By Micky Garner and Brian Butchers
The year Rev Alexander Henry Bridges of St Mary’s was appointed honorary Canon of Winchester Cathedral. His son, John H Bridges, was still at Oxford when he played in the first game of cricket on the new Beddington Park ground on Wednesday 25th June 1873, between the Gentlemen of Beddington – his father’s team – and John Henry’s team from the parish of Caterham. He would have invited his friend Jarvis Kenrick of Lancing College and Oxford to play in his side.
First Cricket at Beddington Park – Croydon Chronicle 1873
Beddington Park presented a festive appearance on Wednesday, when a cricket match was played on the new piece of ground lately presented to the residents in the neighbourhood for the purpose, by the Rev Mr Bridges, the rector. This gentleman, who it is well known is always doing something for the social improvement of his parishioners, has lately placed some seats in the park and is we believe about to erect a spacious and elegant pavilion on the cricket ground, which when completed, will compare favourably with any similar place of recreation in England.
The match was organised by Mr John Henry Bridges, who selected eleven gentlemen players from the neighbourhood of Caterham. A large and fashionable company were entertained by the Rev Mr Bridges, and a sumptuous luncheon was served up by Mr Budden of the Greyhound Hotel Croydon, who also provided tea for the ladies. The ground, which was in splendid condition, is approached by a lovely drive through the park.
The match was very exciting, the battling of each competitive force being highly eulogised by some old cricketers present and the fielding was equally well attended too. Mr Bridge’s eleven were successful, the match being decided on the first innings. A more enjoyable day has not been spent in this historic locality. (Croydon Chronicle 1873)
Prior to this match a game was played at Beddington on Wednesday 18th June 1873 between Eight of Beddington Amateurs v Six of White Star, Hackbridge, and may have been the first game played on the Beddington village ground. The all-round play of Davenport, Smith, Steadman, Odd, and Busbridge for the Amateurs was remarkably good, as was the bowling of Jarvis, Graham, and McRae for the White Star. Jarvis, McRae and Hazell were also in the earlier Beddington United side and later played in the Hackbridge House team of 1878.
The Beddington pavilions on these grounds were completed during the autumn and winter of 1873, the date on the pavilion chimney stack, ready for the start of the 1874 season. It was during this period that Beddington United CC reverted back to their original name of Beddington Corner. Boundary changes meant Beddington Corner was now in the parish of Wallington, and the railway at Hackbridge was now in place to Epsom and beyond.
The private pavilion was erected at the cost of £3,000 in an enclosure of several acres (10 acre field) in the midst of Beddington Park. It comprises the covered veranda with raised seats and railed round, a large dining hall, with the proper culinary requirement at the rear pantries and ice well etc. The ladies and gentleman’s dressing rooms, with lavatories and water laid on, on the ground floor and the dining hall are panelled, and the ceilings in pitch pine. There is a large range of lockers, hanging closets, and every requirement for comfort and use. The furniture of the hall is in solid oak and in character. The towers comprised smoking and store rooms with large tanks supplied by force pumps, for the purpose of watering the cricket ground by hose. There are beautiful views over the park from the towers, with the River Wandle running through the surrounding countryside. There is a range of offices with convenient sheds for carriages and horses to the rear, besides arrangement for servants also at the rear of the pavilion.
The building was constructed on a brick foundation with concrete under, having stone quoins and chimney also in red brick, rustic work to the open veranda and elsewhere the floors are planked, the roofs are covered with Norfolk Reed. (The roof was tiled in 1924 although the thatched stables remained). Everything has been carried out in the most substantial manner from the design of Mr Joseph Clarke FSA (Canon Bridges’ favoured architect) 13 Stratford Place, London. The builders were Messrs Roberts of Islington, clerk of the works being Mr Thomas Booth. The whole of the extensive ground is enclosed (10 acres) by oak paled fencing. Date of etching on the chimney wall 1873. A lesser pavilion has also been erected (1873) from the designs of the same architect in a separate but adjoining cricket ground in the Beddington Park Ground. (OS1868 Dog Kennel Mead).
In the year 1874, according to the first History of Beddington Choir, a single wicket match was played in Beddington Park between W H Patchell (the Beddington choir champion), and W T Gower (Croydon Parish champion) resulting in a victory for the former by one run. In the first innings Mr Patchell was bowled by Mr Gower without scoring; Mr Patchell also bowled Mr Gower with a similar delivery. In the second innings Mr Patchell stole one run before again being bowled by his opponent and Mr Gower was caught without a run. Thus the champion won magnificently by one run, much interest was excited in the match.
The choir team was a collection of men and boys from the Parishes of Beddington and Wallington. This year the Beddington choir led by Mr G Burry won all of their matches, C Davenport, Jarvis, E Ribbens, Patchell, and Marfleet all excelled, by this time they were running two elevens. The cricketer to follow in this early history is C Davenport who lived at Butter Hill, Wallington Corner; he played for every Beddington side mentioned in this early history including Beddington United at Beddington Corner, Beddington Amateurs and the Beddington Choir at Beddington Park.
