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To try and chronicle the history of Blackwell Cricket Club accurately is nigh on an impossible task.

There is no one around who remembers days before the First World War, and only a few who can recall cricket before world war two. However the progression of the club over a number of years can still be chartered.

In 1890 the club was formed under the auspices of Blackwell Colliery Company thus bearing the name of Blackwell Colliery Cricket Club. Although the club did play a few seasons of league cricket, it was mainly friendly matches that made up the majority of the seasons.

In 1947 after the nationalization of the coal industry the club name was changed to Blackwell Miners Welfare Cricket Club. The club continues to play friendly matches up to the 1949 season when they decided to join the Derbyshire league. Membership in 1962 was in the Derbyshire Cricket Alliance and in their first season were crowned champions of division 1. The club enjoyed many successes in this league right up to leaving in 1971.

1972 saw their debut in the Nott’s and Derby’s Border League.

Again enjoying success with both their first and second elevens.

The league changed their name in 1982 to the Derbyshire County League. Blackwell's membership of this league came to an end in 1986.This somewhat acrimonious departure was bought about by the league's decision to demote Blackwell first team to a lower division because of the inadequate facilities on the ground. this was ironic as Blackwell had one of the best playing surfaces in the league.

In 1987 the club joined the North Derbyshire League.

Blackwell's ground entered the record books in the year 1910 when Warren and Chapman of Derbyshire produced a world record 9th wicket stand of 283 versus Warwickshire. The record still stands today.

Before and between the wars Blackwell produced some outstanding cricketers by local standards.

Harry "Daddy" Linathan, father of Douglas, a left arm slow bowler, and Blackwell's first grounds man, played many times against Derbyshire club and ground.

Dan Bowmar, Artie Bowmar, Albert Sanderson, George Peake, Jim Hart, a brilliant wicket keeper, Bob Brookes, Don Hill, all talented players.

Of course i can't name all the players, but one of the best must have been Tommy Foulkes. Tommy who's father was under manager at Blackwell Colliery was playing for Newton against Blackwell during which he made a stylish 42. Witnessing this innings was the then Managing Director of Blackwell Colliery Company, Mr J.T.Todd. Calling Tommy over to him he said, " Foulkes, aren't you my under managers son?" Tommy said he was . " Right", said Mr. Todd "If your father works for me , then his son plays for me". Tommy duly obliged and played many years for Blackwell captaining them for many years.

In 1946 Tommy and Don Harper toured Holland with the Derbyshire Cricket Association.

Another of Tommy's contempories was Eric Renshaw: a prolific run maker who made 11 centuries during his playing days with Blackwell. His best season saw him score 1,060 runs. 

Charlie Addlington, another one to take on the grounds man’s job, was a fine player, scoring 7 centuries and also took many a hat trick with his off spinners. Charlie set a record with 7 catches in one innings. Incidentally Charlies son Terry once took 6 catches in a match all off the same bowler, one George Ball.

After World War Two, the opening bowling partnership of Don Harper and Colin Draper came into fruition. Don fast and extremely accurate, Colin a shade slower, but could swing the ball either way with devastating effect. They complimented each other perfectly and a haul of wickets was their reward.

Another successful pair of opening bowlers was Gordon Williams and Lionel Cannon. They came together in the 1960's, part of a very strong Blackwell team indeed.

Gordon had a classical fast bowler’s action and bowled a good out swinger. He had a penchant for taking Hat-Tricks, one of the most remarkable being the first three balls of the Staveley C.C innings and also having two catches dropped in the same over. Gordon played for the County Boys - v - Yorkshire at Headingley and also many testimonial matches against Test and County players.

Lionel Cannon (aptly named) had been playing Bassetlaw league cricket before coming to Blackwell. He was pitched into the team without anyone knowing to much about him and he didn't come onto bowl until the fourth change. By this time Lionel was very angry. He measured his run up, a mere six paces. Don Hill fielding at first slip seeing Lionel had taken such a short run up moved up a few yards. Lionel bowled , and the ball flew wide of the off stick and struck Don, who went down as if pole-axed. On recovering Don said " i never saw the bloody thing". A remark that was to be repeated by many a batsman.

 In his later years Lionel played for the second team. This bought about his finest hour.

It was the Cup Final between Blackwell and Morton at Clay Cross Works ground. On this particular day Blackwell had to cancel a friendly fixture with Nottingham Caribbean’s. But the West Indians decided to make the journey anyway to support the Blackwell team.

Blackwell batted first and Lionel top scored with 53 runs. When Morton batted, Lionel coming on to bowl as third change, took 5 wickets in 11 over’s. As the last wicket went down, the west Indians rushed onto the pitch and lifted Lionel aloft carrying him back to the pavilion.

As an added part to this story, off the pitch a vociferous Morton supporter had been barracking Lionel throughout the game but had the unfortunate pleasure of being near Gordon Williams.

Now this match was being played on a Sunday afternoon and Gordon turned round to the supported and said..

"Ayup youth, it's Sunday.... Shops have shut up.... pubs have shut up,....why don't thee make it a hat- trick". 

Blackwell has nearly always had outstanding wicket keepers. Jim Hart, already mentioned, Joe Brooks, Keith Leah, Malcolm Severn, Ian Williams and Graham Bush were probably the pick of the crop. All of these keepers were batsmen too.

Keith Leah played for Derbyshire 2nd but as Bob Taylor was the county's first choice progression was limited.

Since early times Blackwell has had a succession of successful captains, in winning championships and cup honors’. The first of these was Jack Jones, then followed by Bill Jarvis, Walter Parr, Julian Riley, Mark Forbes, Brian Cox, George Hounsall, Jim Beadle. When Blackwell C.C was formed the village was already a hot bed of sporting talent.

Players like William Foulkes, who was Sheffield United's goalkeeper in three F.A cup finals. A huge man, weighing in at over twenty stone, he was dubbed "Fatty Foulkes" by the sports writers of the day but was known locally as "Beck". The cup final years were 1899, 1901, 1902. "

Harry Jones, a full back with Nottingham Forest whilst playing cricket for Blackwell against Tibshelf  once hit six sixes in an over clearing the chestnut tree's that surrounded the ground.

Other Blackwell cricketers to do well at other sports were Don Harper - a soccer player with Chesterfield and Mansfield. His brother Jack had a spell with Mansfield too. Another brother Frank was a professional boxer just before, during and after the war.

Harold "Wink" Riley was another performer of the noble art.

Terry Adlington was a goalkeeper with Derby County in the 50's, later moving onto Torquay. Terry also played in America with Boston Boy's then came back to England to manage Dover City.

Getting back to cricket, one of the high spots of the seasons before the war was the visit to Blackwell was the visit of Derbyshire Club and Ground. The first fixture was always played on a Blackwell Wakes Monday. It was during this match in the 30's that Sam Cadman, the chief coach for Derbyshire spotted potential in three Blackwell players, namely Elijah Carrington, Don Hill and Jack Riley. All three were invited for trials at the Derby nets, and although only Elijah was taken onto the playing staff, Don and Jack were to grace local cricket for many years to come.

Looking back over the years of Blackwell, one is impressed by the loyalty of a number of players. They stayed with the club over 25 years. Players like Colin White,, Walter Parr, George Hounsall, Joe Brooks, Jim Beadle, Brian Cox and many more i can't mention


"Extracts taken from writings in the Blackwell 1990 Cricket Festival"

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