On 3rd March 1865, Lord George W Lyttlelton of Hagley Hall, wrote in his diary, “ March 3, I went to a meeting at Worcester for establishing a County Cricket Club.”
Since that founding meeting at The Star Hotel, near Foregate Street Railway Station, Worcester, the detailed story of Worcestershire County Cricket Club’s development has been told in, Pears 150 The Life And Times Of WCCC 1865-2014.
On 14th June 1951, following an open air meeting at New Road on 31st May, the Worcestershire County Cricket Supporters’ Association (WCCSA) was founded at a special meeting in The Guildhall, Worcester.
The first 70 members agreed a subscription of 2s 6d (12.5p) and soon decided to build a new scoreboard at New Road.
For 65 years the WCCSA has provided vital funds to Worcestershire CCC and has plans for more.
In early 2016, the WCCSA commissioned a painting from St John’s, Worcester artist, David Birtwhistle, to mark WCCC’s 150 years, and the WCCSA’s Blue Sapphire Anniversary.
David’s original painting has been purchased by the Supporters' Association, but 150 signed and numbered prints will be sold (unframed) for WCCSA funds.
David Birtwhistle’s painting shows, in a succession of larger vignettes, WCCC’s first Isaac Pavilion at Boughton (1878-1896), the fondly remembered but flood damaged Foley Pavilion at New Road (1898-2008) and the magnificent view south-west across the Graeme Hick Pavilion (2009-) to the Malvern Hills.
Interspersed are other themes, such as the first scoreboard at Boughton, the often flooded original scoreboard at New Road, the classic WCCSA built 1954 scoreboard with its Worcester Cathedral backdrop, the more modern scoreboard, and today’s electronic video screen.
There is something new to spot with each viewing, such is the Holbeinian detail.
The groundstaff with their pitch roller, the old red telephone box, a County Champions pennant, the original WCCSA corrugated iron office and shop with brown flood marks, the bat, ball & stumps weathervane, the old Foley pavilion bell, the black pears and foliage, the WCCSA 1956 Ladies Pavilion, a slice of cake and cup of tea, a familiar face or two beneath a WCCC sunhat.
The boundary boards have been chosen with some care, and the five scoreboards feature significant WCCC moments.
It may take a magnifying glass but the clues are there.
David Birthwhistle’s uplifting painting, which will be enjoyed by many supporters, captures the atmosphere of two beautiful home grounds, where several generations of Worcestershire cricketers have played against worthy opponents, during the past 150 years.
Details of the price of the 150 signed and numbered prints and how and where they can be purchased from will be announced shortly by the Supporters' Association.