Houghton Colliery Welfare Cricket Club
Address: Houghton Colliery Cricket Club, Leyburn Grove, Houghton Le Spring, Tyne and Wear, DH4 5EQ
Website: Click Here
Phone: 0191 584 6226
Founded in 1960 by the miners of the Durham coalfields, Houghton Colliery Welfare Cricket Club was set up to provide the local community and its people a cricket club they could call their own.
Since its inception, the club has grown and prospered throughout the decades despite the closure of Houghton Colliery in 1981 and the general decline of the coal mining industry and numerous other challenges it has faced.
Despite numerous cup successes in the 70s and 80s, the pinnacle for Houghton CWCC was undoubtedly in the 1990s. Having been elected and subsequently promoted into the Durham Coast League at the turn of the decade, the club began to genuinely thrive. A newly purpose built club house at Leyburn Grove provided a spacious and welcoming watering hole for players, members and spectators alike and, in a sensible attempt to secure the club’s long term future, the club founded a junior section in order to involve and develop young players from the community. Houghton CWCC began to make waves on the local cricket scene with both seniors and juniors securing silverware throughout the decade, and in the case of the junior section, well into the 21st century.
Unfortunately, the club’s successes began to diminish. As is often the case, many players move on to pastures new and, with the retirement of long serving junior committee members, the influx of young players came to a virtual standstill. After seasons of struggle both on and off the field, the club inevitably withdrew from the Durham Coast League and subsequently moved back to its historical home in the North East Durham League (NEDL) in 2006.
A period of relative stability was achieved in the next half decade until a major challenge was presented in 2012. Having been informed by a significantly large proportion of its players that they were to depart at the end of the 2012 campaign, questions were raised by the remaining committee members and players alike as to whether the clubs existence could be preserved. With recession hitting the community hard, resulting in the closure of the club-house, rumours began to circulate from outside the gates of Leyburn Grove that Houghton CWCC had indeed played its last game.
However, a new, enthusiastic and energised committee were installed and set out plans for the club’s short and long-term future. For the 2013 campaign, the club committed to field a first team eleven in order to ensure its short-term survival. Not only did the club survive, the players even went on to secure its first piece of silverware in a number of years by lifting the NEDL’s 20/20 Cup.
As previously alluded to, the club’s committee were dedicated to providing both a short and long term future for Houghton CWCC. As a result of securing its short-term future, the 2014 season will see the club reopen the doors of its refurbished club house, improve the facilities to an already immaculately kept cricket ground and, most significantly, field both a first and second team in the NEDL. Work is also on-going to re-implement a thriving junior section to ensure that the club offers a fun and safe environment for local youngsters to keep fit and active whilst simultaneously providing the club with a constant source of players for the future. With two fully qualified coaches on the club’s books, the establishment of links with the Tony Blair Sports Foundation and local primary schools, Houghton CWCC hopes to have junior representation in the not too distant future.
With things once again looking up at Houghton CWCC, it is hoped that with a solid and organised infrastructure, coupled with an ambitious young playing staff and committee, the club will once again reach the heights of times gone by.