WHAT became the East Lancashire Cricket Club started as a military-based private sports organisation on Corporation Park in the 1860s.

The Blackburn Alexandra Cricket Club, nick-named 'the cuff and collar brigade', changed its name in1890 and began playing league matches..

In 1913 the East Lancashire Cricket Club were runners-up in the Lancashire League and had big attendances at its Alexandria Meadows ground.

In the early 1900’s banking had been created around the pitch so that in winter it could be flooded for a public ice-rink.

Blackburn Rovers also leased the ground for some of its earlier matches before moving to Ewood Park and a famous clash against Darwen F.C. at the Meadows led to major supporter clashes which caused the match to be abandoned.

For the first time in the club’s history they won the Lancashire League Championship on Saturday, September 20 1919, by two points, from Nelson.

They repeated this feat in 1942 when the deciding match with Enfield provided one of the most thrilling matches ever played at 'The “Meadows'.

A history of the club by Mike Sumner of the Cotton Town local history website chronicles growing success and records that in 1949 the club won both Lancashire League Championships and the Worsley Cup.

By 1960 its first team had been in 13 previous finals and had won seven .

In 1962, the new Meadow’s Pavilion,, an almost complete reconstruction of the 19th Century original with a modernised frontage, improved facilities and a handsome ballroom'

In 1965, there was an extension with a new members bar and lounge named the Hornby Lounge after A N 'Monkey' Hornby (a club member and captain of Lancashire and England Cricket teams) who with his brother Sir Harry had much to do with its formation.