An exhibition celebrating 200 years of cricket in Emsworth has opened to the public.
The exhibition at Emsworth Museum, in North Street, features some of Emsworth Cricket Club’s most prized possessions, and tells the story of how the sport has developed in the town.
The club is thought to be one of the oldest in Hampshire, and although 1811 is the earliest documented date of a match in which ECC played, there were earlier matches involving ‘gentlemen of Emsworth’, in games against the Army and Navy, and neighbouring villages.
The launch of the exhibition came with a surprise visit by Havant MP, and Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts.
He showed great interest in the exhibition, which is on until July 31, having heard about it while at a neighbouring fete.
Self-confessed cricket nut and first team player, Lee Gray carried out the research and organised the memorabilia.
“I have been working on it since April,” he said.
“We have found out a lot of information, it’s good to know the club could have made an impact on cricket in the area and in the south in general.”
President of the club and former player, Dougie Dunn said: “It’s amazing what we have found out.
“We are not 100 per cent sure when we started, we know about 1811.”
The club has had a number of famous players, including author PG Wodehouse.
The first match in Emsworth took place against Hambledon, which Emsworth won by 32 runs.
The museum is open from 10.30am-4.30pm on Saturdays and Bank Holidays, and 2.30pm- 4.30pm on Fridays in August and all Sundays.