Harrow St Mary’s Cricket Club has a long and distinguished history, originally formed over 120 years ago as the cricket team of St Mary’s Church on Harrow On The Hill.
The club is one of the best known in the borough. Originally playing with 1 team on a Saturday and adding a 2nd team in the 1890s the club has expanded considerably. It now has three teams playing league cricket on a Saturday and two teams playing a mixture of League, Cup and friendly cricket on Sundays & Bank Holidays. There is also a midweek team and a colts academy running sides from Under 10 to Under 17. In addition there is also an annual tour and a full list of social events.
Harrow St Mary’s was founded in 1881. We played for the first few years on the lower slopes of the hill. Much of the history from this period in the late 1800s is very sketchy, though we do have reports from the Harrow Gazette of 9 matches during the period 1891 to 1894, along with mentions in fixture lists for other years and reports in the Harrow Parish magazine of progress. For example, a report 1893, mentions the formation of a second team to enable the younger members and choristers to be able to participate in matches. In 1901 the club was re-launched on a more secure footing by W.H. Oram who went on to hold the post of Club Secretary for the next 51 years.
The club’s home ground by this time was the newly opened Harrow Recreation Ground in central Harrow , where we remained until 2009. Originally the area now occupied by Harrow St Mary’s Football Club contained four squares which, for most of the first half of the century were used by Harrow CC, West Harrow CC, Bessborough CC along with Harrow St Mary’s. The club’s football sides played their games at various other locations around the borough. The club remained under the patronage of the church for many years with the Vicars of the Church being appointed President until 1963.
1993 got off to a nightmare start. An act of mindless arson by a youth from an opposition football team just before the start of the 1993 season saw our pavillion burnt to the ground. Built in 1904 the timber pavillion was destroyed by fire on Sunday 28th March at about noon. Although the fire service attended thay could do nothing to the building and all trophies and memorabilia held in the clubhouse were destroyed.
Over the next two years, with the help of grants, loans and the insurance monies, a new pavillion was built on the old site. In the meantime the cricketers hired two bedrooms in the adjacent Harrow Hotel in which they changed on match days.
The new Pavillion was opened at the beginning of the 1995 season by now Eastenders star, Shane Ritchie.
The ground at the Harrow Recreation Ground was never of sufficient quality for for the Club to progress to the top league in Middlesex- the Middlesex County League- even if we won the First Division of the Middlesex Championship; the feeder league. Throughout the mid 2000s various options of moving to new grounds of higher quality were considered and it was in 2009 that contracts were signed to allow the Club to take over the Old Millhillians Ground in Headstone Lane.
This private ground on the edge of the green belt is one of the the most picturesque in Middlesex. Since taking over the ground and with the grateful sponsorship of NatWest CricketForce and the Mayor of London, extensive work has been done to the ground. New outdoor nets have been built, an artificial wicket installed on the edge of the square, pitch covers have been acquired and a new electronic scoreboard installed. In spring 2012, through a generous donation from Inspired Facilities, part of the Mayor of London’s Olympic Legacy, extensive refurbishment is taking place including double glazing and central heating and a purpose built room for umpires with en suite facilities.
Harrow St Mary’s CC is now firmly established as the club to watch over the next few years.