Street cricket has been played across London since the rules of the game were formulated.
is a street near to the Oval cricket ground in Kennington and children in the area have long been fonder of the game than in other areas of London. This photo was taken in 1953.
In street cricket, there is no real rule book. Tennis balls are often used because it is lighter. A dustbin, empty crates, broom sticks or canes serve as stumps at the batsman's end while a piece of brick or a pipe serves as the stumps at the bowler's end. When they are no stumps, the players assume the stumps to be at an imaginary height (usually above the waist level of the batsman). This leads to many arguments as to whether the ball would have hit the stumps or not had the stumps been there for real.
The size of the road or traffic does not hinder the progress of a game; children often wait for the traffic to clear before playing consecutive deliveries.
A very important rule that is almost always used in street cricket is one pitch catch
or pitch catch
. This rule declares the batsman as out if a fielder catches the ball after it has pitched once after the batsman hits it. One pitch could mean bouncing off the ground/wall/tree etc. This rule typically puts the batsman at tremendous disadvantage/pressure. So, many times this rule is tweaked to one pitch one hand
. This means that the fielder has to use only one hand in catching a ball after it has bounced once; if the fielder uses both hands to catch a ball after it has pitched once, then the batsman is declared not out. In London, this rule is often known as one hand, one bounce
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Street cricket in Montford Place near the Oval 1953
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Ashmole Street, SW8 Ashmole Street was named after Elias Ashmole, a noted 17th century antiquarian, who lived near here Bedlam Mews, SE11 Bedlam Mews is one of the streets of London in the SE11 postal area. Bedser Close, SE11 Bedser Close is named for Alec Bedser, widely regarded as one of the best English cricketers of the 20th century, by association with the nearby Oval Cricket Ground. Black Prince Road, SE11 Black Prince Road’s origin is derived from Edward of Woodstock (Edward the Black Prince) who lived in Lambeth during the 1300. Brixton Road, SW9 Brixton Road leads from the Oval at Kennington to Brixton, where it forms the high street. Brook Drive, SE11 Brook Drive is one of the streets of London in the SE11 postal area. Burton Road, SW9 Burton Road is one of the streets of London in the SW9 postal area. Cancell Road, SW9 Cancell Road is one of the streets of London in the SW9 postal area. Carroun Road, SW8 Carroun Road is one of the streets of London in the SW8 postal area. Chester Way, SE11 Chester Way is one of the streets of London in the SE11 postal area. Clapham Road, SW8 Clapham Road is one of the streets of London in the SW8 postal area. Courtenay Square, SE11 Courtenay Square is one of a number of local streets with houses built in a neo-Georgian style. Cowley Road, SW9 Cowley Road is one of the streets of London in the SW9 postal area. Cranmer Road, SW9 Cranmer Road is one of the streets of London in the SW9 postal area. Denny Crescent, SE11 Denny Crescent was built as part of a small estate by the Duchy of Cornwall in 1925. Evesham Walk, SW9 Evesham Walk is one of the streets of London in the SW9 postal area. Gosling Way, SW9 Gosling Way is one of the streets of London in the SW9 postal area. Groveway, SW9 Groveway is one of the streets of London in the SW9 postal area. Harleyford Road, SE11 Harleyford Road was named after local leaseholders the Claytons, whose country house was Harleyford Manor, Buckinghamshire. Hercules Road, SE1 Hercules Road runs north from Lambeth Road near Lambeth Palace, on the site of Penlington Place. Hillyard Street, SW9 Anne Hillyard was the widow of a clergyman who helped fund Stockwell Orphanage in 1867. Hurley Road, SE11 Hurley Road is one of the streets of London in the SE11 postal area. Jonathan Street, SE11 Jonathan Street commemorates Jonathan Tyers who was the owner of the Vauxhall Gardens during the 1700s. Lambeth Road, SE1 Lambeth Road is one of the streets of London in the SE1 postal area. Lambeth Walk, SE1 Lambeth Walk was the site of two wells, the road to which slowly became lined with houses. Lilac Place, SE11 Lilac Place is one of the streets of London in the SE11 postal area. Lorn Road, SW9 Lorn Road is one of the streets of London in the SW9 postal area. Marylee Way, SE11 Marylee Way is one of the streets of London in the SE11 postal area. Morat Street, SW9 Morat street runs north to south between Liberty Street to the west and Hackford Road to the east. Opal Street, SE11 Opal Street is one of the streets of London in the SE11 postal area. Pratt Walk, SE11 Pratt Walk is one of the streets of London in the SE11 postal area. Prima Road, SW9 Prima Road runs from Clapham Road to Brixton Road and faces St Mark’s Church. Printers Road, SW9 Printers Road marks the former use of the road before its construction - a print works. Royal Street, SE1 Royal Street is one of the streets of London in the SE1 postal area. Sail Street, SE11 Sail Street is one of the streets of London in the SE11 postal area. Studios, N1 Studios is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area. Trigon Road, SW8 Trigon Road is one of the streets of London in the SW8 postal area. Tyers Street, SE11 Tyers Street is named for Jonathan Tyers who was the eighteenth century owner of the Vauxhall Gardens. Urlwin Walk, SW9 Urlwin Walk is one of the streets of London in the SW9 postal area. Usborne Mews, SW8 Usborne Mews is one of the streets of London in the SW8 postal area. Walcot Square, SE11 Walcot Square’s late Georgian terraced houses surround a private triangular garden owned and maintained by the Walcot Foundation. Walnut Tree Walk, SE11 At the beginning of the 18th century Walnut Tree Walk was a lane leading out into the fields from Lambeth.
