Club Cricket Conference

Wednesday, 24th April 2024

Sheepscombe and ECB secure cricket and Laurie Lee heritage

By Charles Randall

7 January 2014


The six-month fund-raising effort by Sheepscombe CC to buy the Laurie Lee Field in the Cotswolds has been bolstered by the ECB, doubling the appeal result to £50,000.

The ECB's grant has enabled Sheepscombe to do more than purchase the freehold of a ground they have used for more than 100 years. The surplus can pay for improvements to their clubhouse facilities and they can organise a professional coaching programme.

The village club's campaign, called Stump Up, raised the remarkable sum of £25,000 with funds from various events and individual donors. The club chairman Elisabeth Skinner said: "This is a fantastic result both for the club and for the village as it has enabled us to safeguard the future of village cricket for generations to come," she said.

Sheepscombe was made famous by the novelist Laurie Lee in his coming of age novel Cider With Rosie, set in the Slad Valley. Lee bought the field in 1971 and gave the cricket club long-term use, but the arrangement created uncertainty after his death in 1997.

The field itself is perched above the village on the side of a grassy hill, well worth a diversion visit for anyone appreciating an evocative piece of cricket heritage.