Shifnal Cricket Club 1849 – 2021


Chairman Bill Cook, Sir Leonard Hutton & Dr .J Duff    (New Pavilion opening 1968.)

The club was formed by James Leake in 1849. In 1851 an agreement was entered into between James Leake and Mr Thomas Clarke for the Cricket ground in Haughton Lane, Shiffnal. The most significant recorded match played at the Haughton Lane Ground was between Shifnal, and a Combined University side from Oxford and Cambridge held in 1868 on Aug 20th.  The fixture was described in the press as an ‘annual contest’ with the paper proclaiming “plucky little Shifnal is the only Club in England that dare tackle Oxford & Cambridge united”.   1871 In his final year as secretary, Leake managed the Clubs relocation to our current site then called the “The Shrewsbury Flat”.  The Lease for the total seven Acre Three Roods and one Perch area would be agreed with Rev John Brooke.  The Brooke family remained landlords for eighty years until Bertram Hough purchased the ground in 1951.  1899 Bertram Hough made his debut on the Shifnal ground he was later to purchase, playing for Codsall against Shifnal.  Hough would make his debut for Shifnal in 1905.  

During the First World War the ground was let for grazing at a rent of £10 per year.  The only Cricket played at that time was by the patients of the Military Hospital. On the first Saturday in May post war Cricket recommenced and it was proposed by solicitor R.A. Clarke that the club “be carried on as here before”.  In 1929 Work on a new pavilion commenced and was contracted out to Samuel Phillips of Station Carriage Works, Shifnal.  The President (J Reid Walker) formally opened the modified building on June 1st.  In 1948 Electricity was installed into the pavilion and a licensed bar was available for members.  During the Second World War the military authorities from Donnington took over the ground and the pavilion was used as a residence.

In 1949the club celebrated its centenary with a dinner and hosted three County Fixtures.  The importance Of the Shifnal Cricket Club centenary celebrations went far beyond the fact the club were celebrating one hundred years of cricket.  It appeared the whole future of Shropshire Cricket could hinge on the success of the games against Staffordshire, Worcester and Warwickshire and the interest they would create across the county. The Shropshire Star reported “The lack of a regular Shropshire Cricket X1 might well be rectified in the near future, if there is an encouraging response from the public, to efforts made in connection with the centenary celebrations at Shifnal Cricket Club.   

Bertram Hough’s purchased the ground in 1951 for £600.  The Current Pavilion is named in Hough’s memory and his picture, presented by W.E. Lawton at the 1956 dinner dance, for his 50year association with the club, is still displayed in the pavilion along with founder member James Leake.   

After many difficulties, and the introduction of the Tennis Club, a New Cricket Pavilion was opened in May 1968 by Sir Leonard Hutton.  By 1970 a new Shropshire Premier Cricket league, including Shifnal C.C. was formed.  All matches would be of 45 over duration for the 1970 season. By 1975 all teams would play each other Home and away. Shifnal were to share the League Championship at the end of the 1972 season based on an average points gained per game basis.  Promotion into the Premier league “closed shop” was not accepted until Clubs took their chance in the Birmingham League 1998.                                             

A new initiative for a Bowling /Club was introduced with enthusiasm by both clubs and by the end of 1981 the new crown green measuring 42 yards square at a cost of £5,000 was complete.  The Club opened and bowling commenced by 1982.  We were now a three sports centre. 

Adrian Shelley became Groundsman in 1983 beginning a so far unbroken 38 year unprecedented and successful spell as Groundsman.  The club were honoured on 10th and 11th June 1985 with our first Minor Counties fixture at the ground

In 1985 Kevin Humphries made his full Shropshire CCC debut against Buckinghamshire at Slough and became the first player from Shifnal to achieve this honour. His debut was a big success making 23 in the first innings and 84 not out in his second.  

