The Magazine of Lenton Local History Society

Derby Road - Lenton

From 'The Lenton Listener' Issue 47

August - September 1987

Cricket Lovely Cricket

Photograph by Paul Bexon - Lenton Listener

Ten of the 1st eleven at the Pearson Gregory Ground in July 1987.
Photograph by Paul Bexon - Lenton Listener

Hands up all those who know the location of the John Pearson-Gregory Ground? In all probability most hands will stay down. Yet the ground is in Lenton and is the home of Lenton United Cricket Club. Named after one of the Club's main benefactors, it can be found next to the Trent out by Clifton Bridge. The Club purchased the site some seventeen years ago following the City Council's decision to requisition its previous ground on Derby Road in order that Cottesmore School might have its own sports field. Off the beaten track as it is, the Pearson-Gregory Ground is hardly well positioned to attract along potential cricket enthusiasts - which is a shame! For the Club has turned what was once a farmer's field into a fine playing surface, built a club house the envy of many other local teams, added an all-weather artificial wicket and has erected caged netting for practice sessions.

Since 1978 Lenton United has entered two teams in the Notts. Amateur League. The first team is currently in Division One, while the second eleven play in Division Two (and are the highest place 2nd team in the whole league). Teams are also entered in the local Sunday and Evening Leagues, and a team of Under 17 year olds participate in a set of 'Colts' fixtures against youngsters from other clubs.

Photograph of the 1st XI in 1947
Back Row - I Cartwright (Umpire), G.A. Tabberer, E.H. Smith, H. Smith, D.A.
Reddish, A.W. Smith, and E. Smallwood.
Front Row - W. Cartwright (Gateman), J.H. Whelpton, D. Smith, E. Marshall
(Chairman), W.E. Reddish (Capt.), F.E. Mills (Vice-Chairman), F. Powdrill,
E.J. Dance
On the grass - C.W. Russell (Scorer)
Photo courtesy of Bill Russell.

The Club has been going an awfully long time and needs a constant supply of 'new blood' to ensure it continues to do so. Formed back in 1870 following the amalgamation of two local teams, the Spring Close and Lenton Church Cricket Clubs, its first ground was in a field off Gregory Street belonging to The White Hart. Its annual rental was £5 but when some time later the landlord insisted on raising the sum to £12, the Club members are reported to have filed out of the pub and proceeded to The Three Wheatsheaves where they resumed their meeting. As a result the Club moved to the Mill Field, near which the Radford gasometers now stand. In 1888 it moved to the Gregory Ground on Derby Road and remained there for the next eighty odd years. For a short while the Club shared the ground with Nottingham Forest Football Club, who were already playing home matches there. But in 1890 Forest moved on to Trent Bridge and Lenton lost its chance to be the home of league football.

It was at the Gregory Ground that Arthur Shrewsbury (see Lenton Listener Issues 13 & 40) played his last ever game of cricket, scoring 31 for Lenton United. (Relatives of Arthur, Joe and Bill Shrewsbury later became stalwarts of the Club). That great cricketer, Leary Constantine once played there as a member of a Lancashire League eleven chosen to play Lenton United in one of Harold Larwood's testimonial games. Others far less famous have also strapped on their pads and strode to the wicket intent on doing their best. Currently those wanting to do it for Lenton United number are in the region of thirty-five to forty.

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