Earliest recorded match on the Common 25th July 1794 starting at ten o'clock followed by a set lunch known as a 'good ordinary'. Advertisement clearly suggests that cricket on Southborough Common was well established by that date.
Runs were recorded by ' scoring' or marking knife cuts on wood. A large 'notch' marked every tenth run and 'notching' was the natural method for cricketers in Kent where hop-pickers were paid by results according to the tally of hop baskets notched up.
Difficult to establish the exact age of the Club but an etching was found in the Hand & Sceptre of cricket on the Common dated 1800 and so the 150th anniversary of the Club was celebrated in1950 with Godfrey Evans, the famous Kent and England wicketkeeper, the principal guest speaker.
Our most historic opponents are probably Meopham, who Southborough played in1821 and have been regular visitors into the 21st century.
Southborough is world famous for cricket ball making. In the middle of the 19th century it was a centre for 'Quiltwinders' who made the cricket balls. For example Thomas Twort and Philip Wickham ball makers in Speldhurst Road in Southborough exhibited their products at the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace. Although a V2 bomb during World War II destroyed the Twort's wooden factory in Park Road, it was rebuilt (and I remember visiting it as a youngster!) and production was only halted finally in 1978 by the proliferation of imported balls, which destroyed the industry in Southborough permanently.
Travel to matches was improved in the 1850's by the development of the steam engine.
A ladies cricket match is reported as being 100 years before 1928 between eleven old ladies of Southborough of eleven young ladies of Tonbridge for three bottles of gin and three pounds of the best gunpowder (most expensive) tea.