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Celebrating 100 Years

Albert Kent who had been appointed the manager of Hindhead Stores in 1898, became secretary of Grayshott Cricket Club, shortly afterwards and organised its first dinner. It was to lead to the birth of the I'Anson Cup competition. The dinner was held in the Fox and Pelican public house in November 1900, and Edward Blakeway I'Anson, a vice-president of the club and member of a family long associated with Grayshott, was in the chair.

During the speeches A E Kent suggested that if someone would be good enough to offer a cup for competition among the surrounding villages, it would encourage the local men to practise. There was a shrewd idea as to whom that 'someone' would be, and when, towards the end of the evening, the chairman offered to give a cup there was prolonged applause.

L T Pope, in a Cup for Cricket, his 1951 history of the first 50 years of the competition, wrote of I'Anson: "His family's connections with Grayshott began in 1861, when his father bought an estate there and the son conceived a love for that village which has been described as almost a passion. For cricket he had to go further afield and was a member of the Headley Club, which had been formed well back in the 19th century. When he gave the cup his playing days were over, but his devotion to the game remained."

The decision to start the competition was made at a meeting at the Fox and Pelican on January 23rd 1901, when the clubs represented were Blackmoor, Churt, Grayshott, Headley and Linchmere. Liphook declined an invitation to attend. A E Kent, who was a good all-rounder, was appointed secretary, an office to be held continuously until 1924.

The competition started in the following May, and in August Linchmere and Grayshott, both unbeaten, met in the deciding match, Linchmere winning by an innings to become the first holders.

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