Club Update: Chairman's blog Issue 4

Updates on the bar, junior teams performance, completion of the new nets, discounted club kit for sale and other news...

Hi everyone

We’ve had mixed results for our senior teams since my last note but despite a week off and a loss on Saturday the1st team still sit top. I’ve had very little support in my request for people to write any words about senior games to acompany these notes but attached is some detail on the 4ths season so far and the 3rd team’s game on Saturday. It would be great to find others who are willing to do likewise for the other teams.
bar picI’ve talked a lot in previous notes about the pavilion generally and this time I want to focus specifically on the bar. I sat down with Bar Manager Dave Hill last week to look at how it was running and consider feedback from members. It’s been great to see the bar being used much more on Saturday afternoons particularly with lot’s more members and spectators making the most of the new facility. Dave and his team are doing a great job but, like the rest of us, are learning all the time about what works well what doesn’t and one key area of discussion is making sure we have the right levels of staffing at peak times.

Like every pub and club throughout the land, there are times when demand exceeds supply for very short periods such as the 10/15 minutes when a game finishes. It's not financially sustainable to set staffing levels for these short periods but I can assure you the bar team are committed to working through these times as quickly as possible so am grateful for your patience.

It’s also worth making the point that whilst Dave is employed by the Club to manage the bar he has, and is still doing 50-100% more hours than he is paid for to ensure the whole pavilion operation runs smoothly. He is also a member and so as entitled to his leisure time and to enjoy a drink with friends as any of us and it’s not his job to cover these busy periods. If he chooses to (which he more than often does does) voluntarily that is his choice and we should not just expect it and he certainly should not be criticised for not doing so.

His job is to ensure we have the right level of staffing whilst balancing the books and I will continue to keep an eye on this, listen to feedback and ensure the bar runs as smoothly as it can.

One of the other topics of discussion was being able to publish a clear set of opening hours. Whilst that isn’t always as simple as it sounds as we have all sorts of different events and matches that can change plans I wanted to try and communicate a basic set of hours so you know when you can expect as a minimum to be able to get a drink.

  • Monday 5-8pm (April to August)
  • Tuesday closed
  • Wednesday closed
  • Thursday closed
  • Friday 7-11
  • Saturday 1-11pm (Apr to Aug), 7-11pm (Sept to Mch) 
  • Sunday 2-10.30pm (Apr to Aug) 
  • Match Days (Mon - Fri) - bar will be open whilst game is ongoing 

Whilst these wil be the basic hours our ability to open on Friday and Saturday oustide of the season will very much depend on the amount of trade so it is down to members to make these successful. These will also change over time hopefully as new user groups come on board.

Other News
nets picLast week we hosted an orchestral music concert for 2 local schools (Temple Hill & Oakfield) which was a further great opportunity to showcase the Club with c500 school chidren, friends and family able to enjoy the music, the weather and the facilities. We have also hosted 2 Kent representative games over the last fortnight as highlighted in my last blog and the feedback about the Pavilion, the ground and more importantly the hospitality provided has been excellent.

Those that have been around the Club this weekend will have seen that the nets are now complete and having had the opportunity to use them I can tell you they are a fantastic facility and one we should be very proud of. The security fence is still being put up and there are some logistical issues to overcome around the Pavilion end, we are at least able to use them now for training. It will still take a bit of time until they are fully finished and the landscaping is done to the entrance so they are properly accessible so until then, they remain out of bounds outside of club training nights and please take extra care when entering and leaving them. 

