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May 1957 Newspaper Clip from Kentish Express
Evington Cricket Ground
- I believe this was written by Sir Filmer Honywood, but I have no date other than sometime after 1937.
Situated on the north side of the Hastingleigh Rd. and to
the west of Evington Place, the pitch itself was in the
valley bottom with gentle slopes from its western end
and both sides; and so not ideal by modern standards;
although the steep ground to its North provided good
viewing for spectators.
It came in to its own in 1858, when Sir Courtenay
Honywood, 7th Baronet, founded the Band of Brothers
cricket club together with his friends, Henry Denne and
Edmund Pepys; Edward, Henry, Loftus and Wykeham
Pemberton; and Wyndham Knight of Godmersham Park
(whose forebear Edward, brother of the author Jane
Austen, had taken the name of Knight as a condition of
inheriting the estate) . Their first match being played
and won at Evington against a team from Torry Hill.
The club adopted Sir Courtenay's racing colours, being the
blue and silver of the Honywood arms (and also those of
Eton College, which most of the members had attended.)
All but one of the original members were also officers of
the East Kent Yeomanry; and the BBs enlightened attitude
to Equality of the Sexes far predated those of other clubs,
the universities and learned professions in that its rules
provided that The Wives and daughters of Brothers should
themselves be Brothers, and that the sisters of Brothers
should be admissible as Brothers upon undertaking to marry
any other Brother on demand.
Not surprisingly, given the isolation of Evington and other
country houses before the invention of the motorcar, the
number of matches played by the BB was small; and their
arrangement frequently involved a General gathering of the
clans with numerous relations and friends being entertained
in house-parties for several days, including the presentation
of plays and recitations, often composed by members of the
party themselves. At Evington these became annual events,
when first performances would always be given to Sir
Courtenays yeomanry troop and tenants.
Activity tailed off as
the original Brothers aged; and no matches were played by the
BB between 1871 and 1879 when Lord Harris revitalised the club;
which then went on to become one of the leading Wandering
clubs in the South East. Matches thereafter seem to have been
played mainly at town grounds; although the theatrical tradition
has continued at the end of each Canterbury Cricket week.
Evington Cricket ground continued to be used for village matches
and social occasions until 1937.
10 Mar 1857 EVINGTON:- Sir Courtenay Honywood Bart. has caused two acres of ground to be laid out for cricketinng under the superintendence of Mr. Fuller Pilch- it being the intention of the worthy baronet to form a cricket club at Wye. 28 Apr 1857 of the Kentish Gazette CRICKETING SEASON:-It is contemplated by the patrons of this noble and health inspiring game, resident in East Kent,to make an early attempt this season at reviving the psirit which once pervaded the Kentish youths of excelling in the manly art of cricket. Sir Courtenay Honywood has had, under the able direction of the veteran Fuller Pilch, an excellent cricket ground formed on his estate at Evington, for the use of the cricketers of Elmsted and its neighbourhood, and E.C. Dering Esq. of Surrenden, has bestowed the like attention for that vicinity, while at Canterbury the St. Lawrence ground is likely at an early date to be the scene of provincial matches. In pursuance of a resolution come to at the close of the last year, aclub is about to be formed by the tradesmen of Canterbury for the purpose of occasional practice when the ground is not otherwise occupied, and for playing two or three friendly matches during the summer months. Members of this society can be enrolled at the Saracen's Head Inn. 15 Sep 1857 of the Kentish Gazette The team of Evington consisted of J. Newport, G. Church, Sir Courtenay Honywood, M. Cox, G. Sankey, J. Daniels, Spike, Larkin, J.Philpott, R. Newport and Usher.