Old Wykehamist CC
The Old Wykehamist CC was founded at Temple Bar in 1874 where the first committee was elected; C Awdry, F H Birley, H Deane, C H Guiness, W Lindsay, C Marriott, and T Latham. A distinguished cricketer at the meeting was John Shuter, who afterward captained Surrey for many years. Only three matches were played during the first year, one of those being the Wykehamists vs J H Bridges’ XI at Beddington Park. For the next three years with T Latham as secretary, the Old Wykehamists played their matches at Beddington Park and in 1877 J H Bridges was elected as secretary, but in 1878 the membership dwindled and it became difficult to raise sides, in fact the records show that no matches were played in 1879, except games at Winchester College. Between 1880 and 1884 the club collapsed, but in the latter year a meeting was called with the object of reconstituting the club, with P R Toynbee as secretary. (Lords Archives)
The extension to the St Mary’s graveyard was completed by Joseph Clarke, and Roberts the Builder, after years of wrangling from 1870, and the sale of the Beddington Farm to Canon Alexander Bridges, by the Lambeth Female Orphanage, which was running short of money, was finalised. Canon Bridges now owned the whole of Beddington Park and the Beddington Farm, with the famous Dovecote still standing today.
Graveyard extension completed 1875
The St Mary’s choir was making a good impression on the local cricket scene, at the Beddington Park ground, against Harcourt, White Star Hackbridge, Beddington Amateurs, Trinity College and Bromley Clarence. By this time the choir was running two sides, and would in the next five years be playing in the Beddington teams on the Beddington village ground with the lesser thatched pavilion.
John Henry Bridges returned to Beddington from Oxford in June. Although John Henry Bridges was a very good sportsman at Oxford he never obtained a blue. He had captained the Oriel College side in 1874, playing in the Oxford Next XV, and in Lord Harris’ XI at Lord’s in the same year.
John Henry Bridges with his good friends Jarvis Kenrick and Francis Birley played in a game at Beddington Park against Reigate Hill, resulting in an easy win for the home team, with Kenrick taking all ten wickets for 39 runs and John Henry scoring 69 runs in a first innings total of 169 runs. This Beddington side contained many of the players involved in the record-breaking Marlborough Nomads game of the following year.
In the 1875 season a team was formed in Carshalton Park by Jerimiah Colman, a private club that played eight games a year until the family moved to Gatton Manor, Reigate in 1885. John Henry Bridges was a personal friend of the Colman’s and Robbie Henderson sometimes scored for the Carshalton Park side as a young lad. (History from a Letter to a Friend by Terence Colman at Sutton Archives).
In 1875 Wisden recorded: Individual Innings of three figures were recorded at Beddington Park when Mr H K Avery scored 129 n.o. for Beddington Park in a match against Eton Ramblers. In August the Old Wykehamists played their now annual match against Beddington Park.
There were three or more sides playing on Canon Bridges’ Beddington Park ground, while the team called Beddington Park and the Choir played on Canon Bridges’ private ground, while all other games i.e. Beddington CC, Beddington Village CC, Beddington Amateurs and Harcourt CC played on the village ground with the Lesser Thatched Pavilion.
Public school and first class games played on the private ground were recorded at Surrey Oval, Lord’s and Wisden, while the Choir Boys and village teams appeared in the local journals. Over time the various sides became formalised as 1st, 2nd and 3rd XIs. This was the year that the Henderson family came to Beddington from Newport, Monmouthshire, another coincidence as Newport was the home of Atkins Borsley, the land speculator at Beddington. Thomas Henderson senior had taken a job as a Mechanical Engineer at the Female Orphanage.
The family numbering six were given an Asylum Cottage on the Park Farm estate. Robert Henderson was eleven years of age when they first arrived, the youngest of four children, Thomas jnr, David and Robbie, sister Hester (born 1863) became a local piano teacher. The two older boys joined the Hackbridge House CC side and Robbie was soon to play in the Beddington Choir side on Canon Bridges private ground.
This was the year of the record breaking Marlborough Nomads game on the private ground. Although the match was a very inferior one, the record was kept at the Oval Archives as a curiosity. The Beddington Park innings exceeded 500 runs, and the opposition did not bat.
In July, Beddington Park with H R Webbe, R Humphrey and J Southerton played Harrow Wanderers. Beddington were the first to bat and were bowled out for a total of 143 runs. The Wanderers then went to work with the willow and when “time” was called ending the day’s play, their score stood at 162 and not a wicket had fallen. This match is recorded in Wisden.
The Beddington Village CC continued to improve with victories against Chelsham, Bromley, Croydon, Beddington Choir and Beddington Corner United. This year John Henry played in his first match with Surrey CCC as did his friend Jarvis Kenrick, without much success, he also founded the first Aberdeen Angus Cattle breeding farm in England this year, at Langshott Farm in Horley, left to him by his grandfather Sir Henry Bridges in 1862.
