We are a village cricket club in northwest Derbyshire, on the edge of the Peak District. We are one of the oldest local clubs, the Charlesworth Cricket Club being founded in 1861, followed by Chisworth CC six years later, the two merging in 1895 to form a single club representing the two villages.
During all of our history we have prided ourselves on being a part of the local community, offering more than just an opportunity to play cricket during the summer. From the 1880s, when our members went round the villages on Christmas night, regaling the local residents with song and music, to the present day when our club is used for weekly Pilates and yoga classes, meetings of the Parish Council and WI, school sports and children’s parties, we have always tried to bring something extra to village life.
On the cricketing side, our members span all the age groups, from
* Our 5 year-old AllStars to the oldest veterans of the social team who remember the good old days of the 1950s.
* 55 junior members, 37 of these 11 years-old or younger, who play cricket as Under-9s, Under-11s, Under-13s and Under-15s.
* We have 1st and 2nd senior teams playing in Divisions 2 and 3 of the Derbyshire and Cheshire Cricket League.
* An enthusiastic Women's Softball Team.
* The Social team of over-40s and beyond.
During the summer there is cricket of some form at the Club every day of the week.
The pandemic has been challenging for individuals, families and communities, not just in our part of Derbyshire but throughout the world. A year ago, the Club seemed very unimportant, but when we were allowed to reopen in July 2020 our members, especially the children, flocked back. It was wonderful seeing the happy faces of the youngsters training and playing again, after six months of lockdown and isolation from their friends. This year the Club has felt reinvigorated, and we all have a desire to do even more for our two villages.
We have various problems though. Like all grassroots sports clubs we are entirely dependent on volunteers. Last year was particularly difficult for several of the people we have relied on in the past, and although through heroic efforts our ground and the precious square were maintained in high order, we were unable to provide sufficient care and attention to some of our equipment. Our sightscreens became damaged and now must be replaced, and our scorebox has been attacked by rot.
Most critically, our nets have deteriorated to the stage where they are barely usable. The nets were installed back in 2000, and over 20 years we managed to keep them in good shape, but the artificial wickets are now worn and torn in places, and the metal poles holding the netting in place have become loose in the ground so the whole structure sags over. During lockdown, the wickets became infested with moss and grass and this has caused further irreparable damage. Thanks to a lot of remedial work at the start of the season we managed to avoid the nets being condemned by the Club Safety Officer, but it was touch and go and we know they will not pass the test next year.
The nets are central to our junior training activities. The children can do some training on the outfield, but practising their batting and bowling is vital for their development as young cricketers, and that can only be done safely in a net. This means that if we cannot use the nets then we cannot give the children the level of training that they deserve. In the past, several of our juniors have played representative cricket for Derbyshire or Lancashire boys and girls teams, and we are proud that, even though a small club, we have been able to set these rising stars on their pathways to becoming successful senior cricketers. It would be heart-breaking for the many volunteers who have worked with our current set of children since they were 5 year olds, if we could not give them the same opportunity to reach the levels enjoyed by their predecessors. We simply must find the money to replace the nets this coming winter.
Nets are expensive. The Club Treasurer has put money aside to help pay some of the costs, and local businesses have stepped in with new sponsorship. Our members have bought tickets for a 250 Club, bringing in more funds. But we desperately need to raise another £5000 to get us close to the minimum we need to be able to replace the nets this winter.
Our Dream Nets: This is what your kind donations will go towards
We are hoping that everyone associated with the club, as well as village residents and people from the wider community, will be able to support our crowdfunding with donations. However small, any donation you can make will be gratefully received and will help us to reach our target. We will be running various events that we hope will capture your imagination, and will show how much our members care about our club and the opportunities it provides for children and adults in the villages of Charlesworth and Chisworth.
The first of these events will be on Saturday 12th June when our Under-15s manager James Butterworth will be attempting to break the record for the WORLD’S LONGEST BOWLING RUN UP. This currently stands at 2.52 miles, and to break this record James will attempt a 5k run up starting from Lane Ends, Marple Bridge, before he bowls the first ball in a Parents vs Juniors game. Please support Jimmy in his world record attempt by donating to our wonderful cause.
This project offers rewards in return for your donation.