Records show that the Club was formed well before the Second World War playing on at least four grounds within the Parish ending up at the Forstal in the 1960s. Most of the players came from Little Chart paper mill though several came from neighbouring villages as they still do. Before the 1960s Little Chart Forstal (meaning “stall for holding cattle”) was a rough piece of land consisting of reeds, long grass, bomb craters and scrap iron. The only mowing was done by a herd of goats!
A leading light in the Club was H E Bates who played for the village before the war. He restarted the Club after the war and at the first dinner in 1948 invited Godfrey Evans the famous England wicket-keeper to present the batting and bowling prizes to Den Gore and Reg Smith. The wicket in Surrenden Park was not brilliant and soon enthusiasm waned and the Club disbanded. The present ground was refurbished for cricket by an Ashford agricultural engineering company called Stanhays which ceased playing there in the mid sixties. According to Parish Council records Little Chart Cricket Club was formally reformed in 1969. H E Bates was again the force behind the club until 1972 when Jeff Thomas came to live on the Forstal. He was a newsreader on Southern Television. A keen cricketer, he ran two teams and a colts team.
The old pavilion only had one room. No water, no electricity and no flushing loos but a new second-hand pavilion was obtained in 1982, dismantled and rebuilt entirely by Club members, including Dave Burchett, the Lillicrap family, Dave Harding and others. Refreshments and encouragement were provided by the then President, Charles Gunther. The new pavilion was opened in 1983 with a celebratory cricket match against a young Kent Second Eleven.
The “Darling Buds of May” cricket match was filmed on the ground using Little Chart players as extras.
Charles Gunther continued a long association with the Club by becoming the President in 1980. Many people have played for the village, too many to mention but in the eighties Trevor Jones, Stuart Lillicrap and Jim Brooks were the mainstay of the bowlers. The opening partnership of Trevor Brown and Graham Maltby seemed to occupy the crease all Saturday afternoon! Later Gerry Jeans joined the Club as an all-rounder and Tom Lawrence teamed up with Martin Crowhurst to form a formidable opening partnership.
The Club joined the Kent Village League and is currently in the Third Division.
Cricket tours to East Anglia started 1986 but more recently the tours have been based in Sudbury, Suffolk playing, when the hangovers allow, three matches against local villages.
To download a copy of the Club rules please click here.
To download a copy of the Club’s Safeguarding policy please click Safeguarding Policy