In 1877 Canon Bridges had a gate lodge built to house Mr Pulling a trusted friend who managed the Park estate. The Lodge built by Joseph Clarke and Roberts the builder is still standing today at the entrance to the park in Church Road.
This year J H Bridges was elected as honorary secretary of the Old Wykehamists at Beddington Park and the first cricket match against Whitgift School was played on the park ground. (This game is mentioned in Bentham’s History of Whitgift School.) Beddington Park had produced a strong side for this match including Rev R E Lee, J H Bridges, G F Gale, Sid Jones, T Henderson, with Ribbens and Patchell from the choir team, the match finished in favour of Beddington by 17 runs.
In May 1877 at the Beddington Park ground eleven Gentlemen of Surrey with E Barrett played a match over two days against eighteen Surrey colts with F Gale. The Gentlemen were successful with E Barrett from Carshalton House school taking 11 wickets in the game. In July the Old Wykehamists played Eton Ramblers on the private ground, the game being drawn over two innings. Several teams played on the village wicket this season and the choir boys had a successful season under the captaincy of Mr G H Burry the choir master.
The foundation year of the Old Whitgiftians. In days of yore, all members of the cricket club were alumni of Whitgift School. However, for many years now the club had been open to good cricketers of whatever background. The Beddington Club has for many years had a lasting relationship with the school and the club. In this year Beddington defeated the Whitgift School side on their North End Croydon Ground, with J H Bridges scoring a record 158 runs in the match, and these games became a permanent fixture at home and away into the 1900s.
This year Beddington Village CC lost by 35 runs, playing away at the Banstead ground. R I’Anson carried his bat for a remarkable 90 runs n.o. He was later to play for Beddington CC with J Colman, Q West and J Southerton, as well as turning out for the Jockeys at Lord’s. In July of 1878 Reigate Hill CC came to Beddington. John Henry, Jarvis Kenrick, F H Birley and Rev R E Lee now the leading players in the Beddington team were once again too strong for the Reigate Hill team.
This was the last year that the Old Wykehamists would play at the Beddington Park ground, as they were running short of members, and the following year they returned to the Winchester College ground. The Rev R E Lee (Winchester College), the Rector at the Beddington Corner Church School opposite the Goat Inn, was always available to play in the Beddington CC teams during this period.
By 1878-79 archery had become a favoured pastime for the leisured classes to indulge themselves. The Archery Club of Canon Bridges, with its beautiful pavilion and its paled oak fence enclosure, became extremely popular, with the railway now close at hand; the well-to-do flocked to the park to sample the undivided attention of the club secretary John Henry Bridges.
This led to the wedding of John Henry Bridges to Edith Isabelle Tritton the youngest daughter of the banker Henry Tritton, and the evacuation of all cricket from Canon Bridges’ private ground to the Beddington village ground with the lesser thatched pavilion.
The 1879 season began with a match on the Beddington village ground against Whitgift School, this year saw the first appearance of Thomas Bentham the Beddington historian, in the Whitgift XI. The game played on Monday resulted in a victory for John Henry’s team by 48 runs. F H Birley, C Lambert, and Rev R E Lee scored well for the home side.
On the 21st May an interesting game was played at Beddington Park when Wallington College gained a victory over Beddington CC by 9 runs. C Johnson, P Mottu (the keeper) and W Smith distinguished themselves with the bat for their respective sides. For the winners C Johnson bowled with great effect, obtaining eight wickets for five runs in the first innings. For the losers Robert Henderson and A Jenkins bowled very well. F Goddard for the college later became the secretary of Beddington CC. The majority of players in these two teams would appear later in John Henry Bridges’ Beddington CC team, included T Johnson, W Arnott, J Cole, A Smith and the brothers Burry. Robbie Henderson at just 14 years of age took 10 wickets in this two innings match.
The older Henderson brothers had decided to play their cricket at Hackbridge House; at least you could get a pint of beer in the Old Red Lion Inn after the game, not available at the Lesser Thatched Pavilion on Canon Bridges’ Ground. This later presented a problem at the Beddington Club, as cricket in the early days revolved around the local taverns for food, refreshment, and music after the match, the exception at this time being the Beddington CC.
We now believe that 1880 was the year that all these teams and players came together as the Beddington CC on the village ground with the lesser thatched pavilion, this being the season when the three Henderson brothers joined the Beddington Club, Robbie Henderson, 16 years of age, was now a scholar at Wallington College and reports from the inspector of schools that year suggest that R Kirkman and F Goddard, two of the Beddington cricket team, were among the brightest students at the college.
The first match of the season was Mitcham and District v Beddington CC at Beddington Park, both teams selecting a strong side for this local derby. Beddington CC had the three Hendersons, Sid Jones, R Pott, and W H Pott of Eton. Mitcham CC had F Gale and G F Gale, J Thompson and E Barrington. For Beddington R Henderson and S Jones played well throughout the match, while F Mills batted well for Mitcham with 51 runs. Beddington CC won this two innings match by 45 runs. In June, Beddington CC lost this season’s match against Whitgift School by 14 runs in the first innings, with H W Turner for Whitgift taking seven wickets.
