Lincolnshire Cricket History Website

I’ve spent the past few months carrying out archival research, meeting a number of club  and county representatives, and carrying out some fascinating interviews. It’s been great to meet some of those who have such long involvement in Lincolnshire cricket.

We’re now looking to pull all this information together into a Lincolnshire Cricket History website, and once again we need your help:

We’d like you to send us: Club histories and Nominations for the CricketLincs Hall of Fame.

1. Club histories
We would like all clubs in the county to have a page on the website, which outlines a little bit about the history of the club. It doesn’t have to be too long or detailed, but it would be great to have as many clubs represented as possible.

Things which would be good to include:
– The date your club was founded
– Which grounds the club have played on
– The leagues the club have played in
– Key events in the club history
– A link to your club website and contact details for someone in the club

Also any old photographs of players, grounds, pavilions, trophies, and / or the club badge, which we can put on the website alongside the club history.

We are aiming for the website to be “live” by the end of April, so please aim to email me ( your club history by Wednesday, 13th April.

2. Hall of Fame entries
We are launching a Hall of Fame which aims to recognise the achievements of the legends of Lincolnshire cricket, both past and present.

This can be anyone who has devoted time to cricket in the county and you feel is worthy of inclusion – players, administrators, tea ladies, groundsmen, umpires…

If you’d like to nominate someone for inclusion, please email me their name, along with a short profile (c.500 words) and include the following information:
– Year they were born
– Clubs they have been involved in
– Roles they have carried out

Please also include a photograph of the nominee.

The first round of nominations for the Hall of Fame closes on Wednesday, 13th April. Please email me ( all nominations by that date.


We look forward to hearing from you!

Have you been exploring heritage this Easter weekend?

If you’ve been out and about in the county this weekend, you might have had the chance to explore some heritage. Maybe you’ve visited a historic site or a museum, or perhaps you’ve been on a long walk and seen something that’s made you think about the past – some old airfields perhaps, some beach huts, a canal, or an old railway line…

Is this #heritage? Sign reads: Ancient Wall No Ball GamesWhat is #heritage? Heritage art along the Riverside Walk in GainsboroughWhat is #heritage? The entrance to Gainsborough Public Library.

We’d love to hear what you think about heritage – what you think ‘heritage’ is, and how important it is to you. Your views can help inform ways in which heritage is recognised, cared for and shared, both now and in the future across the county.

The ‘Our Lincolnshire’ heritage survey is still open, but not for too much longer – so if you have some spare time left this weekend, please do contribute your views. We want to hear from people across the county, and from all walks of life.

If you know any children who might be willing to take part, we’re really interested in hearing from them too – the questionnaire has three versions, and is available in different formats for the under 10s, for 11 to 17 year olds, and for the over 18s.

The survey is available here:

Have a go, then pass it on!

Is this #heritage? Monumental plaques outside Gainsborough Public Library.Is this #heritage? A civic flower display in Gainsborough.What is #heritage? Lea woods, near Gainsborough

Exploring Lincolnshire heritage: the Churches Festival

Throughout this project, we have come across fascinating heritage projects and enthusiastic history groups developing projects across the county.

One project coming up is the Churches Festival in West Lindsey. The 2016 Festival is taking place on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 May, and on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May.

West Lindsey Churches Festival 2016

West Lindsey Churches Festival 2016

This year the Festival is in its 20th year, and 94 churches will be open for people to explore. Organists from the Lincolnshire Organists Association will be playing over the two weekends, with music also featuring in concerts at Stow and Brocklesbury, along with recitals and organ trails.

Stories associated with the churches will be a feature throughout the festival. At Gautby for example, they will be telling a story of intrigue, kidnapping, ransom and murder related to the Vyer family. Kettlethorpe church is associated with Katherine Swynford, the third wife of John of Gaunt, and the story of a missing cook features at Riby.

Details of the festival and churches involved can all be found on the Churches Festival website: 

In their own words:

“Many of the churches are still the focal point of our villages and will provide you an insight into the history and life of their parishes.  Others offer a vibrant collection of stained glass, architecture, carvings and artefacts.  And some of our smaller churches open their doors simply to provide you with an oasis of peace and spirituality, a place to relax and witness the Holy Spirit. And finally, we offer intrigue and mystery as we uncover some hidden stories that our churches have kept so secret over the years!”

