About Holmbury St Mary Cricket Club
We run two sides:
Saturday Side: Having been promoted as unbeaten champions from the Surrey Downs 3rd Division last season, our Saturday side are competing this year in the Surrey Downs 2nd Division, a league that consists of 10 teams including South Nutfield, Old Suttonians and Brockham Green.
Sunday Side: Our Sunday side also achieved promotion in 2018 and this year competes in the Village Cricket League Division 1, a league of 9 teams including Dorking, Westcott and Abinger.
In this bustling century of modernisation and upheaval there can be no scene more neatly lifted from the pages of Wodehouse than that played out every summer Saturday and Sunday at Holmbury St Mary. This utterly charming, picture postcard ground looks like a Turner painting or a scene from Downton Abbey. Even the name, Holmbury St Mary, could have been transcribed from a book entitled Thee Englisshe Sumertyme.
Wend your way through the Surrey hills between villages of equally charming names (Abinger Hammer, Peaslake) to find Holmbury, a sleepy village set around a beautiful green with a very fine pub, The Royal Oak, by its side. Your leisurely journey should take you no more than 25 minutes from Guildford, 20 from Effingham Junction or 15 from Dorking.
Climb the wooded hill behind the beer garden and you will come across a picturesque cricket pavilion that sits in state above a ground that could be described as flat only if the visitor had never travelled far from the Andes. Your square cut from the Weald end will race away on gravity assisted wings; your on drive, on the other hand, will roll to an ignominious halt on the mound at deep mid-wicket, so run hard no matter how sweet your timing.
Completely enclosed by mature woodland, and thus beautifully sheltered from the raging tempest, the air at HStMCC seems always to be still and warm, even on the cloudiest of days. All things must be paid for, however: the branches that overhang the boundary shed arboreal debris onto the deep outfield so that a brave sliding stop can be hazardous to the elbows.
Far better to field closer in, next to the impeccable square, whose wickets provide something for all through the season – swinging greentops in May, fast roads in July and dust-spitting turners in August.
The photograph of waistcoated, moustachioed, boater-sporting gentlemen from 1892 (above) shows that that cricket has been played in these parts for nigh on 130 years. These days Saturday and Sunday sides battle it out in the in the Surrey Downs League and the Village Cricket League respectively in an atmosphere of friendly rivalry that becomes friendlier and less rivalrous the longer the pavilion bar stays open.
The membership draws from a wide range of vintages and walks of life, and includes some eminent locals – a Sky Sports presenter and a former Cornish Pirate, to name a small sample – and the club recruits in the finest tradition of village cricket: batting or bowling talent useful, good company essential.
The unofficial Holmbury St Mary Cricket Club motto: All welcome. Bring food.