Ribblesdale Wanderers Cricket and Bowling Club

This month we visit Ribblesdale Wanderers CC in Clitheroe

Ribbledale Wanderers play in the Jennings Ribbledale Senior League and the First Team were League Champions in 2000.

The club was originally formed in 1891 with all of its members also being the committee, (all 15 of them). The club was then known as St. James’s Cricket Club. The ground was situated at Stoop Field, off Barrow Road for which the club had to pay 1/- per week for rent. In 1892 the club made its first move to a more appropriate field and the rent went up to 2/- per week. In 1893 the club moved again to the adjoining field for which they were charged the heady sum of 4/- per week for rent. Times were hard during this period, in a match against Barrow the clubs only ball was lost and a ball from the Barrow team had to be borrowed to complete the game.

In 1897 the club decided to purchase a new Cricket Tent for the sum of £7 7s. 0d, which was delivered by rail in sections from Sheffield. This was a major step forward at the time for a club, which was still only playing friendlies and not part of any cricket league.

In 1900 the club made an application which was accepted to join the Blackburn and District League. The team did reasonably well for the first season, possibly due to visiting teams being tired before the game started, after the long walk from the railway station to the ground. It was also in this year the first tour was initiated. The club played four matches in Scotland under the name of Ribblesdale Wanderers.

At a general meeting held March 21st 1901 it was decided that the club change its name to Ribblesdale Wanderers Cricket Club. The club was making rapid progress, for they had bought a water-ballast roller and a new 15-inch lawn mower. They even managed to purchase a donkey to pull the roller and engaged a part time Groundsman at a salary of 2/6 per week. That season, the team were runners up in the league. (It is not stated however how much of the success was down to the donkey).

1902 and the final ground move to the present location at Church Meadow. Although at this time only half of the meadow belonged to the club. After working every night to produce and prepare a reasonable wicket the team played 18 matches, winning 11, 3 were drawn and 4 lost – this included the first matches against our town rivals Clitheroe, which were friendly games.

In 1903 the team won their first League Championship. This was the Blackburn & District League Cup. During one game in that season the club President took 8 wickets for 4 runs, the side being all out for 7 runs.

Two years later the team took part in the newly constructed North-East Lancashire Amateur Cricket League and were runners up in the inaugural season.

In 1907 an application was made to join the Ribblesdale League. The application was successful and the team has been in the League since. The dressing room, which was still at the old ground, was moved and a new wing added to it. During a meeting held on November 12th the lease for the remainder of the field was handed over to the club. It was also decided at the meeting that a Bowling Green be laid. Work was carried out over the winter and the Green was officially opened in 1908.

A new pavilion was opened in 1919 and some tennis courts in 1922. In 1922 Ribblesdale Wanderers were the first winners of the Ramsbottom Cup.

The club’s excellent web site includes team information, results, photos and a fundraising lottery. Team selection lists are also on-line.