The following History is taken from
History Section of Clubs 5 Year Plan Document as produced in 2000 (Author Unknown) &
Much Binding at Clayhall by Mr R.A. Pearson (Member of Clayhall from 1946).
Pre War Days and War Days
Following the 1st World War friends wanted to reunite and be with one another again. From this desire arose a grand re-union of more than 300 'old boys' of Christchurch Road School Ilford on Saturday 27th September 1919.Less than a weeklater the old boys met again to form the Christchurch Old Boys Association. Headmaster of the school Mr Henry Bateman became the first President and during the following year the Association changed its name to Old Christchurchians.The cricket club owes its origin to Mr Stan Sullivan, then a member of the Old Boys Association committee, Mr S T Glasspool the first Honorary Secretary of the Association.
The cricket clubs first games were played on a rented council pitch at Hainault Playing Fields, the first Captain being Vic Stone.
After a copuple of years the owner of the Cheques public house Mr P Deveson was appraoched by Stan Sullivan, Bill Simpson and others for a lease of the ' Maypole' meadow, which was successfully negotiated.
From the time the club took over the meadow it went from strength to strength. In 1934 the Maypole ground fell into the hands of builders so the club secured the use of number 1 pitch in the new Clayhall Park. The first game was palyed on Saturday 12th May 1934. The Mayor of Ilford Alderman B S Pitt bowled the first ball of the Old Christchurchains v Unilver cricket match. Two season later in 1936 the club name was changed to Clayhall Cricket Club. Then came the War furing which many of the young men of the club were serving in His Majesty's forces. The ranks were depleted and it was difficult to continue but through the determination of the members the club continued in spirit and correspondence such as "The Scorers News Sheet". which Johnny and Doris Sanders wrote and sent to those who were in the Forces.
A December 1945 meeting had the minutes record that it was agreed to recommence fixtures in 1946 and to apply to the Ilford Borough Council for the playing of Saturday and Sunday cricket on the club's ground at Clayhall Park, a base the club have had ever since.
Freddie Clarke (The Admiral) had organised a fixture list for one team only, Saturday & Sundays. Charles Hisock was General Secretary and treasurer and Ken Skinner was captain, having recently been relaeased from a Japanese of war camp. Occassionally two teams were fielded in that year.
At the AGM of 1946 Laurance Stringer was elected President, Bob Pearson was elected secretary & treasurer. Due to other members demobilisation Clayhall fielded two sides both on Saturdays & Sundays and were very successful. The ones only losing 2 games all season.
The first cricket tour was in 1953 to Kent. Games were played against Broadstairs, Margate, Nonington, Gore Court, Margate again and finally the R.A.F.
In 1992 a merger with local club Hainault & Chigwell was discussed and agreed upon by the members of both clubs with the clubs name amalgamated into Hainault & Clayhall for the 1993 season.
The bringing together of the two clubs saw the merger of Clayhall's strong youth membership and Hainault's senior section producing a large body of playing members from 10 years upwards.
The club also now boasted a large Honorary Membership of ex players, officals and friends some having been members for over 50 years.
Having merged the clubs 2 grounds were now being rented, Clayhall Park and Ilford Wanderers, with close ties to the Frenford Boys Club and new ground and facilities being opened in Barkingside, the club terminated their lease of Ilford Wanderers in 1998, and prepared to start life in the Essex Premier League at their new base for season 1999, whilst still retaining their spiritual home of Clayhall Park. Having ulerlised Oakfield & Clayhall Park since 1999 for 1st x1 through to 6th x1 matches, the lack of Local Council money saw a deterioation of the Clayhall Park facilites, in particular the square coupled with the Clayhall Park bar being under used , the difficult decsion on safety grounds was taken to terminate our lease at Clayhall Park after a stay of 82 years. With this decision taken after many committe discussions it left us with out a 2nd ground to be able to run an extra team over and above 4, we thereofre also reduced our team numbers for the 2016 season to 4 on a Saturday & 1 on a Sunday with all teams using the ground at Oakfield.
We expect the club to re group and grow in numbers in the years to come and hopefully it wiill not be to long before we can use the old PLA Ground at the Drive , Ilford which is now the home of our long standing partner Frenford Boys Club.
Points of Interest
Other points of interest are that 2 West Ham managers have played for Clayhall. Ted Fenton & John Lyall, I am not 100 percent but I think Bobby Moore played too. At the New years Eve party of 1957 a song was sung in celebration of West Ham getting promoted to Division One. We even had a celebration party in 1958 where the song was sung to the players and the choir all wore West Ham Shirts.
2015 saw our Club Patron and home grown player Ravi Bopara awarded a County Benefit Year by Essex CC.
Updated 4th March 2016 by Administrator