Last week saw a number of fantastic achievements, with the u11As winning their league, the u16s possibly winning theirs (subject to the league deciding how to apportion/remove points for games against a team who pulled of the league) and a number of great individual team performances including a win for the u11Bs, a team made up of players just starting out on their cricketing careers. As always a roundup of results is attached. 
results picI sat down with some of the coaches and the team managers now the season has finished to a talk about each player's development and the way the Club operates generally. I want to now take some time over the coming weeks to reflect on how I think the season has gone as well as consider feedback from players and parents. Things I want to focus on are 
  • Winter training, when and how we structure sessions,
  • next summer and how we set that up, what teams we will enter into what leagues and finally
  • how The Academy is that working, is it achieving what we want it to achieve, is the selection criteria transparent enough and are players getting the best out of it.
We have had an unprecedented number of teams conceding matches this year which has really hurt us and affected our ability to provide players with matches. No one is more frustrated than I am believe me so another key area I want to focus on is how we can get players playing more cricket next year. Club fixture Secretary James does a great job coordinating and organising our league fixtures but I’d really like to find someone who can support him by proactively contacting other clubs and encouraging then to play friendlies before, during and after the league season. If you’re interested please let me know.
What's really clear is that the u13 age group will be a really competitive age next year. We have a really talented crop of u11s some of whom will need the additional stretch of playing at the higher age group to really see them develop. Add this to the large number of players for whom u13 remains their age group, we are looking at potentially running 4 teams at this age in 2016. Whilst this is exciting and bodes well for The Club I am very conscious it is a big undertaking with a number of logistical challenges not least pitch availability.
Volunteers needed
club needs you picThe biggest concern for me though is finding enough volunteers to manage and support this extra team as well as the other 8 teams. Most teams this year benefitted from a dedicated manager, others haven’t and although he would probably argue with me about it it’s probably not fair to rely on Dan Rowson to run 3 teams as he has this year. To fill another gap I have also been coordinating availability and selecting the u15Bs, relying on different people on the day to manage the game itself.
Whilst I don't have the capacity to do this again next year it does demonstrate a model that sees a group of volunteers running a team can work and this has also been the case for the u13Cs to a greater or lesser degree. I remain extremely grateful to those who volunteer their time either to manage teams or to help out on match days as without them your children would not be playing cricket.
Whilst it has been much better this year, making sure we have enough lifts to take players to away games can still be a problem as last Sunday demonstrated where we had only 2 cars to take 9 under 15B players plus kit to Catford. It's simply not fair to always rely on those that come to every game to always be providing lifts and we need to ensure we share the load. I really don’t want to select teams based on who provides lifts so going forward players must not be left at the meet until it is clear we have sufficient lifts s if this happens again we will have to cancel games.
The final point on the theme of volunteering and not relying on others, it is everyone’s responsibility to help clear up after matches and training so please don’t rush straight off. I don’t want to have to cut sessions short to force the issue so please encourage players to help as the more that do the quicker it’s done. 
Saturday saw the first of our young players, Joel Constant, take advantage of the opportunity to perform 12th man duties for the 1st XI in their league game with Tenterden. The idea of this initiative is to give our young players a glimpse of what it’s like to play serious senior cricket and Joel was fully involved with the team, being fully involved in prep, the warm up, team meeting, team huddle as well as carrying drinks and having a net with some of the players. From talking to Joel afterwards I know he thoroughly enjoyed the experience and learnt a lot and so we are looking at another youngster having the opportunity at this Saturday’s game. 
Joel is one of 5 of our under 13s that have been invited to tour South Africa in February as part of a joint tour with Colfes School Academy under the leadership of Grahame Clinton. Having had the opportunity myself to visit and play cricket in another country this is obviously a fabulous opportunity and I hope this will be the start of a regular venture for us and our young cricketers. I will let you have further information on the details in due course as I know you will join me in congratulating and supporting them. I will keep you updated on the detail as it takes shape

Finally on juniors, although the league season has now finished training will continue to run on Mondays & Tuesdays for Academy members with the last sessions being 24th & 25th August

cub kit picDue to our returns policy Kalibazar our kit suppliers end up with a number of ‘ready finished’ garments for our Club. These items are all brand new but will have been returned due to being the wrong size for the customer it was originally sent to. They are offering these at a huge discount of 50% and have the following available.

