You might not think that's cricket, and it's not, it's motor racing. - Murray Walker
Bamville Cricket Club's pitch is sited on common land where Harpenden Racecourse used to be.
Bamville is a lively club with over 50 playing members who come from a general catchment area of Harpenden, Luton and St Albans. The club prides itself on being a friendly family club which does not need to enter a league to get enough fixtures.
Bamville is the only cricket club to play on a golf course! We are indebted to Rothmans for including Bamville in their excellent book, "The Rothmans Book of Village Cricket", which profiles some of the most interesting village cricket clubs in England. This is what they had to say about our club:
"Many golfers love their cricket and vice versa, but nowhere are the passions more closely aligned than on Harpenden Common in Hertfordshire. Every Sunday after two o'clock in summer the members of Harpenden Common Golf Club have to yield to Bamville Cricket Club. By then, they must be through the fairways of the twelfth and fifteenth, so cricket can be played in the designated area. Both are par five holes, around five hundred yards, but peaceful co-existence ensures there is never a problem. Bamville always play away on Saturdays and they only pay for the use of their pavilion --to St Alban's Council, not the golf club.
Harpenden Common Golf Club was a racecourse at the start of the twentieth century - them came golf and, in 1932, the cricket club. The cricket team's first President, Jim Joel, was a famous racehorse owner and many workers from his nearby estate played for the club in its formative years.
Those days were often recalled with great clarity by John Grant, he was a founder member, groundsman, player and scorer. All Bamville's games are friendlies. The square is small - what do you expect between two fairways? - but they work hard on it and it is acknowledged to be a good wicket. The players gather for nets in January at Redbourn and Hatfield. They also have their own version of the nineteenth hole; a clubhouse and bar for those summer Sundays.
The lure of cricket on a golf course seems attractive enough and the understanding between the two codes of sport ranks as a compromise in the best traditions of English summer sport. There are no reports of any Bamville cricketer ever being disturbed by a cry of 'fore!'....."
Reproduced by kind permission of Rothmans
2007 was our 75th Anniversary year, and we played a special match to mark the occassion. For a report and photos, see here