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In early 1866 the Beckenham Cricket Club was founded by Mr AC Wathen and friends who had the permission of Mr Peter Hoare to use the private cricket ground at Kelsey. After the first season at Kelsey the ground on Foxgrove Road was leased where play has continued ever since.

The first recorded game was on 19th May 1866 between a Married X and a Single X. Even taking into account the fact that the game was only 10-a-side, scoring was low. Single made 95 batting first and. in reply. Married mustered a rather hen-pecked 71 including 21 wides!

The Beckenham Cricket Club played its first game the following week against the Saturday CC, losing by 137 runs to 51, and had to wait until 23rd June 1866 for its first win against South-Eastern Railway. These were early days for club cricket in general and fixtures were hard to come by.

There are several references to interesting experiments simply in order to get a game. For example the Club's first 7 played against the next 14 (the 7 winning easily, 149 runs to 39). There was another easy win for the Club against a 22 from the Village, a game that became an annual fixture until the First World War, although by then the Village side had been reduced to 17 players!

Several notable fixtures took place between 1885 and 1895 between Beckenham, Bexley and Bickley

 

Park. In 1885 Beckenham replied to Bexley's 77 all out with 470 for 0, but, it wasn't always so easy. Bexley returned the favour the following year and in June 1894 Beckenham suffered their largest ever defeat against a Hampstead side containing AE Stoddart of England and FR "The Demon" Spofforth of Australia. Hampstead made 269 and promptly dismissed Beckenham twice for 13 and 21. Spofforth 8 for 7 and 4 for 4 lived up to his nickname.

By the end of the century two teams were turning out for the Club on most Saturdays. The Whole-Day and Half-Day (at most 5 hours play) sides were starting to field players who would become well known throughout Kent as well as Beckenham. P Northcote, FD Brown, CO Cooper and GJ Gulliver were making their mark with bat and ball, while the families Inglis, Torrens, Baker, and Stenning also started playing around this time, and would continue to do so up to around the outbreak of the WWI.

Beckenham's annual cricket week started in 1893 and continues to this day. The first ever game was a 2-day fixture against Oxford University Authentics. It was an inauspicious start for the home side following-on after the visitors' had posted 217. Of all the other sides to appear in the first week, Incogniti, who were soundly defeated by seven wickets, are the only surviving team. More about cricket week later.

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