Early Years (1871-1918)
The original Rainhill Cricket Club was founded in 1871. Little is known about the first ten years of the club’s existence, and the earliest extant scorecard is of a home match against South End in 1881.
Eight years later, in February 1889, a meeting was held in the Commercial Hotel to discuss reforming the cricket club. On the agenda was a proposal to return to playing on Strettle’s Field (off Warrington Road), which was owned by a Mr Strettle of Ivy Farm. An extract from the recorded minutes of the meeting states: “they formerly had a cricket club which was a success financially, and during the time it was vogue the cricket played by the members was considered first class’.
1889 also saw the re-formed club’s first annual ball on 13th December. The Prescot Reporter and St Helens Advertiser reported that this was attended by fifty ladies and gentlemen in the National School Rooms, Rainhill. Catering was provided by the Commercial Hotel.
In April 1894, Rainhill Cricket Club and Athletic Grounds Company Limited was registered and the club was still using Strettle’s Field as its home.
By 1900 photographic images of Rainhill CC’s cricket teams were starting to appear, and some of these survive. Also surviving is a 1906 diagram of the cricket ground and pavilion.