The Southend Cricket Festival had been a fixture in the Southend Events calendar for 105 years.
It was started in 1906, and it was originally staged at Southchurch Park every year except for the war years until the last festival there in 2004.
The 2005 Festival was staged at Garon Park and continued there until 2011 when on Tuesday 27th September the member’s board voted to scrap festival cricket in the south of the county concentrating all cricket at Chelmsford or Colchester.
The Southend Cricket Festival drew 4800 people to the three day event whilst the Chelmsford Festival drew only 3000, the Southend Cricket Festival made a clear profit of £60,000 between 2008—2011 whilst Colchester made a loss over the same period.
Over the years the Cricket festival ran it saw the first visit after the war of the mighty Australian team lead by the legendary Sir Don Bradman, the team racked up a world record on Saturday 15th May 1948 when they smacked Essex for a staggering 721 in just one day. The three day match ran over 15th, 16th & 17th May with Australia winning by an innings and 451 runs. In the Essex team that day was the late Trevor Bailey who also captained England.
The Australians were to return to Southend for another three day match in 1964, the match was on Saturday 22nd, Sunday 24th & Monday 25th August, this time Essex were the victors winning by six wickets.
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