18th July 2016, 2:52pm
Howzat! New website delivers stories from cricket's rich history in Lincolnshire
Britannia Works (Marshalls) CC, Gainsborough, 1925. Credit: Gainsborough Heritage Centre Historical records, photographs and recollections capturing stories from two centuries of cricket in the county of Lincolnshire are brought together in a new local heritage website launched this summer.

Cricket has been played in Lincolnshire since at least 1770. The first record of the sport 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. Today, there more than 200 clubs within the county, as well as a number of flourishing leagues.

In conjunction with the Lincolnshire cricket community, researchers from the University of Lincoln have launched a cricket heritage website, CricketLincs, to draw together material outlining the rich history of the sport in Lincolnshire, including the personal stories of players, fans and officials.

CricketLincs contains a wealth of information about the history and heritage of cricket across Lincolnshire, including histories of clubs in West Lindsey, East Lindsey, Lincoln City, North Kesteven, South Kesteven, South Holland, Boston, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.

The site also features audio clips from interviews with Lincolnshire residents involved in the sport, discussing their own memories of cricket in the county. Website users can listen to 92-year-old Tom Lambley of Grantham Cricket Club recalling playing cricket on the Sydney Cricket Ground during the Second World War, and local umpire Steve Massingham relaying how his 15-year career began when he went for a walk in the park at Metheringham and was asked to stand at square leg.

The CricketLincs Hall of Fame features the county’s most high profile cricket personalities from across the past 250 years, including former England international Arran Brindle, who finished her England career with 2,852 runs and 57 wickets, and continues to play club cricket at Louth.

Scunthorpe-born Phil Neale, who captained Worcestershire to two County Championships and was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1989, also features alongside other legends of Lincolnshire cricket, past and present.

The CricketLincs website is a pilot created as part of the Our Lincolnshire project, a county-wide exploration of Lincolnshire’s heritage, supported with funding from Arts Council England.

Professor Matthew Cragoe, a historian and Pro Vice Chancellor of the College of Arts at the University of Lincoln, said: “Cricket is a sport enjoyed by thousands of people of all ages across Lincolnshire, and we felt it was important to create an online space where local residents can read about and engage with the history and heritage of the sport.
“Heritage isn’t just about old buildings - it can be anything that has historic or cultural value which can be passed from one generation to the next. The CricketLincs website enables us to preserve some of the cricket heritage of Lincolnshire, from old photographs to memories of local club rivalries.
“It’s also a great resource for anyone in Lincolnshire, especially anyone who plays or enjoys sport, to find out more about the history of their local community.”

Dr Raf Nicholson, Research Assistant in the School of History & Heritage at the University of Lincoln, collated much of the material and conducted many of the interviews featured on the site. She said: “It was a privilege to hear so many fascinating stories and meet some wonderful people during my research. Their recollections show the positive power of sport to bring communities together, whether it is families playing side-by-side in a village team, or the long-lasting friendships built through years of good-natured competition.
“This pilot project has shown the great value and potential for local sports heritage research and I hope that the CricketLincs site, which belongs to everyone connected with the sport, can grow and flourish from here.”

Visit the CricketLincs website at http://cricketlincs.lincoln.ac.uk. For more on the Our Lincolnshire project, see: http://ourlincolnshire.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/  

People wanting more information or to contribute to the CricketLincs archive can find a contact form at: http://cricketlincs.lincoln.ac.uk/contact/
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