SUR55 (White Trousers) – L x 2
SUR345NA (Sleeveless Jumper) – MB (Juniors)
SUR327NA (Navy Curve Polo) – XXL
SUR331NA (Navy Curve Shorts) – L x 2
These will be offered on a first come first served basis and unfortunately they won’t be able to offer any returns on these or add further details such as personalisation. 
Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  if you would like to purchase one of the items. Prices can be seen by taking 50% of your shop price while P&P will be at the standard rate:
1 item - £2.95
2-3 items - £4.95
3 items or more - £6.95
Dates for the diary
  • Summer camps - Held at Hesketh Park, open to all with a mix of our own plus ex professional players. 
                - August 4th - Football with Steve Kember & Colin Pates, 10-3
                - August 5th & 6th - 2 hour intensive cricket with David Ward & Vince Wells
                - August 11th & 12th - General cricket, 10-3
  • Race Night 21st August 7.30pm. £2.50 per ticket, family ticket £8 (parents & children (of the same family!)) Tickets are limited so get yours now from the bar or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Shaun Parker testimonial - Dartford CC v Kent League All stars, 30th August
  • Captain's table - 11th September from 6.30. Senior presentation night hosted by Club Captain Garry Cook tickets £10 includes sausage & chips. Tickets from the bar or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Junior Presentation - 18th September full details inc timings to follow but if you're able to help with the planning or on the night or you have anything you can donate for a raffle please contact Dan Rowson or myself. Raffle tickets will go on sale from Monday from the tuck shop (£5 each) and included in the list of prizes is free junior membership for 2016!
until next time....
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This is fourteen days notice of an Extraordinary General Meeting that will be held on 17th October 2021 at Hesketh Park pavilion with a start time of 12. Read more..

Limited numbers so book your place at the Club dinner now. Read more..

We have a brilliant weekend in store at the Club. Read more..

We are delighted to announce two DCC members have been shortlisted for The Cricketer Magazine's Pride of Cricket awards! Read more..

As you will know, this Sunday is our President's game to celebrate Mike Cullingham's long-standing commitment to the club. Read more..

DCC to play Holmesdale on 20th August. Read more..

Status confirms DCC is a safe Club for children to play at. Read more..

As you will be aware from previous notices, the President's Game on 29th August is fast approaching. Read more..

The Club has sourced some traditional caps which are available for all players to purchase. Read more..

Details of our sponsor for this Saturday's game at Hesketh Park. Read more..

Looking ahead to our match against Tunbridge Wells. Read more..

One of our members, Joel Constant, has decided to climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro (just the 5,895 metres above sea level! Read more..

We are delighted to learn that 1XI bowler Barney Ford has been selected to play for London and South East Under 15 at the prestigious Bunbury Festival this summer. Read more..

All the details about our match sponsor for the game at Hesketh Park on Saturday (31st July). Read more..

This Sunday England take on Italy in the Euro 2020 final which is an 8pm kick-off. Read more..

Over the past few weeks we have been planning the introduction of live-streaming matches at Hesketh Park. Read more..

A message from Harry Bright following last weekend. Read more..

An update from our Chairman including details on an EGM, a club evening and a day to honour Mick Cullingham's service. Read more..

An important update from Sam Bright. Read more..

Important notice regarding our facilities for all members. Read more..

Details of how you can book sessions for your child(ren) during the current climate. Read more..

All the important details you need to become a member of DCC for this season. Read more..

An important update for members ahead of the 2021 season. Read more..

DCC remember the contribution of Derek Ufton to the club. Read more..

The Club are sad to report that Des Gunner has passed away at the age of 79. Read more..

We are delighted to announce that our new range of Masuri club kit is now available to buy. Read more..

We have been asked to pass on details of a new initiative launched by a junior parent who has had a long association with the club in recent years. Read more..

Find out who the lucky winners are in recent months. Read more..

Just over a week ago, in early January, DCC lost a good friend and supporter of the club to the Covid crisis. Read more..

Here are all our winners of the 200 Club lottery so far this year. Read more..

Get ready to take part in the US Masters golf sweepstake for DCC! Read more..

Are you planning on starting your Christmas shopping soon? Read more..

An update on the pavilion for this Saturday from Sam Bright. Read more..

A message from our good friends and sponsors at Alan Ellis Financial Services. Read more..

Message to all Dartford Cricket Club members from the President and Management Committee regarding COVID-19 – 03 April 2020. Read more..

An update from the club regaring the current coronavirus outbreak. Read more..

Many of our members will have already seen guidance from ECB suspending all club cricket related activities until further notice. Read more..

On Friday 1st May Surge's annual quiz will return by popular demand! Read more..

Information regarding indoor nets for all senior players for 2020. Read more..

Find out if you were a lucky winner in our festive 200 club lottery draw. Read more..

Come and join us for some nibbles and drinks at the club! Read more..

Fancy's annual Christmas 70's and 80's party is back! Read more..

