Last days of Rosemarket Cricket Club

Amongst a ‘scrapbook of memories’ owned by a villager and former player, newspaper cuttings reporting on the end of Rosemarket Cricket Club have been found. Whilst the name of the newspaper(s) and exact date(s) are unfortunately not visible, it looks to be one or two different articles. The content suggests local media – for example referencing “sadness around the county”.

Painstaking research looking at every local newspaper from the mid-1980s onwards has so far determined that Rosemarket Cricket Club was active up to and throughout 1988, suggesting possibly 1989 or 1990 as the year of closure. Whilst research continues into identifying the newspaper(s) and date(s) with the help of the wonderful team at Pembrokeshire Archives, as well as directly with local newspapers themselves, we share some extracts from the cuttings below.

No-one likes to see a sports club die. So when the news finally broke this week that Rosemarket Cricket Club had ceased to exist, there was a great sadness around the county. Their demise provides a lifebelt for those teams who came second bottom from Division Two down, but even those clubs hate to see a team fall by the wayside.

A team like “Rosie” was typical of village cricket. Everyone had a “Rosie” story to tell. A short boundary on the top hedge, a plateau wicket with a sharp chop away so that a fielder at square leg on the bottom side could only be seen from the waist up by the one man and his dog sitting in the hedge! My own particular favourite relates to the day when we turned up to find the ground deserted and wondered if we had the day wrong. But no! Suddenly a car drove in the gate and out to the square – the stumps came out of the boot followed by a small mower. A strip was cut, back went the mower into the boot and the car disappeared. Gradually the “Rosie” players arrived and we played a side that was brimming with talent.

….And Rosie saw a lot of fine players pass through. Tommy Jones and Jackie Capon played there before moving over the hill to Neyland, plus Arthur Arran and Seymour Morris for a short time, as did Dai Griffiths. Marcus and Nigel Soar graced the ground and more recently there have been the talents of Robert Summons.

The Club kit has been donated to the village school where hopefully it can be used to stimulate interest in the game at the grass roots. The tractor is gone and the small pavilion and machine that aerates the soil are available to the right bidder. Then all that will be left are a few memories – like the 1902 fixture card in mint condition which is treasured by Billy Marchant plus a few old photographs.

…It's a sad end to a club which reached the Harrison-Allen Final in the 1970s after four unsuccessful semi-finals, and which won the Ormond Youth Cub four times. Sport lovers all over the county will regret its loss and say “Rosemarket Cricket Club R.I.P.”

.….The problem has been player availability and hard cash. Last season the club was forced to withdraw its second string and the doom and gloom merchants were sounding a death-knoll for the club. In such a small village, with many other community interests, fundraising has always been a problem. With costs in the region of £1,000 to finance a season’s play, the writing was on the wall when the club’s ground rent was raised to £500 per annum.


Newspaper cuttings in scrapbook belonging to a villager and former player 

For more on the history of Rosemarket Cricket Club, please click HERE.