We are located in the village of Boxted, Essex, 5 miles north of Colchester, Britain’s oldest recorded town. As well as an area steeped in history this is one of the most picturesque parts of Eastern England. It was here on the border with Suffolk that famous landscape artist John Constable painted many of his masterpieces, and the name “ Constable Country” was born.
Our home ground is at The King George Field, Cage Lane, where we have three adult teams playing league cricket plus a colts section (see links for both Colts and Fixtures)
Cage Lane has been our home since 1938 when we moved from Boxted Lodge a village farming estate nearby. There are records of cricket matches at the estate from 1830 onwards. William Fisher Hobbs the landowner kept a diary and frequently mentions the games taking place. There is an interesting entry for June 1832 regarding an away match at Earls Colne. Boxted were being conveyed in “John Freemans Waggonette “ Due to a thunderstorm which frightened the horses “the waggonette overturrned into a ditch” and the team took shelter in a “local Hostelry” where they “lived very well”, ie, had a few too many. It seems that the Freeman family, who were local farmers, not only provided transport, but were also useful cricketers. In august 1840 William Freeman scored 140 not out for Boxted CC v a William Beaumurice Rush eleven. This innings would have stood as a club record for 155 years, until surpassed by Duncan Evans in 1995
The archives of Colchester Garrison record a match on May 14th 1869 when “The officers of Colchester Garrison” beat Boxted CC by 227 runs. The match report states that “Boxted were very weak, several players having declined to come at the last moment”
It would seem that cricket continued at Boxted Lodge until the First World War (1914-1918)
Around this time a local Football Club also started sharing the ground and were called Boxted Lodgers, a name they still use today. The parish records for 1910 mention a cricket match against “The Old Boys Of Dedham Grammer School” The match was drawn and both teams withdrew to the Cross Inn ( closed down in the 1990s) an argument developed resulting in a “fistfight” and the local Constable was called to “restore order”. Cricket quickly resumed after the war as there are records of matches in 1919.
During the 1930s Boxted Parish Council were donated land at Cage Lane, and laid down a new sports field. Both Cricket and Football transferred here in 1938. Initially our stay would be short lived due to the out break of The Second World War (1939-1945). Some of the field was ploughed up to grow wartime crops though we believe our cricket square was spared this humiliation. On the cessation of hostilities the field was restored and we returned to our sedate friendly cricket.
n 1976 we took the decision to embrace league cricket and Boxted became founder members of the Greene King Cricket League now evolved to the PDQ League. We collected our first piece of silverware in 1980 when winning the Second Div Championship. On promotion to Div One we have won the title no less than five times and the League Cup twice. Our second team joined he league in 1982 and collected the Div Two Championship in 1995.
In 1996 we also joined The Two Counties Cricket Championship, this gives us Saturday cricket to a very competitive standard, leaving Sundays for our two PDQ teams.
We are proud of our facilities, due to a lot of hard work and investment our square is full of runs and the Parish Council are committed to improving the outfield and other aspects of the ground year on year.
The Clubhouse is the envy of many and a new car park has been laid at a cost of £25,000. There is a safe children’s playground and a new skateboard ramp has recently been added at a cost of £32,000. We are committed to providing our members with safe and enjoyable cricket. In return, we expect certain standards that reflect well on our club. Please see the link for Colts Cricket, this gives details of our Policy Statement, Codes of Conduct and required standards of behaviour. We always welcome new members, both playing and non- playing so if you are interested in joining our friendly club then please get in touch or just come along to any of our matches.
We are grateful to both Mr Douglas Carter and Col Jeremy Carter who helped compile this article.
In addition I would like to thank Graham Francis for his research.