This is notice that Dartford Cricket Club’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place on Sunday 19th January 2020 at 12 noon at Hesketh Park. Read more..

We are delighted to announce both our winners for our October draw! Read more..

As the nights draw in it's time to start thinking about preparing for the 2020 season! Read more..

We are disappointed to announce our Rugby World Cup breakfast this Saturday (12th) has been cancelled. Read more..

The Club are sad to report the passing of Alan ‘Hughsie’ Hughes a few weeks ago. Read more..

Next Saturday (12th October) we will be hosting our first Rugby World Cup breakfast at the Club. Read more..

Time to celebrate the senior cricket season. Read more..

On Saturday 5th October 2019 we will be hosting our club Dinner Dance for this year. Read more..

As you will have read on various Whatsapp groups, Junior Presentation day is fast approaching and will take place on Sunday 15th September. Read more..

This week's round-up of all results within the club is available now. Read more..

This week's round-up of all results within the club is available now. Read more..

Our first round-up of all results within the club over the weekend. Read more..

Next Saturday (20th July) the Club will be honouring the contribution of our late member Ken Walter to coincide with the 1XI game against The Mote. Read more..

All the details for our exciting World Cup Family Cricket Day, open to all members and their families. Read more..

We are excited to announce our match day sponsorship scheme is back for this season after the success of last year. Read more..

We will be showing two huge nights of football for English football at Hesketh Park in the coming weeks. Read more..

Further to the email to all junior parents, there will be no junior training tonight (Monday 6th May) due to the Bank Holiday. Read more..

The Club are delighted to announce the signing of Sri-Lankan all-rounder Malinda Thotiwilage. Read more..

An update from the Chairman ahead of the new season. Read more..

All the confirmed dates and times for our junior outdoor training programme for this coming season. Read more..

With the clocks having moved forward at the weekend, we are already leaping towards the start of the new cricket season. Read more..

A message from the Chairman about the 2019 subscription rates. Read more..

All the details about our Signing-On and Natwest Cricket Force day on Saturday 6th April. Read more..

The lucky winners for our first draws of 2019 are as follows. Read more..

We are delighted to announce we once again an All Stars Cricket centre for 2019. Read more..

Catch up with everything that's been going on in the junior section here. Read more..

Next month we are planning to open the pavilion to all members and their families to come and enjoy a packed schedule of sport including England's tour of the West Indies, Six Nations rugby and Premier League football. Read more..

I honestly enjoy the successes of others as much as my own and that’s what underpins this club. Read more..

The Club would like to pass its best wishes on to Kent cricket legend Derek Ufton. Read more..

Find out who the lucky winners are for our festive 200 club draw. Read more..

An open meeting of the junior cricket section will be held at the pavilion on Wednesday 9th January 2019 at 8pm. Read more..

For those of you that were unable to attend the Club AGM, the Club are delighted to announce that Michelle Slater and Nicola Clark have agreed to co-chair the junior section. Read more..

All the details about Santa's very special visit to the club on Thursday 13th December. Read more..

On Sunday 23rd December the Club will be open for members to come and enjoy a drink for a catch-up over the Christmas period. Read more..

Information about an initiative called Cards for Good Causes which the club are happy to promote this Christmas. Read more..

Details about the Club AGM which will take place on Sunday 9th December at 12 noon at Hesketh Park Pavillion. Read more..

We catch up with former overseas players Mat Cox who chats about his time at the club and his new venture back home. Read more..

With the evenings becoming darker and darker the cricket season and warm weather now feels like a lifetime ago! Read more..

Do you know your Jersey Royal from your King Edward? Read more..

The biggest (and best) club event of the year is back! Read more..

On Saturday 15th September we welcome New Ash Green CC to Hesketh Park for a 30 over friendly. Read more..

Fines, laughs and ducks - it's time to celebrate the 2018 season. Read more..

Details about a slight change of plan to the junior training schedule. Read more..

Find out who the lucky winners are for the June, July and August 2018 200 club lottery draw. Read more..

A chance to celebrate the season's successes with the presentation of trophies and two inter-club matches - get ready parents. Read more..

Details about our match-day sponsor for the 1XI home fixture against HSBC this Saturday. Read more..

Details about the return of our successful community fun-day this Summer. Read more..

