In 2012, our club historian Andy Clark, managed to unearth more evidence regarding the club’s foundation and early existence. Copied below is the information he was able to find with his own comments.
Attached is a copy of an 1838 “Tithe Map” and coloured in red map is Field No. 830. According to the description applied to “830”, in “Tithe Map and Award” documentation held by the Essex Records Office, it was known as “Paddock” whose “Occupier” was one R. H. Crabb.
The documents state the Owner of both the field and Baddow Hall, of which the Farm was an integral part was Sukey McLachlan and for a time he leased quite a lot of his lands to Richard Crabb. That leasing arrangement ceased, circa 1885 / 86, the ramifications of which gained the mention below:
Cricket Club - The annual meeting of the Great Baddow Cricket Club took place at the White Horse Inn on Tuesday evening, the president (Mr. A. C. Veley) in the chair. Among those present were Messrs. J. T. Smee (captain), R. G. Greene (secretary), W. Hart, J. M. Turnage, G. Hair, G. Jeffkins, W. Hughes, H. Stibbard, T. Pennack, F. Emerson, P. Pitts & c. – The Chairman read the balance sheet, which showed a deficiency of £1 5s. – Mr. A. C. Veley was re-elected president, Mr. R. H. Crabb, Mr. W. Hart, Mr. DeZoete, Mr. J. T. Pearce, and Mr. H. Smithers were elected vice-presidents ; Messrs. J. T. Smee and H. Stibbard were re-elected captain and sub-captain respectively, and Mr. R. G. Greene secretary and treasurer. – The committee was appointed as follows : - Messrs. Cowell, Emerson, G. Hair, G. Jeffkins, T. Pennack, J. G. Petchey, P. Pitts, A. Richell, and J. M. Turnage. Owing to the Baddow Hall Farm having changed hands the club have to look elsewhere for a ground. The president, captain, and secretary, with Mr. Hart were appointed a committee to endeavour to obtain a suitable ground. Hitherto Mr. R. H. Crabb has kindly let the club have the use of the paddock attached to Hall Farm free of charge.
(The Essex County Chronicle 19th March 1886) [ 1886 / ]
As you will see, the above AGM report refers to R. H. Crabb and a “…paddock attached to Hall Farm….”. On the attached map only one other field, 829, is closer to the Hall and the Farm, unfortunately the Records Office have no information as to its providence.
Notwithstanding that lack of intelligence, I am convinced Field No. 830, the “Paddock” was the site of Great Baddow Cricket Club’s first permanent Home Ground, remaining as such until 1886 when they moved the Baddow House Ground. The Mr. de Zoete mentioned in the report was instrumental in the Club’s move to Baddow House.
An added factor which bends toward my theory is the Paddock was bordered on one side by, what is currently known, as Molrams Lane. The Lane would have facilitated easy access to the Paddock, alleviating the need for cricketers, spectators, and the like, to pass through the immediate vicinity of Baddow Hall, perhaps annoying Sukey McLachlan. Also the position of the field was relatively close to the centre of Great Baddow, making it attractive to the home team at least or though most were probably just very pleased to have a ground of their own, so to speak.
If my view is correct the Paddock was to be found immediately across the road from Sandon School and the Bringy footpath ran alongside its longest edge.