WONERSH
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HISTORY SOCIETY

WONERSH RECREATION GROUND

The road leading to Great Tangley runs through a common that, during the early 1900s, had a cricket pitch for the Liberals at one end, a pitch for the Conservatives at the other. There was also a football ground near the Conservatives’ pitch and a nine-hole golf course that was in use until well after the First World War. Cricket was also played on the Platt – the small common beyond the Bottle & Basket (then an off-licence) and opposite New Barn. Those who remember our present recreation ground before the Second World War recall that it was swampy, full of mosquitoes, sometimes covered with a damp mist, and with no proper footpath.” “it was often a shocking site, as so much rubbish was left on it.“ “the alders that grew on it were so tall that for much of the year you couldn’t see the cottages on the far side.” And that “children who played near the little stream that ran across it, parallel to the road, went home covered in mud”. Funding for the new recreation ground, a Second World War memorial, came from a Ministry of Education grant, a sum set aside from the Wonersh Victory Fund, local fund raising activities and an appeal sent to every Wonersh householder. In the summer of 1953 the first cricket match was played on the new Wonersh ground. The first ball was bowled by the late Percy Rees, President of the Cricket Club and Chairman of the Parish Council. Early facilities included a tent, former Nissan hut and storage shed (from 1953) and:
a second-hand cricket pavilion purchased from Ripley Cricket Club (from 1959)
a new wooden building (from 1974 - later badly damaged by fire in 1994)
the current pavilion built in 1999 to mark the Millenium
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