Click on the images below to find out more about their music programme, their flickr photo feed, and their walks.

Organ pipesstained glass crucifixionfields

Hidden heritage? The Baptist chapel at Monksthorpe

In the grounds of Gunby Hall in Lincolnshire sits a tiny and largely hidden historic Baptist chapel. Monksthorpe Baptist Chapel is supported by a group of volunteers called the Friends of Monskthorpe.

Monksthorpe Baptist Chapel

Monksthorpe Baptist Chapel (CC BY-SA 2.0 Brian)

The chapel is now owned by the National Trust, who manage Gunby Hall, but a successful partnership with the active Friends group has seen the chapel continue to be used throughout the year. They hold monthly services in the summer, and a candlelit carol service in December.

The Friends group have been instrumental in developing historic interpretation at the chapel. Further information can be found on their website, at, and on the National Trust’s webpages, and in their published booklets.

Monksthorpe is a hamlet about 7 miles inland from Skegness, and a couple of miles from Gunby Hall, near Spilsby. RAF Spilsby airfield is nearby, from where Lancaster bombers flew in the Second World War. Near the airfield’s huge hangar, but hidden by trees, sits the plain, brick-built chapel.

The chapel has undergone major restoration since its acquisition by the National Trust. It was originally built in 1701, and although it is not known what the chapel looked like inside, it would have been plain. The building was refurbished in the 1840s.

The chapel’s small graveyard includes the grave of John Dowse, a minister and historian of the chapel in the early 20th century. There is an outdoor baptistry, where church members were baptised by full immersion in water from a nearby dyke.

The National Trust point out a number of features for visitors to spot, including an 1800s harmonium, a balcony, a pigsty next to the graveyard, Hugh Ayscough’s tomb under the pulpit, the war memorial, an escape door, and a pot-bellied boiler to keep the congregation warm.

The Friends of Monksthorpe tell the stories of religious persecution, as early Baptists dissented, refusing to worship according to the state law. They began meeting in Monksthorpe as early as 1669, in the open air at first. Those who refused to worship in the Church of England were often forced to hide to escape persecution.

In 1701, Hugh Ascough gave the Baptists two acres of land, on which they built their chapel in the form of a barn – to escape attention. In 1782 there were just under 100 members of the congregation from 20 villages across Lincolnshire.

You can read more about the history and people’s memories of Monksthorpe in their anthology, which is available through their website.

Do you know any other hidden stories about rural Lincolnshire that you think are important to tell? If so, we’d love to hear from you.

Cricket on Good Friday

Happy Good Friday! I’ve already seen plenty of tweets from cricket clubs today about pre- season cricket nets – and surely a public holiday is the perfect time for a spot of perfecting that cover drive?

Apparently the members of the Waddington village team thought the same thing in 1860, when they decided to have an impromptu practice match amongst themselves on Good Friday.

Sadly the village’s controversial Archdeacon, George Gresley Perry, who was Rector of Waddington between 1852 and 1897, had other ideas.

This was the same Rector who expected all children to acknowledge him if they met him in the village – girls to curtsey and boys to pull their forelocks – and if they failed to do so, he would rap their shoulder with his walking stick.

His attitude to cricket seems to have been equally puritanical. When he discovered that the village team had held a practice on Good Friday, he accused them of being unchristian and said that they were “setting a bad example” to the rest of the village.

Goodness knows what he would have made of Sunday league cricket!

Not all clergy felt the same way about the sport. Many 19th century clergy were Oxbridge educated, and were good cricketers . In one of the first recorded games played by a Lincolnshire side, against the MCC in August 1884, the Reverend CE Chapman – vicar of Scrivelsby – scored 53 runs for Lincolnshire in the first innings and 13 in the second; he was also a football blue, and supposedly had a very muscular physique! There was even a Lincolnshire Clergy Cricket Club, formed in 1923. They played their first match at Trent Bridge in July that year against the Southwell Clergy.

Also, the majority of teams in the early days of the Lincoln League (which was formed in 1900) were run from mission halls and church halls. Cricket was evidently felt to be a morally improving activity – though not, apparently, when it was played on Good Friday!