Club History

Club History

The Marden Cricket Club was in existence at the end of the 19th Century and indeed there is a record - in an old Bearstead scorebook now in the Maidstone Museum - of a match between Marden and Bearstead in 1789! The club had a variety of homes, including Maidstone Road (opposite the cemetery) and Copper Lane, until the late 1920s when Jas Seymour, one of the first professional cricketers in Kent, moved to 'The Howlands', which adjoins the former cricket ground at Stanley Road.


The Russets Hockey Club was formed after WW1, initially leading a nomadic life as a Ladies' team and then as a Mixed XI before arranging to play games on the cricket outfield at Marden, using the cricket pavilion and the upstairs of the adjoining Howlands barn for changing. Hockey teas were taken in the Working Mens club. In 1946 separate Mens' and Ladies' XIs were formed and both became noted as formidable opponents throughout Kent & Sussex.


In anticipation of the need for improved facilities the clubs merged in 1960 to form the Marden Cricket & Hockey Club, building the clubhouse at Stanley Road in 1963. We can only admire the foresight of members, at a time when the club had one Cricket XI, one Men's Hockey XI and one Ladies' Hockey XI, to provide a clubhouse which catered for a greatly increased membership through to Apr 2017.


In 1987 the Club took the opportunity to purchase an adjoining orchard with the intention of providing a further three grass hockey pitches and a cricket square. In the event only one grass hockey pitch was provided but with the requirement to play most league games on artificial surfaces, that was given up several years ago.


In the 1980s, Jeremy Barham, then a 1st XI player and former England & GB international suggested, introduced and implemented (almost single-handedly for the first seven years) a policy of youth training that has mushroomed into one of the largest club youth hockey training schemes in Kent. At least one generation of players owes a huge thank you to Jeremy and his successors, and the youth section continues to flourish.


During the 1990s the Club worked hard to secure its own astroturf surface and thanks to grants from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts, Maidstone Borough Council and Kent County Council, combined with loans from Shepherd Neame and the Kent County Playing Fields Association and contributions from members, the artificial pitch was opened in Feb 2000, and lasted 17 seasons. It was an undoubted success and a great attraction for the Club to have its own pitch when so many other teams were forced to use facilities some distance from their clubhouse.


During 2017, Marden Tennis Club joined us to form Marden Cricket, Hockey & Tennis Club (Marden Sports Club), in preparation for the move to new facilities on Maidstone Road, Marden, which comprise a cricket ground with permanent nets, two hockey pitches (one with LED lighting), four tennis courts (two with lighting), a petanque pit and a wonderful new clubhouse.


From the 2017-18 hockey season, matches were played at the new venue, with post-match teas served initially at the 'old' clubhouse, then at the temporary clubhouse that was parked on site for the 2018 cricket season and the first half of the following hockey season.


Finally, in Nov 2018, the new clubhouse was opened and, with its glass frontage and balconies, will provide a spectacular view for spectators, while they partake of the food and drinks available at the bar. An exciting new chapter has begun...