Some important information about the restructuring of both the Kent Cricket and Kent Regional leagues. Read more..

We are delighted to announce, following-on from the success of last season’s trip, that we are offering a junior trip to the Spitfire Ground, Canterbury once again. Read more..

Details of an important change to senior training and a new signing. Read more..

Details about our prestigious bi-annual fixture against the MCC which takes place on Sunday 10th June at Hesketh Park. Read more..

Come and enjoy some hot food and footy at the Club this summer. Read more..

Check out some photos from such a beautiful day at Hesketh Park in aid of a great charity. Read more..

Details about our 80's disco night - get your fancy dress ready and support your club. Read more..

Details about Surge's Big Quiz which returns by popular demand for 2018. Read more..

Details on today's match day sponsor and how to get involved in the future. Read more..

New 1XI captain John Smyth is relishing the oppurtunity to lead his group of players in the 2018 season. Read more..

The Club are delighted to announce we are an All Stars Cricket centre for 2018. Read more..

  Our Natwest Cricket Force Day 2018 will take place on Saturday 7th April at Hesketh Park from 9am. Read more..

Details about our upcoming signing-on day on Sunday 8th April 2018. Read more..

Find out where you can order the latest Club kit so you can wear the Dartford badge with pride this summer. Read more..

A pre-season message from the junior head coach reflecting on winter nets so far and previewing the upcoming season. Read more..

1st team bowler David Crawley has been lucky enough to travel to Australia this Winter and play club cricket in the beautiful state of Victoria. Read more..

Please see an important message from Dave Walker, Chairman of cricket, regarding our winter training programme. Read more..

All the details about Seniors winter training which begins in January 2018. Read more..

Find out who the lucky winners are for the October, November and December 200 Club and how you can get involved to win up to £100. Read more..

Please find below details of our winter training programme starting in January 2018 at North Kent College, Oakfield Lane. Read more..

Details on the upcoming Club events to close out the year on a high. Read more..

Make sure you get your voice heard at our AGM which takes place on Sunday 10th December 2017. Read more..

Thinking caps at the ready! Read more..

Find out who took home the awards at the annual club Captain's Table - features an interview with the club's player of the year! Read more..

The 200 Club Lottery has been drawn for Summer 2017 - find out who the lucky winners are. Read more..

Details about an exciting piece of historic club memorabilia that has recently come to light. Read more..

Details about the final few club events of the season including Captain's table, Dinner Dance and a Christmas get-together. Read more..

Please see details about this year's Dinner Dance, back by popular demand! Read more..

Important notice concerning all those that own the 'old' style Mercedes-Benz Dartford playing shirts. Read more..

Deatils of this year's junior presentation day - please make every effort to attend and celebrate the season. Read more..

It's that time of the year again when fantasy football comes around. Read more..

Details of our upcoming family fun-day for all the local community to enjoy - it's not all about the cricket either!. Read more..

The club welcomed new sponsors Buildbase to the club for the first time. Read more..

For Saturday's 2XI game versus Folkesone we were delighted to welcome Ayeesha Khan from St James's Place as sponsors for the fixture. Read more..

Enjoy a short video we made recapping the events of our lashings All Stars event on Friday 30th June 2017. Read more..

How do you fancy a trip to see Kent Spitfires in action in a T20 blast against Somerset at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, Canterbury on Thursday 27th July at 18:30PM? Read more..

Match sponsorship for todays second XI fixture against Hartley CC.. Read more..

An exciting oppurtunity to be a part of our new scheme. Read more..

A big thank you to all those that turned out to help support the club. Read more..

Details of our latest annual quiz night which is back by popular demand. Read more..

The club will be hosting a Real Ale night once again on Friday 31st March 2017 at Hesketh Park. Read more..

A round-up of the latest news and events of the club. Read more..

It is with sadness that we report the death of Roy Osmond at the age of 87. Read more..

The 200 Club Lottery has been drawn for February 2017 - find out who the lucky winners are. Read more..

Details of the pre-season drinks event on Saturday 18th March. Read more..

The 200 Club Lottery has been drawn for January 2017 - find out who the lucky winners are. Read more..

The 200 Club Lottery has been drawn for November and December 2016 - find out who the lucky winners are. Read more..

The 200 Club Lottery has been drawn for October 2016 - find out who the lucky winners are. Read more..

