History of Eastry Cricket Club
Cricket has been played in the village of Eastry for over 200 years, with the earliest recorded game being played against Sandwich in 1785. Records would suggest that a club was formed in the village in 1812, although it is not clear where the club played their early fixtures. However, the 1785 game against Sandwich was advertised as to be played at Eastry Down for “HALF A GUINEA A MAN”.
In the 1820’s, a member of the MCC, living at Updown House, Mr Jack Bayley, is known to have set up his own cricket club, with a match against the MCC in July 1828 recorded. This may well have been played on the pitch in front of Updown House, where the club plays regularly today.
During the early days, cricket was used as a social gathering for estate workers, normally on a Saturday afternoon, and was often made into a family occasion, with references to spectators not uncommon.
As far as can be ascertained, cricket has been played at Updown since 1828, although not necessarily continually, the ground being ploughed up and used for agricultural purposes during the second world war bringing a temporary halt to the club’s activities.
The ground is currently owned by Mrs M Montgomery with whom a long standing association has allowed cricket to be played uninterrupted for many years. Mrs Montgomery has two grandsons who are very active and valuable members of the club.