The club, founded in 1849, was the first cricket club to be established in the Furness area. Early records show that the first game was played between “The Gentlemen of Ulverston” and the “Men of Lancaster” at the Tarn Close ground which remained Ulverston’s home until the move to the present pitch in 1978. Ulverston won in a very low scoring game, and the Lancastrians complained bitterly that the result was unfair because of the uneven nature of the pitch. Not much change there then. Lancaster won the return fixture by a distance.
For many years the club operated with the largess of the wealthy Kennedy family who owned and mined the huge haematite reserves on the Furness Peninsular. They provided the ground and pavilion free of charge and retained a controlling interest in all the clubs activities. The ground, though amongst the most picturesque in the north of England was very inaccessible. It had no road access or mains services, and could only be reached by a footpath across three fields. There is a belief locally that the sport of pole-vaulting was developed by Ulverston players en-route from the cricket field to the town as a means of clearing the field walls.
The club was, in 1892, a founder member of the league which has now become the North Lancashire and Cumbria Cricket League. Only three of the six founding teams remain in the league, the others having transferred their allegiance to the Northern League. The early years saw some success with Ulverston winning the league in 1902 and 1908. Sadly this feat has not been repeated in the intervening 98 years. (now 107 years) Our 2nd XI did win the Vigodny Cup in 1956.
In 1975, South Lakeland District Council purchased, levelled and drained, two previously uneven fields on the southern edge of the town, and offered the lease of these to the local sports teams provided they would join forces to develop a single multi-sports club. The Ulverston Sports and Recreation Association was therefore established, embracing the Ulverston Rugby League Club, The Ulverston Hockey Club, Ulverston Rangers Association Football Club and the Cricket Club. Working together the clubs built the sports pavilion, which now boasts two excellent bars, the large room having all the facilities to stage functions with up to 150 guests. There are three changing rooms with good shower facilities. The Sports Club has recently established a disabled people’s social section and has all the facilities required for disabled access to all areas.
Probably early 1950s
Back L to R
John Gifford, Frank Simm, Willie Horne, Unknown, Unknown
Front L to R
Alf Horne, John McEwan, Unknown, Eddie Miller, Teddy Jackson, Ken Ireland
Vigodny Cup Winners 1957
North Lancashire League Winners 1908
Team of 1939
Last game at Tarn Close against Workington September 1977
Back row from left to right
Ian Cole, Derek Clarke, Rodney Waring, Mick Kitchin, Alan Ward, Garry Trembles, Albert Rushton and Ken Archer (Umpires)
Tim Walker, Eddie Miller, Ken Barnes, Alan Regan, Les Brocklebank, Ian Cooper, Glyn Powell, Peter Brown