A friendly match was played at the end of June when J H Bridges Beddington XI played Mr C Woodruff’s XI, at Beddington resulting in a victory for Beddington by 183 runs. Mr C Woodruff was the new Rector at Holy Trinity, Wallington. The feature of the day’s cricket was the magnificent batting of Mr J H Bridges who made 122 runs assisted by R Henderson with a score of 30 runs, his brother Thomas Henderson taking six of the opposition wickets. Mr C Woodruff lived on the Wallington Manor House estate, Wallington Green.
In the same week Beddington Choir played Leicester House, Carshalton, resulting in a victory for the choir by 72 runs with R Henderson scoring 84 n.o. and taking five wickets with F Goddard, in the Leicester House total of 30 runs. Marfleet and Baines for Leicester House would later play in the Beddington CC team. The Beddington Choir and the Wallington College were both running two sides during this period, an excellent nursery for the Beddington Club.
At the Archery club ground, Canon A Bridges had sanctioned the beginning of a lawn tennis club. The private ground with the paled oak fence, became the archery and tennis club, no longer a cricket ground. Canon Bridges allowed the Oddfellows and the Free Foresters at the Duke’s Head, to use the ground for their summer fetes. Jarvis Kenrick later formed a croquet club at the private ground, now the Beddington Archery, Lawn Tennis, and Croquet Club. Cricket on Canon Bridges private ground had ended in 1879, when The Wykehamists disbanded.
The start of the cricket season saw the return of the Marlborough Nomads to Carshalton House. They went home again empty handed when they lost the match by one run in the second innings, at least they had a chance to bat this time .
The Annual Report on Beddington CC matches for the year reads 16 matches played 11 won and 5 lost. The team did not lose a match in April or May, and won the first match with Guy’s Hospital in June. Oakfield, Whitgift and Banstead, put an end to their winning streak in the next three games.
The match against Mr Woodruff’s XI, now a permanent fixture, ended in a win for the club by 183 runs on the first innings. In July Banstead won again by 12 runs and Beddington beat Mr Woodruff’s XI for the second time. In August and September Beddington were unbeaten. Top of the averages were J H Bridges with 33.50 runs and Jeremiah Colman with 23.6 runs, while Bentley and Muggeridge fared well with the ball, the three Henderson brothers played more than a dozen games each with R Henderson and A F Stevens, the secretary of the club, both playing 23 games during the season.
Extracts from the club rules of 1882 state: “The annual subscription of playing members is 5/- at least, but any gentleman is at liberty to give more.” John Henry Bridges was still running the Archery and Tennis club as secretary and skippering the cricket team. Dodds Papers at this time suggests that Canon Bridges was not much interested in cricket and preferred his trips to Italy in the summer and his cello at charity concerts in the winter.
The first May fixture was against The Priory CC resulted in a win for Beddington, some excellent bowling was displayed by young Robert Henderson who took 9 wickets for only 18 runs and S A Jones who was also credited with 10 wickets for 36 runs over the two innings match, J H Bridges skippered the side in this mid-week game.
Matches continued on a home and away basis with Whitgift School, Oakfield, Banstead, Guy’s Hospital, Addiscombe and Caterham, and July saw the beginning of the first Beddington Cricket Week. Guy’s Hospital suffered the first defeat when Jarvis Kenrick scored 123 runs in the first innings, and took seven wickets in the Guy’s Hospital total of 25 runs. Kenrick, Birley, Toynbee, R Henderson and S Jones were available all week and with John Henry Bridges would have been a formidable team.
In August Robbie Henderson was selected for an East Surrey side to play Crystal Palace, the Surrey side were far too strong for the Palace side, winning on the first innings.
The list of matches included Oakfield, Whitgift, Croydon, Banstead, Caterham, Cheam, Chipstead, Horley, and Addiscombe all on a home and away basis. Single matches were Mr A H Bridges President’s game during the cricket week, Upton Park and Mr Burgess’s XI.
Beddington choir played a fixture against Croydon Clarence winning by 63 runs. In July Whitgift played Beddington with R Henderson scoring 96 in a first innings score of 218 runs and then taking 7 wickets in the Whitgift total of 61 runs. Playing in the Whitgift side was G Marks, later to become J H Bridges’ son-in-law, A Moody became secretary of the Beddington club and T Bentham the historian.
The first match of cricket week Beddington played Dorking, the day was exceedingly fine and the defeat of the home side can only be attributed to one of those inconsistencies for which the noble game is so famous. John Henry seems to have lost interest in cricket at Beddington, and during the season his appearances became irregular. This may have been due to his work and family commitments at Ewell, where his family was increasing year on year.
Robbie Henderson had made his first appearance at Lord’s in this season and an issue of the ‘Cricketer’ this year said: Among the few really capable professionals the southern counties have produced of late, none have shown more distinct promise than Henderson. Very few cricketers have in a first season made their mark so decisively, he is one of the, if not the smallest and one of the youngest professionals who has taken part in first class matches in 1883. All round he is certainly the most promising young professional cricket has produced for some time.
