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"The official founding of Guisborough Cricket Club is not known despite a great deal of research, and it has a very vague beginning due to the lack of available records. There is evidence however in the Parish Registers that some form of cricket was played in the town as far back as 1820 when the game was banned on Sundays, and is recorded that the “Parish Constable was paid nine shillings for assisting in detecting players who played on Sundays.”
The North Yorkshire League – later to become the North Yorkshire & South Durham League was formed in 1893. Guisborough were admitted in season 1895 and were an immediate success by winning the championship in the first year of membership and became one of the leading clubs in the early part of the 20th century by winning the title in 1905 and 1907 followed by four successive championships in 1909, 10, 11 and 1912.
After the 1912 championship, 30 years elapsed before Guisborough won it again in 1942 and a further 30 after that before winning it again in 1972. Since then, Guisborough have again been one of the most successful clubs with championship wins in 1976, 1981, 1989 and 1996 followed again by four successive wins in 2001 to 2004 to become the first club to win four successive championships on two occasions.
Guisborough have also enjoyed many cup successes. They have been finalists in the League’s major cup competition introduced in 1920 on 19 occasions, winning it 9 times, and are proud to have had extended runs on the national stage in the ECB National K.O.Cup which attracts around 700 entries each season. In 2000 Guisborough reached the quarter final stage and were narrowly defeated in two semi-final appearances in 1986 and 2002.
A number of ground improvements have taken place over the years, with extensions on the west and south sides and a further one on the northern side when the club purchased a strip of land when the railway closed in 1964 making it a much larger playing area. In 1988, a major improvement scheme was carried out when the renowned “Guisborough slope” rising from the square to the southern boundary, was levelled out at a cost of £33,000 to make a flat playing surface. Another feature of the improvement was that the earth removed, was used to create an embankment, providing a car park for about 50 cars from which play can be viewed – a welcome facility for spectators on cold days.
In December 1996, the town had to come to terms with three fires all within the space of a month when along with the Town Football Club which lost its social club and bar – the Library which was totally destroyed – and the Cricket Club where fire partially destroyed the 1912 pavilion. The only consolation was that the pavilion and the 1972 social building were due to be demolished to make way for a new National Lottery backed development costing £470,000. In the meantime temporary buildings were erected which served as changing rooms. Work finally started on the demolition in July 1999 and a year later the official opening of a new pavilion, committee room and function room took place. Further improvements since then have been the completion of a five year programme involving the total enclosure of the ground with a steel fence making the ground more secure, and enabled us to purchase pitch covers for the first time. A new electronic scoreboard system has been provided along with new practice net facilities and improvements to the drainage system have been carried out.
Over the years, Guisborough have employed top class professionals who have helped raise the standard of cricket for both club and league, many of them ex Test and County players. They have assisted the clubs own team of coaches in developing the Junior Section which has age groups from 7 to 17 and this continues to flourish, with ECB Clubmark Accreditation being awarded in December 2006."
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