The Westward Ho! Cricket Club

The formation of the Bideford Cricket club is shrouded in mystery, the early records of the club being non-existant one of the earliest reports however is in the West Buckland school Magazine recording that in 1888 the Rev W.S. Vida playing for Bideford CC scored the first century against the school.

From 1874 until 1904 there existed in Westward Ho! the United Services College and a plaque indicates that Rudyard Kipling was educated here from 1878-1882. The present cricket ground was part of the college grounds where cricket was played and when the College closed the ground was purchased by parents of the children at the College, who subsequently sold it to the local authority with a suitable restrictive covenent preserving the ground for recreational purposes.

The earliest evidence of cricket clubs here at Westward Ho! is a fixture card issued jointly by the Northam C.C. and Westward Ho!C.C for 1902.Fixtures were played at Westward Ho!and on the Burrows, and Bideford and Appledore also had Cricket Clubs.

During 1939-1945 the cricket ground was used by the Army.By 1948 the Bideford Club had reformed and club cricket began to emerge though the amalgamation subsequently took place in 1970 involving the Bideford and Westward Ho! and the Lttleham Cricket Clubs.

This was the beginning of the Club as we know it today. A 28 year lease was negotiated with the local authority, proposals were put forward for a new club house and grants applied for.

from: History of the Club by Peter Adams- Club President 2004