The opening match of the 1884 season was played at Beddington against the “Stygians” the ground very soft after overnight rain, contributing in great measure to the small score made by Beddington who going in first, had decidedly the worst of the day. For the Stygians the fast underhand bowling of Sapte was very destructive, while J Bush and J W Vernon assisted in the manipulation of their fairly good score. The Beddington team were well represented with Messrs Toynbee, Muggeridge and T Henderson with Bentley keeping wicket which excited general admiration, the game being abandoned at a critical stage when rain stopped play. In July the Beddington choir defeated A N Penfold’s XI by 72 runs.
Beddington CC fixtures included Banstead, Addiscombe, Guy’s Hospital, Whitgift, Caterham, Cheam and Chipstead. In the return game at Beddington, Addiscombe scored 129 in their first innings, R Henderson for Beddington taking 5 of the Addiscombe wickets; in reply Beddington scored only 62 runs in their first innings and 95 runs in their second innings and lost the game, J H Bridges being bowled out by W Lemmon in both innings for a pair. This was the last game John Henry Bridges was to play for Beddington CC, and he left the club to start his own team at Ewell. He was at this time secretary in charge of the lawn tennis and archery club at the private ground. In July of this year John Henry became the Executor of Canon Bridges’ will, with various bequests in favour of John Henry Bridges whose mother Caroline was now in her 70th year. The Wykehamists had elected a new secretary at Winchester College, in Mr P Toynbee.
With the departure of John Henry as secretary, many cricketers left the club including Kenrick, Birley, Toynbee the Wykehamists and Jeremiah Colman who had moved to Gatton Manor, Reigate. Many other players left the club such as the brothers Henderson, captain Muggeridge, Mawer and I’Anson who had returned to Banstead, the majority of players preferring Mr Goad’s Hackbridge House ground with better facilities and a pint at the Old Red Lion Inn after the game.
During this season Hackbridge House played Kenley at Hackbridge resulting in an easy win for Hackbridge House, even the incoming curate at St Mary’s Beddington, Rev J Baker, played in the side during the season.
At Beddington Park the Beddington Choir team played the now Wallington Grammar School for the first time, resulting in favour of the latter by 64 runs with J Coates n.o. 103 runs, also taking four wickets for the school. The name of Robertson appears in the school team. In July the Beddington Choir played Mr J Baker’s XI resulting in favour of the choir. Mr Baker was about to become the next curate at Beddington and captain of the Beddington CC for the next three year.
The only published reports at Beddington came from the St Mary’s Choir CC who played Benhilton Choir, Ewell Choir, Whitgift School, Harcourt CC, Mr Taylor’s XI and Wallington Grammar School.
Rev J Baker, now a curate at St. Mary’s, took on the captaincy of the Beddington CC. His captaincy was to last until the end of his stay at Beddington, he had also joined the Hackbridge House team prior to this engagement and was ably supported by Mr F Goddard as secretary at the Beddington Club, this being a successful year for the Rev Baker with the return of many old members to the club: C W Lindsay, the brothers Henderson, Laidlow, Peile, with Kirkman and Carpenter the front line bowlers, (we even found a Jenner, maybe a relation of Herbert, playing in the side.) Much was achieved by the Rev J Baker during his captaincy, who was himself a useful cricketer.
This was the year that Thomas Bentham the historian of Beddington was ordained. His first encounter with Beddington Cricket was at Whitgift School as assistant master, and he played against the Beddington CC on several occasions. His association with St Mary’s, Beddington, began in 1888 as a curate under Canon A H Bridges, his curacy came to an end on the death of the Canon, but he remained as assistant curate at St Mary’s under Rev H A Hogdson until 1904.
He wrote the History of Beddington in a hurry (his words) in 1923 exactly 50 years after the ground had been laid at Beddington Park, something he would certainly have known about. He was curate and assistant curate at Beddington while his church at Addiscombe was being built and thanked the parishioners for all the kindness they had shown him during his stay at Beddington. In 1937 he was buried in a prominent position at the front of the old St Mary’s churchyard, Beddington.
In this year the experiment of running two elevens was tried, without much success, as it was found difficult to turn out two teams on a regular basis. Opponents included Addiscombe, Mitcham, Whitgift, Guy’s Hospital, Banstead, Kenley, Sutton and Croydon. Beddington CC played 20 games under Rev J Baker winning eight games with four games lost and eight drawn.
In July a match was played at Hackbridge House and resulted in a win for the home team. Hackbridge scored 232 runs in their innings with R I’Anson scoring 61 runs. Beddington in reply scored 150 runs with Rev Baker scoring 58 runs, and R I’Anson taking six of the Beddington wickets. This year Surrey Club and Ground played Hackbridge House, Rev Baker, Sid Jones, L Bentley, of Beddington Club all played in the Hackbridge House team.
With so many members now preferring Hackbridge House for their cricket, the church sexton Mr Estridge solved the problem of refreshments at Beddington by keeping a tub of beer in his Asylum Cottage adjacent to the ground.
