A CLUB which is older than much of the town it is named after is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

Millom Cricket Club was founded in 1870 as rapid industrial and commercial growth knitted together the old village of Holborn Hill and a huddle of new terraces at Newtown to serve the needs of iron ore mines and an ironworks.

As the club’s pioneers played their matches, most of town’s shops,churches, schools and other public buildings were still to be constructed.

The club’s long history will be celebrated throughout the year and events include the visit of former England captain Nasser Hussain as a guest celebrity speaker on April 4.

Today’s pictures from the cricket club’s archive give a taste of how it has played a central life in the story of the town.

Club chairman Steven Gill said: “In 1976 we thought the club was 100years old so when we had a lounge built it was then called the Centenary Lounge.

“We only had records dating back to 1876 but Marshall Mossop managed to find details going back to 1870.”

Mr Mossop’s huge collection of club facts and figures were drawn together with the help of Millom Discovery Centre, Barrow Records Office and digitised papers held by the British Newspaper Archives.

The Millom Cricket Club was formed on May 27 in 1870 as a result of a public meeting held at the Station Hotel.

One of the reasons given for its creation was to keep iron orkers from spending all their leisure time in public houses.

Around 40 people were enrolled as members and the first match - a defeat to Askam - was played on a loaned field in Millom on July 23 in 1870.

Different fields were used until one owned by Joshua King, at what becameSt George’s Road, was established as a permanent home. Parts of the ground later became Holborn Hill School and Millom Palladium. The field was eventually bought from Miss Rosa Constance King in October1937 for £100 and the club bought an adjacent field in July 1950 from the Lowther Estate.

Millom was a founder of the North Lancashire and District Cricket League in September 1891 and hosted the  league’s first match, against Dalton, on May 7 in 1892.

Cash to support the club and pay for the services of a full-time professional player - the first being Mr Jackson of Leyland in 1892 - was raised by fetes, sporting events and an annual gala.

Funds were also found for a wooden pavilion in 1878, replaced in 1906 and again in 1959 with a more substantial brick building.

Millom’s first trophy was the league championship in 1895 and Millom was the first winner of the Higson Cup in 1923.

There have been many fine season’s at St George’s Road but few to match1926 and 1983 when the senior teams went unbeaten