Worcestershire County Council has received a £3,000 grant which will help finance the collecting and conserving important archives from Worcestershire County Cricket Club’s proud history.
The National Archives have awarded the grant as part of their Covid Recovery Funding.
Worcestershire CCC Historian, Tim Jones, said the funding “would help secure the safe future of Worcestershire CCC archives.”
They are currently being transferred to the County Council for safekeeping and preservation after discussions with the Cricket Club.
The Council recognise the significance of Worcestershire CCC as part of the county’s heritage.
The archives include many different memorabilia types embracing Worcestershire CCC’s 156-year history since it was founded in 1865.
Worcestershire CCC Head of Commercial & Operations David Hoskins, said: “This proud club has a great and rich history from its inception all those decades ago right through to the present day.
“It is essential to preserve and protect all the many items that help tell the story of the club.
“This grant from the National Archive will be of great help with that project being carried out in conjunction with Worcestershire County Council.”
Tim Jones added: “We are very pleased that the Fund will help secure the safe future of Worcestershire CCC archives.
“We look forward to being able to make them available for research and display in due course.”
Adrian Gregson, County Archivist, “We’re 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.”
A statement from Worcestershire County Council reads: “We are delighted to announce that The National Archives has 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 tourist, 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 Covid-19 has delayed the next part. 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.”
The National Archives were awarded money from HM Treasury to support archives. This money is being used to support archives’ collection, which is ‘at risk’, ensuring that collections that need to be transferred to archives during this period can be moved.