In a report by the Sutton Herald July 1887 Beddington CC played Norwood Park at Beddington, resulting in a win for the visitors by 23 Runs. In these reports a game was played by the Beddington Working Men’s Club, at Beddington Lane against Caterham , playing in the side was Albert Saw the man who umpired for Beddington for 50 years.
In the seasons averages it will be seen that F Goddard topped the Batting Averages with 31.0 and A Lintott second with 26.0, the bowling averages by A Peile with 41 wickets at 8.32 runs and A Potter 29 wickets at 8.34 runs, all being creditable averages for the season.
A new fixture for Beddington in 1888 was Carshalton Cricket and Tennis Club at the Grove, W Baines of the Wykehamists playing for Carshalton. T Henderson batted very well and later took 7 Carshalton wickets for 39 runs in a game that Beddington lost. Against Addiscombe CC, the Beddington innings realised 319 runs, while our opponents were all out for a meagre 48 runs.
The batting of F Goddard, T Henderson and C W Lindsay with some assistance from R Henderson was very strong, but the results were poor for Rev Joseph Baker who had been a most popular captain. On Whit Monday, Beddington CC played Banstead CC at Banstead ending in a defeat in the first innings by 15 runs. Banstead totalled 134 runs, Beddington 119 runs. The Beddington team for this match; T Henderson opened the batting with J Dives from the Stock Exchange, F Goddard club secretary, Kirkman, Laidlaw, Carpenter, Peile, from the Wallington College, E Pothecary the vice-captain, H N Moody the team secretary, P Howes who appears for the first time, taking eight Banstead CC wickets during the match.
Rev J Baker the captain for the last three years, was soon to depart from St Mary’s Church for a posting as curate in the Canary Isles. Mr E Pothecary, the solicitor from Harcourt Road, took over as captain in the following year.
The first match of the season J H Bridges bought his Ewell team to Beddington for the first time, the Beddington team consisting of T Henderson, R Henderson, H N Moody, F E Goddard, C F Evans, J Laidlaw, W A Winton, A Howes, J Goodison and P Howes. Beddington CC were the first to bat, T Henderson, H N Moody, R Henderson, and F Goddard put on 128 runs for the first two wickets in the Beddington innings. On the other hand Ewell CC in their innings scored 26 runs for the loss of the first six wickets, C Leggatt collecting 61 n.o., in the Ewell total of 101 runs including eight extras. For Beddington R Henderson scored 46 runs, his brother Thomas contributing 42 runs to the Beddington winning total of 167 runs with four extras.
The second match played at Beddington Park against Hampstead Nondescripts was another success for Mr Pothecary with exactly the same team, Beddington winning by 49 runs. Fixtures this year included Croydon CC, Lansdowne CC, Banstead CC, Guy’s Hospital, Mitcham, with the choir boys playing each week on Monday and Wednesday.
In 1890 John Henry Bridges returned once again to play for Beddington in their first game of the season against Carshalton Cricket and Lawn Tennis Club, at Grove Park. The Carshalton club were the first to bat scoring 108 runs in total, with Thomas Henderson taking five wickets for Beddington. In reply the Beddington side were bowled out for 39 runs. The Grove Park wicket, renowned for being lively, certainly was for this match.
In June Beddington CC played Burlington Wanderers, the game was keenly contested throughout resulting in another win for Mr Pothecary’s team. In July Mr Pothecary decided that his performances as captain, in cricket terms, were not good enough and stood down, to be replaced by another solicitor Mr F C Lingard his next door neighbour in Harcourt Road, who took on the responsibility for the rest of the season. His first match was Mitcham CC at Beddington, where the home side were bowled out in their first innings for a meagre 29 runs, not one batsman obtaining double figures. Mitcham then went on to score 139 runs in their innings, and bowled Beddington out again in their second innings for 95 runs, of which Mr F C Lingard scored 44 runs.
Dodds Papers, written in the last year of Canon Alexander Bridges life, describes the clergyman during this time: “Canon Bridges whilst not taking any great interest in sport is ever ready to encourage any local enterprise leaning on it and has several times placed his beautiful park at the disposal of the “Oddfellows” and “Free Foresters”, for their summer galas, whilst he has given the field at the side of the Cricket Ground to the Beddington Cricket Club of which he is President, rent free. He is also patron of the Archery and Tennis Club, his son the popular secretary.
Canon A H Bridges was the possessor of a large and convenient Mansion, an extensive and picturesque park and a comfortable income from the church. Prior to the marriage of Canon Bridges son to Edith Tritton, austerity was the order of the day at Beddington House garden parties, Bridges Lane. Archery and cricket matches in the park succeeded each other with great regularity for some period of time. The house and park were never dull, under the light hearted drive of John Henry, but after his departure to Avenue House, Ewell in 1879, a change had crept over the ancient estate”.
Thomas Bentham in his history echoes this: “It was a sad day for everybody when John Henry Bridges, severed his connections with Beddington, and Ewell when he retired to Eastbourne in 1920.”
