A Review of the 1903 Season
Both The Guardian and The Woodford Times dated 17 April 1903 reported the headline:
NEW CRICKET CLUB FOR CHINGFORD
As the outcome of suggestions made in course of conversations amongst a number of season-ticket holders during the morning journeys to town, a meeting was held on Tuesday with the object of forming a new cricket club. Mr FW Thom was voted to the chair, and amongst those also present were Messrs J Heal, O Blackmore, FW Warner, HW Smith, Greenwood, J Longden, Jackaman, Fordham etc . After discussion it was decided to form a club to be known as “The Forest CC, Chingford” and a sub-committee was appointed to draw up the necessary rules. Mr J Heal was chosen as captain, Mr Jackaman as vice-captain; Mr FW Thom , hon. Sec; Mr Greenwood, assistant sec; and Mr HS Smith, treasurer. A committee, consisting of Messrs FW Warner, J Longden, W Longden and O Blackmore was elected, About 20 names were given in as members of the new organisation.
The Club had occasional hire of the Chingford Village CC ground (a different Club) which was Little Bull Field, next to the Crown Hotel – but was formerly the tenanted ground of the now defunct Chingford Cricket Club. This was believed to have been where Pretoria Road and Woodland Road now are. At the time there was also a third Cricket Club in the village, called Chingford Excelsior CC, of which little is known – but all were competing for players .
The first ever fixture of The Forest CC, Chingford was away to Hale End, on Saturday 23 May 1903 and Chingford dismissed Hale End for 39, before going on to score 53 themselves. The team in the inaugural fixture was as follows:
W. Longden, H. Greenwood, F. Warner, J. Longden, J. Heal (Captain), F Thom, R Jackaman, G. Fordham, H. Moore, W. Plume and G. Gerhold
Things must have been quite competitive as in the home game with Hartley, we dismissed the visitors for 15, and H.Banfield and B.Banfield arrived late for Hartley and were not allowed to bat !
Results in the inaugural season were:
Reflecting on the season, it was felt that the Club had done well, but had been handicapped by the want of their own private ground.
No team for or against scored three figures, with the highest innings being 92-9 v Old Wilsonians.
From the nine games we have scorecards for WG Longden made the highest run aggregate for the season with 72, the highest individual score coming from O.Blackmore with an unbeaten 26 v Old Wilsonians batting at number 11 !
With the ball leading wicket taker was WG Longden with 44 wickets at less than 4 apiece, which would be rather impressive in today’s game!
Enthusiasm and team spirit was growing in the Club as the season went on and on 21 August a meeting was held at Polli’s Restaurant to form the Chingford Forest Football Club for the Winter, with all the officers being leading figures in the Cricket Club – namely J. Longden (Capt), O. Blackmore (Vice capt.), R. Warner (Treasurer) and F. Thom (Secretary)