THE HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD - Online Book

The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

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248                    HISTORY OF FAST GRINSTEAD.
inconveniently near to the pitch and making it impos­sible to keep the premises in good order, so, after a troublous tenure of some 10 years' duration, the club finally abandoned the Common about 1889.
In July, 1890, Reginald, Earl De la Warr, announced that this field would be sold by public auction, but the general outcry against interference with rights so long exercised was such that the owner countermanded the sale and formally handed over the field to the care of the Local Board, in whose successors it now remains perpetually vested.
Meanwhile the pretty Chequer Mead, the scene of so many cricket exploits in past days, had also become no longer available for cricket, and indeed soon became seamed with new roads and entirely covered with houses, so that the next generation will find it hard to picture such world-famed bowlers as Lilywhite and Southerton, and such famous batsmen as H. Charlwood and the Cotterills, playing on this site not so many years ago against our undaunted local giants, among whom it would be fairly safe to wager, without turning to the score sheet, that there would be found some or all of such names as Draper, Reynolds, Simmonds, Marchant, Hooker, Payne, Head, Hoare, Moor and others, who helped to make East Grinstead cricket famous in their day, just as their successors, G. H. Lynn, Arthur Huggett, Alfred and Wm. Payne, H. Tebay, J. Charlwood, H. Gibb and others of more modern days have done by appearing in the ranks of the Sussex County XL
To return to plain facts, the Club, having left the Common, turned in their hour of need to Mr. C. C. Tooke and rented from him the present small, but excellent, cricket field in West Street, then an outlying strip of the Hurst-an-Clays Estate, and once, as it seems, a cornfield. This satisfactory arrangement was largely due to the good offices of Mr. P. E. Wallis, then, and for many years previously, a prominent member of the Club, as also to the aid of Mr. J. Southey, always an energetic supporter of local cricket till his death in 1899.
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