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Can you help us find out more about the Cumbrian pioneers of women’s cricket?

2 weeks ago 1 min read

The search is on to find out information about the Cumbrian cricketing trailblazers captured in a hundred year old picture.

The search is on to find out information about the Cumbrian cricketing trailblazers captured in a hundred year old picture.

The image of the Ulverston Ladies cricket team was captured in 1924, long before the surge in popularity of women’s sports today, at a time when attitudes were against them.

Last year Fibrus and Cumbria Cricket joined forces to boost women and girls’ cricket in the county and now they want to find out more about the amazing women in the photograph in the hope that it will further boost women’s cricket in the region.

Owain Oxenham, non-executive director, at Cumbria Cricket said: “We would love to know more about these women cricketers from one hundred years ago.

“Today, women’s cricket is finally getting the recognition it deserves and we are working hard to give women and girls in Cumbria the opportunities earlier generations didn’t enjoy.

“The photograph reminds us that there have always been talented sportswomen in the county, they are an inspiration for us all.”

Chris Collins, Head of Network Build and Maintenance, Cumbria, at Fibrus, said: “The photograph is really uplifting to see. We are supporting Cumbrian sports for women and girls, like the new Fibrus 100 girls cricket league which we have sponsored.

“I enjoyed attending the launch of the league and seeing how much the girl’s enjoyed their cricket and playing the team. It would be great to see if interest in this photo could give another boost to women’s cricket in Cumbria.”

The photo has been a talking point for players at Ulverston, including 12-year-old Milly Fletcher who plays for the club and the Southern Power team in the Fibrus 100 league.

“I love playing for the teams – I can’t wait for the new season to start.

“It’s interesting to see how popular cricket was for women in Ulverston 100 years ago,” she said.

One of the trailblazers, sat in the centre of the bottom row in the 1924 photograph, was team captain Mary Brooks.

Anne Millard, a keen sportswomen and current member of the Ulverston Comets ladies cricket team, is a former nurse and knew Mary from her time at Ulverston Hospital.

Mary’s daughter Shelley Hudson gave Anne a copy of the photograph in 1982 shortly before Anne and her colleagues won a hospital cricket tournament for women.

Anne, 68, said: “Shelley gave it to me because she knew we were sports mad. Mary was a patient of ours, which is how we got to know the family. She had been a senior nurse and a very clever theatre sister. She was wonderful.”

The photograph was taken two years before the national Women’s Cricket Association was founded as women pushed forward in the sport.

But at the time sports were considered the preserve of men and there was little to no funding or support.

However, last year, with England’s Lionesses already triumphant, history was made when the Women’s Ashes was staged at the same time as the men’s, capturing a mass audience.

And the first Cumbrian girls’ cricket league, the Fibrus 100, was launched by Cumbria Cricket. It is sponsored by Fibrus Broadband which is supporting community sports across the county including sponsoring Workington Town Rugby League Club’s first women’s team.

Cumbria Cricket also launched a new women’s softball cricket league last year.

In addition to the Ulverston Comets ladies team, Ulverston Cricket Club also has an all-girls team, the Rockets.

  • If you have any information about the women please contact Graeme Dodds, Women & Girls Pathway Lead at Cumbria Cricket [email protected]

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