We began the story last week of the little cricket team which grew.
This week, we conclude the history of East Rainton Cricket Club with the help of Robert Kitching who painstakingly pieced together the club’s story
The First World War devastated the village and “men from East Rainton and district fell in that most bloody of conflicts,” said Robert. When it was over, another event badly disrupted the team, then known as Hazard, once more.
In 1932, nearby Hazard Colliery was set to close with 620 men “thrown idle,” said Robert. “I think this would have thrown the club into total disarray, so the seconds resigned without playing a game,” he added.
Even though there was a two-year reprieve for the pit, 560 men were still laid off in 1934 and Robert said: “The club remained the only reminder of the colliery ever being in the village, (until the name change of 1966).”
Yet Rainton were back on the up through a mix of talented players and a real quirk. “One thing that features in 1934 and today is a comment about our unusual ground,” said Robert.
Finally some silver ware for the Hazard men, our first recorded trophy win! Pity we had to wait from 1851 til 1935Robert Kitching
The East Rainton pitch at Hazard Colliery suffered from the effects of sinking through pit falls, said a report. It is still not flat, Robert added.
In 1935 came one of the club’s finest moments on Friday, August 2. Hazard Colliery beat Ushaw Moor at Chilton Moor in the final of the North-East Durham League Challenge Cup. Hazard were all out for 106 but kept Ushaw Moor to 83 runs in 23 overs. As Robert said: “Finally some silver ware for the Hazard men, our first recorded trophy win! Pity we had to wait from 1851 til 1935.”
Two years later, Hazard missed out on the league by one point and by 1938, Hazard was once again in the NEDCL with Robert telling us “A N Other seems to be a regular performer for Rainton sides when in trouble.”
By 1940, the club showed a healthy balance of £16 14s 2½d at the annual meeting. The 1941 season saw Hazard’s first championship win with the NEDCL title. A “proud achievement for a club with little success in its 90 year history,” said Robert.
Fortunes turned again when only five clubs entered the league in 1948. Hazard had to enter two for the league to continue. By 1950, the team shared the title with Belmont and in 1951 it was Hazard who beat their fierce rivals in the league cup final.
There were great players along the way including Norman Mallinson - a “player, a superb batsman, captain, secretary and treasurer to the club,” said Robert. Alban Cummings was another and it was he and Norman who in 1953, led the team to victory in the Amos Lowing Bowl final.
The 1960s brought success with a 61 Amos Lowing Bowl final win, and a 1963 league and Challenge Cup double.
While 1966 saw the club’s name change from Hazard Colliery Cricket Club to East Rainton CC. In 1977, the first team won the Division 2 title - a return to first division cricket.
The 80s brought an improvement to the grounds and by 1983, players from Durham, brought together by Ian Kitching, saw Rainton’s most successful era ever. Between 1983 and 2008, they won 13 league titles and the Banks trophy.
More recently, 2006 brought a title win for the Rainton first team and in 2009 the seconds won the NEDCL division 2 for the first time in their own right.
Robert added: “They have won the title every year from 2009 to 2016 (except 2012 when we ran a close second to Wearmouth). 2016 saw the firsts lift the league cup for the first time ever, this cup replaced the Roseberry trophy in 2012 and the seconds won all second team cups - Robert Dunnett, Amos Lowing and the Norman Martin.
“The seconds also lifted the Second division title for a fourth straight season. This proved to be the most successful season the second team have ever had, and was captain Darren Portrey’s fourth title in four years.”
As well as competition success, the club has hosted stars in another sport.
Tom Swinburne went on to play for Newcastle United from 1934-1937. Michael Horswill, FA Cup winner with Sunderland, played for Rainton and so did fellow Sunderland star Richard Ord.
Our thanks go to Robert for some outstanding memories. To spotlight your own organisation’s fine history, email firstname.lastname@example.org