Where We Used To Play: Clarence Park
When Somerset County Cricket Club was formed in 1875 at Sidmouth CC following a match between the Gentlemen of Somerset and the Gentlemen of Devon it was decided that the Club would initially lead a nomadic existence.
Rather than committing to one home ground, the decision was taken to bring quality cricket to the whole of the South West by playing at venues across the region.
Because we are proud to represent the whole of the South West region, we will be taking a closer look at some of SCCC’s homes away from home over the next few weeks.
Today we focus on Clarence Park, Weston-super-Mare.
The history of Clarence Park dates back to the late 19th century when the land was gifted to the town by Rebecca Davies in memory of her husband.
Somerset County Cricket Club first appeared at the venue in 1914 when two County Championship matches were played in late August against Yorkshire and Essex. A third match was cancelled as the country mobilised for the Great War.
The Club returned to Weston in 1919 and claimed a first victory at the ground as Jack White inspired the hosts to a four wicket win over Hampshire.
In total, Clarence Park played host to Somerset CCC on 191 occasions in First Class Cricket between 1914 and 1996. Durham were the final opponents in a match that ended in a draw but was memorable for Graham Rose claiming seven wickets in the visitor’s first innings.
Three Somerset batters scored First Class double centuries at the ground. Micky Walford achieved the highest score of 264 v Hampshire in 1947. The other double centurions were Brian Rose (205 v Northants in 1977) and Viv Richards (204 v Surrey also in 1977).
The best First Class bowling figures by a Somerset bowler at the venue came in 1958 when Brian Langford claimed remarkable match figures of 15 for 54 against Lancashire.
The venue also played host to Somerset in List A cricket, with 23 fixtures taking place at the ground.
Somerset were due to make a List A bow at Clarence Park in 1971 and 1972, but poor weather meant that no play was possible. It was a similar story in 1973 when the John Player League match against Northants was also abandoned. However, it was a case of fourth time lucky later that year when Somerset were finally able to take to the field in the JPL against Derbyshire. It was certainly worth the wait as Brian Close’s side won by eight wickets.
After restricting the visitors to 163 from their 40 overs, half centuries from Brian Rose and Graham Burgess saw Somerset home with more than 11 overs to spare.
Jimmy Cook achieved the highest individual List A score for Somerset at Clarence Park with 112 not out against Warwickshire in 1990.
Clarence Park was a favourite ground for many of the Somerset players who plied their trade there. Indeed, Dennis Breakwell recently stated in an interview for this website that: “I loved playing at Weston, and we’d always get a very good crowd there to watch us. You were so close to everyone. The dressing room was so small, and the crowds were only a couple of yards away, which was always nice to feel. We had a week of cricket in Weston, and for us it was like going on holiday. I loved it there.”
We are proud to represent the whole of the South West, and our goal for 2024 is to have at least one Somerset CCC Member in every postcode area in the region.
Existing Members, in order to purchase at the special early-bird renewal price, simply head to your online account and click “Advantages”. If T20 cricket is included in your 2023 Membership, the allocated seat has been held in this section of the website (Until seat renewal deadline of December 4th).
See everything that Somerset County Cricket Club has to offer and have a look at what’s new for 2024!