Club is thriving in centenary year
Back row, left to right: Girls coach Chloe Micklethwaite, president Colin Angell, first XI captain Sam Brayley, chairman Andy King, vice chairman Ian Coles. Front: Under-17 players Jack Woodland and Oli Clatworthy.
THERE are a handful of members who have very special reasons to enjoy the centenary celebrations planned this summer by Carsons & Mangotsfield Cricket Club.
Just 15 years ago, the club was struggling to survive, as chairman Andy King well remembers.
He said: “Our numbers began dropping away and there were several weeks when we had only seven players for our seconds.
“We knew that if went down to just one team, we would be in real trouble, so four of us got together and decided that we had to get our youth section up and running again to make sure we had a proper future.”
The plan was a huge success, with wave after wave of youngsters and new arrivals transforming Carsons & Mangotsfield into one of the most vibrant clubs in South Gloucestershire.
They are now able to field four Saturday sides, a regular Sunday XI with an occasional 2nds, a midweek team along with a full set of youth squads, from U19s competing in the GCB Blast for the first time right down through to Dynamos and All Stars.
Andy, who is in his 35th season with the club, added: “The big thing this year has been establishing a girls' section to cope with the interest in cricket. It’s been fantastic."
The Carsons and Mangotsfield clubs merged in 1999, and the centenary celebrations honour the formation of Carsons in 1921 to provide cricket for the chocolate factory workers on a ground at the bottom of Rodway Hill.
Mangotsfield could trace their history back even further, to the 1840s when Dr Henry Mills Grace, father of the legendary WG, established the club on facilities at Rodway Common before it moved, probably in the 1920s, to Cossham Street, close to where the football club is now based.
That the merged cricket club should move in 2011 to new facilities so close by at Pomphrey Hill seems perfect. And, fittingly, current president Colin Angell keeps alive the proud connection with Mangotsfield during this special year.
A match with the MCC was staged on July 11, with former youth team player Richard Trotman captaining the world’s most famous club side.
There are also plans for the club to face a team of former players, including Glen Cambridge, Asif Bala, Graham Knight, Paul Dagger and Mark Frost, on August 29.
Carsons & Mangotsfield will be taking 30 players on a four-match tour of South Wales in August, and also hope to host a centenary dinner in September.
For details of how to join the club, visit the website at carsonsmangotsfield.play-cricket.com.