West Chiltington and Thakeham are two neighbouring villages in the Horsham District of West Sussex. Both are spread over reasonably wide areas.
18TH CENTURY TO 2000
Prior to the 2001 season West Chiltington Cricket Club and Thakeham Cricket Club existed as separate cricket clubs.
Although West Chiltington Cricket Club was not officially formed until 1921, the first recorded game goes back to the 18th Century when teams from Horsham and High Chiltington played on Hurston Common (Hurston Common could well now be West Sussex Golf Club). West Chilt CC has officially always played home games at the Recreation Ground in Mill Road.
WCCC proceeded in a leisurely manner throughout the 20th Century playing mostly friendlies including some notable fixtures such as the Cricket Society's first ever game in 1949 and inaugural fixtures against the Press Club who would later become the Fleet Street Strollers.
Images below from 1940, 1955, 1973 (against the Press Club) and 1985.
There is evidence of the Club playing in the Guardian Invitation League in 1985, which latterly became the Worthing Cricket League in 1986 and at some point in the late 90s entered into the West Sussex League (WSL), although when precisely remains unclear.
Some former WCCC matches have been recorded on
It is unclear when Thakeham CC was formed but a team played on the current football field next to the Storrington Road until the 1970s on land owned by what was then Linfield Mushrooms. The dilapidated pavilion was not actually removed until the early 21st Century however and a new ground was built in 2018 in the field beyond where the old ground was situated. This now serves as WCTCC's 'second' ground.
The two clubs merged in October 2000 at the WCCC AGM. Just prior to this WCCC had roughly just 20 playing members (including several Thakeham residents) although still managed to play league cricket and Sunday friendlies. In their final season WCCC were in Division 2 of the old WSL.
The below images represent the evolution of the cricket club badge. The addition of the oak leaf in 2001 represents Thakeham village.
2001 TO DATE
Following the merger at the West Chiltington AGM in October 2000, the new club played for several seasons in the old West Sussex League (WSL); initially in Division 2 and then after finishing runners up in 2002, the Club competed at the top of the Division 1 as they began to attract more players. The Club celebrated being crowned champions of the WSL Division 1 in 2006. Rapid progress on and off the field followed quickly.
In 2007 the Club launched a 2nd XI to provide a greater platform for colts to play competitive cricket. A Club XI played a Sussex XI as part of Sussex CC opening batsman Richard Montgomerie’s benefit year.
The following 2008 season, after application, the Club were invited to join the Sussex Invitation Cricket League (SICL), a step up from the WSL, as some 15 clubs had moved from the SICL into the newly expanded Sussex Cricket League (SCL). In 2009 the SICL merged with our former league, the WSL, to become the West Sussex Invitation Cricket League (WSICL) and act as a feeder league for the west side of the SCL. A route to the higher echelons of Sussex cricket was thus opened up! We were 'placed' into Division 3 of this league, having been in Division 2 the previous season.
Developments at the Rec swiftly followed. Sussex CCC beneficiary Murray Goodwin opened our new three lane nets that year in 2009. In 2010 'proper' covers arrived and in 2011 sightscreens were installed. The latter a necessary requirement if we wanted to continue to climb the cricket pyramid.
In 2011 and 2012 the 1st XI achieved back-to-back WSICL Division 3 and Division 2 championships and a 3rd XI was launched, also in 2012.
At the end of the 2013 season, the club dismantled the old cricket pavilion and former Thakeham chairman Phil Goring and son constructed our wonderful new home.
After two consecutive fourth place finishes in Division 1, the Club secured promotion to the Sussex Cricket League by winning the WSICL top division in 2015.
For the first season in the Sussex Cricket League (SCL), the committee took the bold step to appoint a new club coach, the former Hastings player Tim van Noort, to oversee all adult and colts' coaching at the club.
2016 saw consolidation in the SCL for the 1st XI with van Noort also assisting significantly on the playing front. 2017 saw the side retain their Sussex Cricket Foundation six-a-side trophy overcoming Pagham at Hove under the floodlights but more importantly the 1st XI won SCL Division 5 West.
A new 'second' ground and pavilion in Thakeham, Abingworth Meadows, were built in 2018 since when the club has competed in Division 3 West, and in 2020 former Sussex and Scotland professional cricketer Matt Machan was added to our family, taking on the role of Club Coach.
Many who have been involved since pre merger can scarcely believe how much the club has changed. Essentially though we are two small villages and we do try to retain the feel of a village club, not a city side. WCTCC is a Sussex Focus Club with ECB ClubMark accreditation. Fundamentally it remains a great place to play cricket in a friendly environment. If you or your family would like to join the club either to play, in a social capacity or to assist us, please do get in touch.
West Chiltington CC started in the West Sussex League (WSL) although when exactly is unknown.
1999 WSL Division 3
2000 WSL Division 2
2001 WSL Division 2
2002 WSL Division 2 – 2nd
2003 WSL Division 1 – 2nd
2004 WSL Division 1
2005 WSL Division 1 – 2nd
2006 WSL Division 1 - Winners
2007 WSL Division 1
Acceptance into the Sussex Invitation Cricket League (SICL)
2008 SICL Division 2 – 7th
The SICL merged with the WSL and became the West Sussex Invitation Cricket League (WSICL).
2009 WSICL Division 3 – 3rd
2010 WSICL Division 3 – 4th
2011 WSICL Division 3 - Winners
2012 WSICL Division 2 - Winners
2013 WSICL Division 1 – 4th
2014 WSICL Division 1 – 4th
2015 WSICL Division 1 - Winners
Promoted to the county-wide Sussex Cricket League (SCL)
2016 SCL Division 4 – 5th
2017 SCL Division 5 West - Winners
2018 SCL Division 3 West – 6th
2019 SCL Division 3 West – 5th
2020 SCL Division 3 West - season cancelled
A major success since 2005 has been the rise of our youth section. The club began an ambitious youth development policy which continues to be a tremendous success for the local community and despite some other adult acquisitions, it is the prime reason for recent success. Launched by former Sussex coach Brian Jeffries and current president Peter Jones, we now boast a number of ECB accredited coaches for every age group and start coaching at Under 5 for Boys and Girls. In 2010, it was fitting that Brian's grandson Will Jeffries (U13) became the first West Chilt colt to score a ton in the SJCF against Goring. In 2011, Toby Glover (U14) and Callum Wyatt (U17) established themselves in the 1st XI and several colts played for the 2nd XI and Sunday friendly side. The U12s won the Sussex Junior Cricket Festival Shield (SJCF) which was our first ever colts' trophy. Tom Good (U13 captain) made successive tons in the SJCF and Tom Chambers (U16) also made a hundred at Felbridge, having made a ton for the 2nd XI against Wisborough Green earlier that season. In 2013, U16's captain, Jack Elliott-Monday broke the 150 run barrier for a colt for the first time again against Goring in the SJCF Shield putting on 254 unbeaten runs with U14, Eddie Miller. It was Jack's third century of the season and he broke the club appearance record playing 50 games that year. 254 runs was also a new club partnership for any wicket (although that has since been beaten by Reuben Taylor and Luke Tolson's opening partnership against Preston Nomads in the U16 SJCF Bowl in 2016). The Girls section was launched in 2013. Colts and former colts have played in every adult side for a number of years now and are fundamental to the success of the club. We have had both Girls and Boys representing the club in Sussex full and area sides and now generally just compete in the more competitive Bowl rather than Shield festival cricket.