Sunday 23rd April 2pm Pilgrims Vs

Feel free to take me away
The Red Lion & Cellar Room
Proud to be part of the
Reigate Pilgrims Cricket Club
Food & Drink Served ALLDAY - EVERYDAY
Want to watch some of the beautiful
English Game of Cricket?
Reigate Pilgrims Cricket Club
Season starts
Sunday 23rd April 2pm
Oslo Aliens
Games are played most Saturday & Sundays
and mid week early evenings Reigate Pilgrims Cricket Fixtures can be
found on the Buckland Parish Web Site.
PTO for some history of
the Reigate Pilgrims CC
Reigate Pilgrims Cricket Club
Many Buckland villagers must wonder why a cricket club that has been in the village for nearly 70
years is named after a local town and is not called the Buckland Cricket Club.
The answer dates back to the formation of the Reigate Pilgrims Cricket Club immediately after
World War II. During the war years no cricket was played at the ground behind the Red Lion,
although there is evidence that a club called the “Surrey Sevens” played there before the war
started. During the war, the land behind the Red Lion was used as a lorry park by the Canadian
Army who had little knowledge of, nor respect for, “the square”!
In 1945, the Headquarters Staff of the South Eastern Army Command were stationed near
Reigate and a mixed bunch of Army personnel, members of the home guard and civilians met to
form a cricket club to play on Sundays. It was perhaps because of the army connection that this
site in Buckland was eventually chosen as the home of the new Reigate Pilgrims club and work
began to clear the ground, push back the scrub at the boundaries and create a playing area. The
first matches were played in 1947. The standard of cricket was very high in those days and
enjoyed immensely by everyone, as were the long evenings in the bar, ending with a mass exodus
to catch the last number 414 bus to Reigate, as few players owned cars and petrol was rationed.
Many of the original Pilgrims players played for Reigate Priory on Saturdays. One of the reasons
for forming their own club was so they could also play on Sundays, which the Priory didn’
t. Anecdotally, the name “Reigate Pilgrims” is thought to have originated from these players at the
inaugural meeting in 1945 before they acquired the Buckland cricket field. It’s not difficult to see
the association between a group of players wandering away from the Priory to form a new club
and how the name might have originated, but we shall never know for sure. Suffice it to say that
the links between the two clubs remain strong and Priory still use the Pilgrims’ ground for some of
their fixtures.
What of today? No longer do the Pilgrims play such prestigious sides as Worcester County
Cricket Club as they did for three successive years in the 1960s holding their own against teams
which included test match players, amongst them the England players, Norman Gifford, Basil
D’Oliviera, Don Keynon, Derek Richardson and Tom Graveney and the West Indian player, Ron
Headley, all of whom have played at Buckland. Three Pilgrim cricketers who played with great
distinction in that era are commemorated by trees planted in their memories at the top of the
Todays Pilgrims play a more sedate game as the average age of the playing membership creeps
However, some traditions dont change, the Pilgrims have not followed the trend towards limited
over cricket favoured by local leagues but prefer friendly “timed” cricket played with a competitive
We are also pleased that we continue to welcome many opposition clubs whose names figure in
the earliest of the club’s fixture lists, notably Ipswich CC who still bring a side to Buckland every
year. Today, as ever, the Red Lion continues to play an important part in any fixture.