The History of Sporting Activities in the village


Great Eccleston has had its fair share of sports in the past.  Today it consists of football pitches, a cricket club and a crown green bowling club and the Tractor Pull Arena.

But what of the past sporting activities.

Bowling Green

This goes back as far as the early 19th Century. At one point even the Square has its own bowling green as did the White Bull. 

Bandy Wicket

This 18th Century game was probably introduced to the village by the schoolboys of what is now Baines School, then called Hardhorn with Newton School.  There is evidence that it was played in the local area from the mid 1700s.  This was a forerunner of cricket and involved a wicker gate (hence the name), one batsman and all the rest were bowlers or fielders.  The 'bat' was a cross between a hockey stick and a shrpherd's crook and doubled up with the winter game of Bandy- the forerunner of ice hockey.  There is not evidence that the winter game was played in the village although there is no reason to doubt that it wasn't.  The ball was a rounded stone or baked clay or even a wooden ball.    

Cricket Club

Tractor Pull