Totton & Eling Cricket Club (a short history)
Totton & Eling Cricket club has its roots back in the early 20th Century
Formerly part of the BAT Sports & Social Club cricket has always played a very important part.
Cricket has earlier roots and the first team ever fielded, in the period between 1918 and the early 1920’s was comprised of Ladies who called themselves “The Sunbeams”. Early cricket matches, from around 1920 were played at Bellemore Road up until the move to Southern Gardens. The present club started life as the “Bramtoco Sports Cricket Club”. The original clubhouse, built in 1927 in the far corner of the grounds adjacent to the railway line (where the groundsman’s workshop is now situated) was opened by the chairman of the company with the attendance of other directors and wives: the weather is reported to have been rain until late afternoon when three hours of cricket were played between Southampton and London office.
In the early days of the club all the games were friendly and culminated in the annual fixture against Imperial Tobacco of Bristol. Players had to be employees of the factory to be eligible to play. The overall standard of cricket was high with many minor counties players in the side. In the late 1950’s a Sunday X1 was started to widen the opportunities to play cricket with a further expansion in the 1970’s when a Second X1 was formed.
In 1964 a new larger pavilion, with much better facilities, was erected facing the railway line and the club changed its name to BAT Sports Cricket Club in line with the company rebranding.
Local cricket continued to evolve and in the mid 1970’s the Saturday games were organised into a formal league structure and the club entered the Hampshire Leagues. The first team made rapid progress through the League pyramid and over a five year period from 2002 won the 1st Division of the Southern Electric Premier League 3 times and were runners up once never finishing outside the top five. In 2005 the 2nd X1 gained promotion to the 3rd division of the Southern Electric Premier League
With the closure of the Southampton BAT factory in 2007 came further major changes, not least being the change of name to Totton & Eling Cricket Club, to reflect the commitment to the local area and community. It also brought major upheaval to the ground with part being sold to a local developer for housing. It also initiated another move and a new clubhouse, the fantastic facilities we enjoy today.