The history of Camden Cricket Club

Camden was founded in 1881 as a youth club, and with the fading of some of the older and contemporary clubs, in 1910 Camden found itself in the position of being the oldest and the premier club in Cambridge - a position it has held ever since. Camden was always a club of Cambridge men, and in its first fifty years population movement was much less marked than today. Early lists of members included names from established and respected Cambridge families, Hayward, Hall, French, Gray and Morgan. During the 1930s greater movement among professions, and the University attracted new players to the club.


This injection of fresh blood, and administrative keenness of the members helped to map the course of the Club's progress for the future.


The second fifty years of Camden's history opened with two fundamental decisions. A second team was established, as well as a Thursday team which commenced its first season in 1931. After the interruptions to cricket caused by the War the move was taken in October 1945 to revive the Club and a full fixture list was resumed.


In 1969 the Club started a "cricket week" entertaining sides in the last week of July culminating in an all-day match, now against the MCC, and a barbecue in the evening at Trinity Old Field. This continues Camden's tradition of hosting friendly visitor fixtures, and Sir Jack Hobbs would regularly bring a team largely from Surrey to play XVIII of Cambridgeshire, all batting but only eleven fielding.


The 1960s and 1970s saw an increase in the strength of Camden cricket with players asking for stronger fixtures including Essex Wanderers, Bedford, and the Stoics who often brought first class cricketers, and once a Test player, J.H. Edrich, in 1964.


Camden's members over the years have also contributed a huge amount to the Club, and are too numerous to mention here. The Club is very grateful to the contribution of all of its members both past and present for making the club what it is today, and is always seeking to recruit new talent to ever improve the standard and team spirit that characterises Camden as a club.


Socially Camden first held a club dinner in 1905 to celebrate the first win of the Senior Cup, and thereafter the Camden Dinner seems to have become pretty much an annual event attended by members and guests alike. After the second World War the dinner was re-established and, perhaps with the earlier visits of Jack Hobbs in mind, it became the custom to have the toast to "The Game of Cricket" proposed by a well-known cricket personality. Today Camden tries to keep this social aspect of the Club very much alive and recognises the importance of a team beyond the boundary for on-field success. In 2006 Camden celebrated its 125th Anniversary with a Dinner at St Catherine's College. Former Middlesex and England fast bowler Angus Fraser entertained players, former players, friends of Camden, guests and partners.


Today Camden has three weekend adult teams, a Thursday team, and a number of youth sides. The First XI is always competitive in the First Division of the Tucker Gardner Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Premier League. The Second Eleven, with four promotions in five seasons from 2002, has progressed from Junior Division 2 to the top division of the Cambridgeshire Cricket Association, Senior 1. The Third Eleven, which entered the CCA as recently as 2002, progressed from the bottom of the pyramid, Junior Division 5, to Junior Division 2 by 2006, with three winners' shields to its credit.


Camden always strive to play cricket within the spirit of the game, and with the current infrastructure in place it is hoped that cricket at the Club and in Cambridge will continue to thrive for many years to come.