The first stop on our tour is Joseph Allured, one of the very first cricketers in the town.
Using the Cemetery Map
Organised cricket first began in Southport in 1859 with the formation of Southport Cricket Club on a ground in York Road near Birkdale station.
There were a phenomenal number of private schools in the Sixties in Southport, most of which played cricket, to the considerable benefit of the local clubs.
The first President was Reverend Carlisle, Headmaster of the Royal Balmoral School, and another local Schoolmaster William Bland Leeming of Christ Church, was a useful all-rounder and captained the side for the first few years.
Cricket Clubs were essentially gathering places for people to socialise with friends and family and network with business contacts. They were different to other sorts of Social clubs. Where else could the working class man and the professional meet and participate in a common interest that bound them together?
The first match was played on 2nd July 1859 against Preston.
Joseph wasn’t just a good cricketer, he was also very famous locally for Curling, which became incredibly popular when the Glacarium was built on Lord Street at the end of the 1870s.
When he wasn’t Curling, or playing cricket, he often acted as an Umpire instead, a crucial role.
He was a cabinet maker by trade and he passed away age 62 at home on Manchester Road leaving behind a widow, a son and two daughters.
We’ll mention Mr Allured again in a little while.
As cricket grew in popularity more clubs were formed. ‘The Alexandra Cricket Club’ was born in 1863…also on Manchester Road.
The original Southport club disbanded in 1865 probably due to the building work in Birkdale which was rapidly expanding and they re-established themselves in 1866…also on Manchester Road.
On this tour we’re going to look at Cricket, Rugby and Association Football and we’re off to find a man with strong links to Cricket and Rugby.