Shifnal C.C. 3rd XI was established in 1991, playing their home games, initially, at Idsall School.  This initiative was important for the development of our junior players in future years, produced by our coaching system.  Idsall was one of many far from perfect venues before the Club acquired their excellent permanent second Ground at Weston.  A Fourth, and for one Season, a fifth eleven were also introduced. 

1994 New much larger dressing rooms were built onto the front of the pavilion at the same time removing the need for one of the team to change at the rear of the building.  They were opened by Audrey Evans on Presidents day MAY 29th in memory of Mick & Graham Evans.  Many past members attended the opening ceremony.  

2001 became the Clubs first in the Birmingham League Division 2 (West) Promotion from that Division was achieved in 2005 and a further Promotion in 2006 meant the club would be playing in the Birmingham league Premier Division in 2007 where they would finish in a creditable fourth position.  However the end of the 2008 season saw the club relegated.

During the period from 2007 to 2010, the Shifnal Cricket Club Board was increasingly concerned about the deteriorating condition of the Cricket Pavilion. It was seen as a serious stumbling block to growth in participation. It had by now many problems and was unattractive because of the original design with its inherent flat roof maintenance issues which had escalated and threatened the Club’s ability to function.  Grants and a huge amount of self help saw the massively revamped pavilion was ready for use for most of the 2011 season.  As part of the Pavilion Project the Club had prepared a Women and Girls Cricket Development Plan aimed at increasing the number of female playing members over the next three years.  The Reconstructed Pavilion was officially opened by Baroness Rachel Heyhoe –Flint.  A large gathering of past members many of whom had donated to the clubs New Pavilion Appeal, witnessed the event.       

The Club's first Fireworks Display was an explosive success, enjoying a spectacular fireworks display, community stalls and rides.  This even it is now firmly established as a major, club and community, annual fund raising event, along with the Summer Ball.  These events and the efforts of Grant expert Alan Martin have contributed greatly to club funds.     

May 2014 Shifnal Cricket Club celebrated the news that it has received a £19,700 funding boost from SITA Trust to refurbish and improve its practice facilities. The Nets were opened by MP Mark Pritchard. 

The Energize Awards are an annual event that recognises the contribution that teams and individuals make to sport and physical activity in the County. Shifnal Cricket Club was announced as the winner of the Shropshire Community Club of the Year Award 2014.   As winners the Club went forward as the County nominee in this category, to the regional West Midlands Community Sports Awards on 27th November and again the club were successful. 


The Club secured funding for work to commence on 2 September 2014 to re-grade the outfield.  At the same time install a rainwater harvesting system (pavilion roof run-off stored for irrigation of cricket square),whilst also installing drainage around the square.  We provided an electricity supply to the scorebox and installed a second artificial cricket wicket in the outfield.  Surplus soil would form a bund along the western edge of the car park area. The delayed completion of the project was caused by the exceptionally wet weather.  It was the end of June before the first eleven played a home fixture at Shifnal.

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The official opening of a New Electronic took place on May 13th 2016. The Scoreboard was supplied by Electronic Scoreboard Units of 14 Harold Road, Braintree, Essex CM7.

In September 2016 Shifnal 1st led by Tom Collins were promoted to Division One of the Birmingham League. Shifnal accumulated 364 points that season and won the league convincingly. After securing their status in Division One in the 2017 season, Shifnal 1st team performed the unthinkable in 2018 and got promoted to the Premier Division of the Birmingham league with a second placed finish. Shifnal finished one point above Bridgnorth CC after a dramatic final day of the season, which saw Shifnal beat Barnards Green by only four runs to give themselves hope of promotion. Bridgnorth required one run to draw off the final ball which would have been enough to get them promoted. Fortunately for Shifnal there was a wicket off the final ball and the rest is history. Shifnal 1st team remain in the top division of the Birmingham Premier League. 

The cricket club continue to run four men’s teams, a women’s team and a vibrant juniors section. In what was an unusual year in 2020 with the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in only half a season being played the club are looking forward to the 2021 season and beyond. In 2021 the club will be celebrating their 150th anniversary which is certainly a cause for celebration.