Ted Langham was appointed as our first paid groundsman and stayed for thirty-four years. The Beddington Archery Society held their annual handicap meeting in the park when 48 archers attended. The weather was all that could be desired and the lady archers were not bad either, according to Gilly Reay as he peeped over the oak fence, as a young stallion in 1904.
Cricket continued under the watchful eye of Mr F C Lingard, altogether the club played 32 matches of which 14 were won, 7 lost and 11 drawn. The second XI played 14 games of which 7 were won, three lost and one drawn, far better results than the previous season. On the Saturday before Cricket Week, Beddington played Mitcham on the green resulting in a draw. On Bank Holiday Monday they played Sutton, Tuesday Mr S Rostron’s XI, and Wednesday Rev G Cotterill’s XI with winning results. On Thursday Surrey C and G won their match by 106 runs, with A Peile for Beddington taking six of the Surrey wickets. Results were good for Mr Lingard in his second year in office.
At Beddington House, Bridges Lane on the morning of 16th October 1891 Canon A H Bridges died at the age of 79 years, his life almost mirroring that of Queen Victoria. He was buried at his daughter’s side in St Mary’s churchyard. He had in his lifetime procured the whole of Beddington Park for future generations to enjoy and for this alone the Beddington Club must be thankful. At the rectory at Beddington Rev H A Hodgson, the godchild of Canon Bridges and nephew of his wife, had been appointed Rector at St Mary’s by Mrs Caroline Bridges.
Matches arranged for the season were Burlington Wanderers, Kenley, Crystal Palace, Croydon, Roving Friars, Sutton, Caterham, Banstead, Ewell, Dulwich, Mitcham, Surrey C and G. Hackbridge House, and Streatham. And for the 2nd XI, Cheam, Croydon, Telford Park, Sutton, Whitgift School, and The First West Surrey Regiment. There had also been a Cricket Week arranged in August. The week was an innovation in 1891 and is hoped to become an annual affair. The members were looking forward to a successful season, especially with the addition to the playing strength with Mr E G Coles from Trinity, Cambridge and Mr L Rostron, New College, Oxford, who hope to be playing regularly this season. A word of praise for Mr Pothecary who resigned in favour of Mr F C Lingard for his readiness to support the club whenever it is deemed necessary to do so.
A very good choice had been made in Mr F C Lingard as captain. Mr J H Bridges had consented to act as ‘President’ of the club, in place of his Father. Mr H N Moody who has acted as honorary secretary for the last three years, had been obliged to resign owing to the stress of business, among the latest members to join was the newly instated Rector Rev H A Hodgson who was later to give great service to the club. In June John Henry returned to Beddington with his Ewell side, who batted first, scoring 169 for 6 when they declared, with John Henry 48 n.o. and J E Perks 43 runs. Beddington were 65 for 8 wickets, with Bobbie Henderson, 33 n.o., when stumps were drawn.
Mr F C Lingard continued in the office of captain with C W Lindsay now the club secretary. Ground expenses under new management had increased, because a Groundsman now had to be paid, with the passing of the Canon charity seems to have gone out of the window. Subs for playing members had been raised to 30/- per annum, with a 5/- discount for prompt payment. The best performance of the season was the defeat of Surrey Club and Ground by 17 runs with Collison getting a “hat trick”. The game with Mitcham was tied with H Rogers taking 7 wickets for only 13 runs. F Goddard (Wallington College) was the mainstay of the batting this year, scoring 600 runs with an average of 34. The List of Secretaries in the metropolitan area read, A J Hazell Hackbridge House, W T Grant Addiscombe, C W Lindsay Beddington and H R Groom Croydon. This was Mr F C Lingard last year as captain at Beddington, a tried and tested, well respected, member of the Beddington Club.
The present rector at St Mary’s, Rev H A Hodgson, was appointed 1st XI captain of Beddington and held this position until 1904. It was in a large measure due to this genial and splendid cricketer that the Beddington Cricket Club became so well known throughout Surrey, although he missed his “blue” at Cambridge the Rector was above the average club player. Another prominent member at this time was R A Sheppard, who contributed many fine innings for the club until his departure in 1903 when he joined the London County CC with W G Grace and Surrey Club and Ground. R A Sheppard made a number of successful appearances in the Surrey 1st XI. Beddington had a poor Cricket Week this year with only two matches being won, the other four were lost. Mr F Goddard headed the batting list this year.
It was stated that the wicket was in a bad condition, it appears that when the ground had been re-laid some time ago, a considerable amount of money had been expended from the club funds, the work was either badly done, or done by someone who did not understand his business. It would be necessary at some stage to have the turf re-laid.
At the Oval “Bobbie” Henderson was winning golden opinions this year by his consistent good play. An authority remarked that he was fast becoming one of the steadiest bats in the country, another said he was becoming a very stylish bat, while another described an innings of his as the prettiest cricket he had seen at the Oval for some considerable time. “Bobbie” is so wonderfully modest that observations like these would be overlooked, his Beddington supporters were delighted to find him justifying all they have said about him.