Kennington was a royal manor in the ancient parish of St Mary, Lambeth in the county of Surrey and was the administrative centre of the parish from 1853.
The presence of a tumulus, and other significant geographical features locally, suggest that the area was regarded in ancient times as a sacred place of assembly. The manor of Kennington was divided from the manor of Vauxhall by the River Effra, a tributary of the River Thames. A smaller river, the River Neckinger, ran through the northern part of Kennington, approximately where Brook Drive
is today. Both rivers have now been diverted into underground culverts.
Harthacnut, King of Denmark and England, died at Kennington in 1041. Harold Godwinson took the Crown the day after the death of Edward the Confessor at Kennington; he is said to have placed it upon his own head. King Henry III held his court here in 1231; and, according to Matthew Paris, in 1232, Parliament was held at Kennington.
Edward III gave the manor of Kennington to his oldest son Edward, the Black Prince in 1337, and the prince then built a large royal palace in the traingle formed by Kennington Lane
, Sancroft Street
and Cardigan Street
, near to Kennington Cross. Geoffrey Chaucer was employed at Kennington as Clerk of Works in 1389 and was paid 2 shillings. The Duchy of Cornwall still maintains a substantial property portfolio within the area.
The eighteenth century saw considerable development in Kennington. At the start of the century, the area was essentially a village on the southern roads into London, with a common on which public executions took place. The development of Kennington came about through access to London, which happened when, in 1750, Westminster Bridge was constructed. In 1751, Kennington Road
was built from Kennington Common (as it then was; now Kennington Park
) to Westminster Bridge. Houses along it were soon built.
On 10 May 1768, at approximately the site of the Imperial War Museum today, the Massacre of St George's Fields took place. A riot started, because of the detention at the King's Bench Prison of the radical, John Wilkes – he had written an article in which he attacked King George III. The Riot Act was read, and soldiers fired into the crowd, killing seven people.
By the 1770s, the development of Kennington into its modern form was well underway. Terraces of houses were built on the east side of Kennington Road
and Cleaver Square
(then called Prince's Square) was laid out in 1788. In 1796, a house in West Square became the first station in the optical telegraph, or semaphore line, between the Admiralty in London, and Chatham and Deal in Kent, and during the Napoleonic Wars transmitted messages between Whitehall and the Royal Navy.
The modern street pattern of Kennington was formed by the early nineteenth century. The village had become a semi-rural suburb with grand terraced houses. In 1852, at the initiative of the minister of St. Mark's Church, the Common was enclosed and became the first public park in south London.
The Oval cricket ground was leased to Surrey County Cricket Club from the Duchy of Cornwall in 1845, and the adjacent gasometers (themselves an international sporting landmark) were constructed in 1853. Proximity to central London was key to the development of the area as a residential suburb and it was incorporated into the metropolitan area of London in 1855.
Dense building and the carving-up of large houses for multiple occupation caused Kennington to be very seriously over-populated in 1859, when diphtheria appeared
(recorded by Karl Marx in 'Das Kapital').
Kennington station was opened as Kennington (New Street)
in 1890 by the City of London and Southwark Subway.
On 15 October 1940, the large trench air-raid shelter beneath Kennington Park
was struck by a 50lb bomb. The number of people killed remains unknown; it is believed by local historians that 104 people died. 48 bodies were recovered.
Lambeth Council designated much of Kennington a Conservation Area in 1968, the boundary of which was extended in 1979 and in 1997. Lambeth Council's emphasis on conserving and protecting Kennington's architectural heritage and enhancing its attractive open spaces for recreation and leisure is illustrated by restoration of the centre of the listed Cleaver Square
in the last decade of the twentieth century.