The 200 Club Lottery has been drawn for August & September 2016 - find out who the lucky winners are. Read more..

Starting Friday 4th November 2016 at Hesketh Park - 7. Read more..

The 200 Club Lottery has been drawn for June & July 2016 - find out who the lucky winners are. Read more..

The 200 Club Lottery has been drawn for April & May 2016 - find out who the lucky winners are. Read more..

Updates on what's been happening, what's to come and other news. Read more..

The 200 Club Lottery has been drawn for February & March 2016 - find out who the lucky winners are. Read more..

Updates on the bar, junior teams performance, completion of the new nets, discounted club kit for sale and other news. Read more..

Notice is given to members of an EGM on the 23rd February. Read more..

AGM - 4th January 2015 Notice is given to members of the 2014 AGM to be held in the Pavilion, Hesketh Park at 12. Read more..

Details of the cricket and general sports camps we are running through the Christmas holiday with some former cricket and football pros. Read more..

Anyone who has been past Hesketh Park in the last 2 weeks won't have failed to notice the large crane that's operating onsite. Read more..

Here are a few pictures from the day, which resulted in a good win for Kent against Sussex. Read more..

What a great day last Sunday 6th July was for The Club, despite the early weather! Read more..

A general update on the new pavilion, signing on night, outdoor training, membership fees and Cricket Force. Read more..

Four days of top coaching with three guest coaches - Vince Wells, Grahame Clinton and David Ward - all former county players. Read more..

Junior Academy Awards for 2013 Congratulations to all our award winners. Read more..

Dartford host Kent Cricket Board's under 9 Mini Super 8s County Finals day at Hesketh Park. Read more..

Dartford juniors line up at Kia Oval for England v New Zealand international. Read more..

This Sunday 30th June sees Dartford host the third annual MP's charity match in aid of the club and Arrow Riding Centre. Read more..

To reach the Plate Final of the Bexley U11 Festival and lose by a solitary run was quite simply an amazing achievement by the team. Read more..

MP Gareth Johnson's Charity Cricket Match, in aid of the Arrow Riding Centre for the Disabled and Dartford Cricket Club, will take place on 30th June at Hesketh Park. Read more..

The first club cap presentation took place at signing on day with 22 current players from across the four adult teams receiving recognition for their contribution on the cricket field. Read more..

Well done to Alex Farmer who this week was presented with The Dartfordian award and Medal by The Leader of Dartford Council Jeremy Kite. Read more..

Kent Cricket Board and The County Club are running a One Game event at Canterbury on 23rd March. Read more..

A reminder that adult nets continue. Read more..

Details of our junior winter indoor coaching sessions for school years 1-10, starting in January. Read more..

Kent Cricket Board's under 9 Mini Super 8s County Finals day saw 24 Cricket Clubs converge on Hesketh Park. Read more..

Congratulations to all our award winners - those who were there on the night were presented with their trophies by DCC chairman Jim Lowrie. Read more..

The parents team cruised to their second successive victory in the annual Parents versus Juniors fun match. Read more..

I'd like to thank all of those of you who made time to come along to be involved in and support Sunday's charity cricket festival and helped make the day a great success. Read more..

Come along to Hesketh Park this Friday evening to watch Dartford take on Harvel in the Kent Cricket League 20/20 competition. Read more..

It is under one month now until the Charity Cricket Festival we are hosting with Gareth Johnson in aid of The Club and Arrow Riding Centre for the Disabled. Read more..

The Club would like to extend an invitation to all members and their guests to join us in watching the upcoming Euro 2012 championship on the big screen at Hesketh Park. Read more..

As some of you may know or have seen in the latest Club newsletter, 4th June 2012 will be a very special day for one of the club's longest, and still playing, members. Read more..

The poor weather throughout most of April has continued into May and disrupted the start of the 2012 season. Read more..

The April 2012 edition of the club newsletter is out and available to download below. Read more..

The Sainsbury’s store in Dartford donated £500 towards the running and development of the Junior Academy through the company’s community grant scheme. Read more..

Works to improve the quality of the outfield at Hesketh Park are underway. Read more..

Our club history

kent v gloucester at hp 1967 150px wRead about our rich history and origins in the earliest days of English club cricket.