C W Lindsay and his brother W H Lindsay, who lived in the “Brandries” in Guy Road, Beddington with their father W Lindsay, became the prominent players of this period at Beddington CC while Mr F Lingard became the leading bowler, and achieved the feat of taking 5 wickets with consecutive balls against Mitcham this season. Beddington played Marlborough Blues, Burlington Wanderers, and the Roving Friars all in very closely fought matches. Cricket provided good entertainment this year for supporters and members alike.
The first game of the season was Mitcham 2nd XI v Beddington 2nd XI on the green with Beddington losing by 81 runs, T Henderson and P Moody (Whitgift School) batted well, while Russell and Freeman made half centuries in the Mitcham victory. In August the Beddington 2nd XI looked impressive against Addiscombe 2nd XI winning by 77 runs. In the Beddington side; L Rostron, A Hill (Capt), T Henderson, E Baker, Kirkman, Collins, Manning and A Langman, who took seven of the Addiscombe wickets, he later became the Beddington 1st XI Umpire. The only thing to spoil this summer season was the English weather. It was in this year that R Henderson was awarded his county Benefit and chose the Surrey v Yorkshire match at the Oval. The Beddington members made a special effort to help on the financial side but professional cricketers’ benefits never reached the figures obtained today.
This was a notable year for Rev Hodgson and his team as it was the first year a home Cricket Week had been held and apart from the subsequent war years, they have been held ever since, in fact they had become the high spot of the season with interesting personalities putting in an appearance. These Cricket Weeks were looked forward to not only by the players but the members and spectators alike, given the fine weather. On Whit Monday Sutton made a big score of 348 runs against our total of 216 runs with W H Lindsay making 81 runs for Beddington. He followed this with 106 runs against Crystal Palace at Beddington, the 106 runs were made without a chance being given, included one six and fifteen fours, out of an innings total of 143 runs. In the following match against the Roving Friars his brother C Lindsay made yet another century.
The season produced fair results, but the club suffered, as many of the best players were unable to turn out regularly. It was in this year that R A Sheppard as a scholar set a record breaking score of 145 n.o. for Whitgift School. It was also the year that Robert Henderson retired from professional cricket, and became the people’s Churchwarden at St Mary’s Beddington. He was as diligent and attentive in that capacity as he was a cricketer according to T Bentham, the curate.
In 1897, P Rostron of “Riverside” Bridges Lane Beddington, joined the club and for some years was a prominent member. It was at this time that W H Lindsay decided to return to his roots in India, a great loss to the Beddington Club. On the other hand it had a valuable addition in T S Dury formerly of Oxford University and Yorkshire CCC now living in Maldon Road, Wallington, who should be a great asset to the club.
Beddington Lane CC’s fixture list for this season included Croydon Adults, Stanley CC, St George’s, Beddington Corner, Old Buffers, Crown Hill CC, Clifton CC, and Thornville CC who appeared on the Sunday fixture list at Beddington as late as 1954. A Saw who umpired for Beddington for 50 years, played as a youngster in the Beddington Lane CC team, their headquarters being The Harvest Home in Beddington Lane.
This season must rank as one of the most successful seasons of this era, with 12 matches won, two matches lost, and ten drawn the majority of which were clearly in favour of Beddington. The two defeats were at the hands of Mitcham and Banstead, but the latter might have been easily won, with ten runs needed with four wickets in hand, when stumps were drawn. Marlborough Blues were dismissed for 37 runs, and Rev A H Hodgson made his first century for the club. C W Lindsay and E G Coles of Cambridge University batted well all season. “Bobbie” Henderson was also in good form with the willow, scoring 278 runs in seven knocks, being not out in five of these innings. Mr F C Lingard again headed the bowling averages with 62 wickets at the cost of ten runs each. The 2nd X I also had a successful season winning seven games and losing only three with one game tied.
The famous cricketer R H Spooner assisted Beddington CC against Leatherhead with an innings of 127 runs, and then captured 5 wickets for 18 runs, to win the game for Beddington. It was said that he hit the longest six ever seen at Beddington in this game against Leatherhead. After three years of research Brian Butchers found the record of this game in 1899 against Leatherhead that appears in “Greensward’s Articles”, on Beddington CC 1920. The link with Beddington CC through Marlboro College, and Jarvis Kenrick of Beddington CC 1876 who became his father-in-law, when R Spooner married his daughter Sarah. (1904)
Bobbie Henderson playing for Beddington during Cricket Week, scored centuries against Surrey Club and Ground and the MCC. In the same season he headed the batting averages with the remarkable figure of 98. Apart from his centuries against Surrey 130 n.o. and the MCC 125, he also scored 82, 62, 54 and 84 during the week, which gave him an aggregate of 537 runs. Three other centuries were recorded during the same “week” including 109 n.o. by R A Sheppard. In all Beddington made a grand total of 1,793 runs in six innings.
The season was favoured with glorious weather, and a successful year was enjoyed by all, with wickets hard and true a large number of games were drawn and ten matches won.