Heritage is important and being aware of the past helps us better understand Liverpool Cricket Club as it is to-day. The stunning pavilion and grounds are a product of its history and provide a legacy of style and grace. The range of activities passed down over the 200 years encourages a spirit of activity, competition and endeavour. Together these qualities propel the Club into a future of progress and ambition.
The bicentenary is helping the Club to become aware of and appreciate these qualities, and provides an opportunity to broadcast them to the world at large and Liverpool City in particular. The Club’s historical moment is especially interesting and binds us even more to the city in which we are embedded because it coincides with Liverpool’s historical celebrations of its 800 years charter and how it has progressed to the City of Culture recognition in 2008. Our bicentenary year celebrations are making us aware that history matters and responding to it can be fun.
The bicentenary celebrations are just one aspect of Liverpool Cricket Club’s attempt to capture and consolidate its history. An archivist has been designated whose task is to collect and protect whatever archive material and memorabilia can be found. Also, in conjunction with a historian, put in narrative form a historical account from these records of the two hundred years life and progress of the Cricket Club.
This is an ongoing task and the hope is that anyone with any historically interesting records or photographs related to the Club will pass them on to the Club’s archive collection or make it available for inspection and copying. What it means is that the Club’s recorded history, which had been allowed to be lost and forgotten, is now being treasured and preserved.
The recently published history, “ Dogs and Ladies not Allowed: The History of Liverpool Cricket Club” , compiled by Tony Onslow and John Sturgeon, traces the links from The Original and Unrivalled Mosslake Field Cricket Society of 1807 to the present day. It maps out the growth from a gentlemen’s society of cricketers to a less exclusive, multisports club. It draws from the records and accounts from longstanding members, stories of personalities, sporting events, development in the facilities and changes in ethos. The latter is demonstrated by the title of the book which was taken from a notice only taken down from the pavilion after 1975, and reflects gender attitude changes. It is a story of change, but also continuity in the spirit of cricket which is enshrined in the very special pavilion and grounds which the Club has occupied at Aigburth since 1881.
The Bicentenary Celebrations have demonstrated these changes over two hundred years. There is more to the Club than cricket and all sections are making contributions: rugby, lacrosse, hockey, tennis squash, bowls, and historically significant past members like Noel Chevasse and James Maybrick used as a focus for events. Special social occasions, like the civic lunch and summer ball will reinforce links with current members, City dignitaries and past members. The future has been recognised with a taster day for young players and the hope is that the links with the City and Culture Company have enhanced the image of the Club.
Great sporting attainment has been achieved at Aigburth by accomplished players in a number of sports in the past, and the theme of the Bicentennial is to ensure that this continues into the future.