history of your club, contact Dr Raf Nicholson at the University of Lincoln – (telephone number: 01522 835 117).

Our Lincolnshire

The term ‘heritage’ is used to refer to anything that has historic or cultural value which can be passed from one generation to the next. Heritage can include physical things created by humans such as objects, buildings and monuments as well as non-physical things such as traditions, crafts, ceremonies, songs, literature, digital material, stories and memories. Heritage activities bring people today into contact with their heritage, and can include visiting, watching, listening, reading, handling, teaching, re-enacting and re-creating.

Why heritage matters

Recent research carried out by BritainThinks for the Heritage Lottery Fund revealed that ‘the UK’s heritage helps make us happier about where we live, and puts heritage firmly at the heart of shaping and improving quality of life across the UK.’

After talking to 4,000 people, they found that:

  • 93% see heritage as important to ‘the country’
  • 81% see heritage as important to ‘me personally’
  • 80% say local heritage makes their area a better place to live
  • 64% think local heritage has got better while they have lived in the area

People see heritage delivering benefits that relate directly to their quality of life, bringing economic benefits like tourism and creating good jobs, making places more visually attractive, providing family leisure opportunities, helping people to understand where they come from, instilling local pride and encouraging social cohesion.

Heritage in Lincolnshire today

What do you think of when you think about heritage in Lincolnshire? There are lots of well-known stories about Lincolnshire’s past, but which stories do you think it’s important to tell? Perhaps you know of a ‘hidden’ history that you think should be shared, or you might be involved with a group who are eager to learn more about the stories linked to a particular place, time, or theme. Take part in our survey to share your views on your heritage.

Abandoned antennae dishes at RAF Stenigot, Donington-on-Bain. Photo credit: Darren Flinders, 2015, CC BY-ND 2.0

Abandoned antennae dishes at RAF Stenigot, Donington-on-Bain. Photo credit: Darren Flinders, 2015, CC BY-ND 2.0

The aims of the Our Lincolnshire Initiative

‘Our Lincolnshire’ is an initiative funded by Arts Council England (ACE), aiming to understand the value that inhabitants of, and visitors to, Lincolnshire place on the county’s heritage, and the relevance this has to them. These insights will then help inform future strategies for heritage curation and service provision.

There has been recognition by the county heritage sector that the heritage of rural areas of Lincolnshire does not attract as much attention as the many iconic city-centred attractions, facilities and services. This separation between people in Lincolnshire and their county heritage is thought to generate indifference towards heritage sites and collections, which presents challenges for reviewing the purpose and function of museums and heritage services.

Re-connecting people in Lincolnshire with their heritage in a meaningful and creative way is needed to justify the continued collection, curation and presentation of heritage, so that is effective in encouraging responsible guardianship of heritage, building social capital within communities, and ensuring this resource reflects, meets and advances contemporary interests, needs and aspirations.  The issue of how best to achieve these aims for rural heritage affects areas well beyond Lincolnshire and also reflects the wider ‘crisis of identity’ affecting British citizenship.

The ‘Our Lincolnshire’ initiative will involve undertaking and analyzing a programme of structured creative public engagement to ensure that that the future form and nature of the collections development strategy for Lincolnshire will be firmly rooted in the interests and aspirations of residents and visitors.

Wreck of the 'Try' at Saltfleet. Photo credit: Pete, 2007, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Wreck of the ‘Try’ at Saltfleet. Photo credit: Pete, 2007, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Find out more about different strands of the project, and join in with your contributions:

  • Heritage Survey: Tell us your thoughts on heritage in Lincolnshire via our survey – designed for all ages.
  • My Lincolnshire Collection: Curate your own collection of 10 objects from a selection of 100 via our web app.
  • Cricket in Lincolnshire: Find out more about the history and heritage of cricket in Lincolnshire.
  • Performing Heritage in Lincolnshire: New performances have been commissioned to explore your thoughts on Lincolnshire’s heritage – developed from responses to the heritage survey.
  • Heritage and society: What does heritage mean to people today? We explore the significance of heritage for our society.
  • Lincolnshire’s Place in History: Lincolnshire’s heritage is diverse and distinctive – explore how history is used in Lincolnshire today.
Belton House. Photo credit: Richard Thomas, 2006, CC BY-NC 2.0

Belton House. Photo credit: Richard Thomas, 2006, CC BY-NC 2.0