The National Archives Helps To Preserve Cricket Archives
- 18th March 2021
We are delighted to announce that The National Archives have awarded us £3,000 towards collecting and conserving important archives from Worcestershire County Cricket Club, as part of their Covid Recovery Funding.
Worcestershire County Cricket Club is an important part of our county’s heritage. Based a short distance from The Hive, it has been a focal point for many people, visiting games or following them remotely. Names like Hick, D’Oliveira, Botham, Moody, Holder, Kenyon, Graveney and Gifford bring back memories to many people, and have a special place in their hearts. We know that people come to visit us to go through stories and scorecards in the newspapers, or browse the books in our Local Studies Library. When we’ve shared photos on our social media they get a good response. For instance when we posted a photo of the visiting Australian team at new Road we had several people recalling going to see Worcestershire play the tourists, often at the start of a tour, and often taken by their Father.
After discussions with the Cricket Club over the past few years the archives are in the process of being transferred to us for safekeeping. We collected some last year, but the next part has been delayed by Covid-19. The records will be kept within our environmentally secure strongrooms, and our Conservator will assess their condition to ensure their long term preservation. The Cricket Club are keen to celebrate their heritage, make the records more accessible, and are also looking at options for the possibility of a museum.
The records include photographs of players, news cuttings, scorecards from 1st XI and 2nd XI games, financial records, tour albums, and committee minutes. When briefly going through the boxes it was fascinating to see some of these, reading the matches they referred too, and that the scorebooks were compiled during the games themselves and seem like works of art. As well of local interest they have significance for English cricket too.
These archives will be complemented by some of our existing collections – significant county families, whose records we hold, effectively ran the club for many years including Lord Cobham and the Earl of Coventry; archives of Boughton Park where they first played; the new ground, leased and then bought from the Cathedral; and Worcester Corporation archives, charting the urban and social development of Worcester. Sporting records we know are underrepresented within the archives.
“We are very pleased that the Fund will help secure the safe future of the archives of WCCC and we look forward to being able to make them available for research and display in due course” – Tim Jones, Historian, Worcestershire County Cricket Club
Adrian Gregson, County Archivist, “We’re really pleased to be able to take this collection, and that The National Archives have been able to help financially. We know how important the Cricket Club is to the county so it’s great that we can keep it safe here, and work with the Cricket Club to make it more accessible.”
The National Archives were awarded money from HM Treasury to support archives. This money is being used to support the collection of archives which are ‘at risk’, ensuring that collections which need to be transferred to archives during this period can be moved.