History

The village of Philadelphia was named by Newbottle colliery owner John Douthwaite Neasham as a result of the American Revolutionary War (1776 - 1783) to commemorate the British capture of the American city of the same name.

The village cricket ground is named "Bunker Hill" after another famous battle in that war.

The exact date of the official opening of Philadelphia Cricket Club does not appear to be documented anywhere. However, numerous historical committee meetings refer to the number of years since the club was formed and from this evidence we can deduce that the year was 1868.

Today, the ground is a neat, compact, attractive ground with a distinctive slope. On a sunny day watching a game of cricket from the bank with a view over to Penshaw monument can be a very pleasant experience. If you want a sun tan, just sit on the pavilion side on a hot day and you will be roasted.

Although the Shop Row background has changed little, the remainder of the ground has altered considerably in the last twenty five years with the building of a new estate and a nursing home. Over one hunderd years ago the original pavilion stood on the bank in the top right corner, Behind the boundary wall was an abattoir and a buiding known as the "choppy house" where the hay was "chopped up" to feed the pit ponies that were brought to be trained to haul the coal trucks. 

League cricket was first introduced into the county due to the formation of the Durham County Senior League in 1891 of which we, "the Pit Laddies", were a founder member in the northern division of the league.

In December 1893, it was agreed to enlarge the ground as the accommodation for spectators was not sufficient.

In the same year, the club was the first to produce a "fixture card".

In March 1894, the extension of the south and west boundaries of the ground was completed (44 yards and 36 yards respectively) and the embankment in the south west corner was levelled, all at a cost of £150. This increased the ground capacity to 6,000 spectators.

In September 1894, nearly 2,500 spectators attended a game between a team of 16 ladies and a team of 11 gents. The gents had to field and bowl left handed and bat using pick shafts.

In June 1895, the club hosted its first county match when Durham played Lincolnshire.

In 1903, the Durham Senior League was created with Philadelphia being a founder member.

In May 1924, the opening of the new pavilion, which cost £1,000, took place. The pavilion was located in the bottom right hand corner of the ground. It had three sections, i.e. two changing rooms and a tea room that eventually became a groundsman's room. For social occasions, the dividers could be folded back revealing a fine "long room" like the one at Lords!

In 1957, the club purchased a prefabricated building and a small bar was installed. This was extended with a more permanent extension in the mid sixties.

In 1969, the club celebrated its centenary.

The 1970s proved to be the most successful in the club's history with the 1st team winning the league no less than 6 times.

In 1973, the scoreboard, which was located in the top left hand corner of the ground, was replaced.

Arsonists were blamed for a blaze in 1995 which wrecked the cricket pavilion built in 1924. The pavilion had to be demolished. Four years later, in October 1998, the club decided to go ahead with a new pavilion and the official opening ceremony took place on Sunday, 13th June 1999.

In 2001, the whole clubhouse had a complete makeover with the prefab (which had been used as temporary changing rooms between 1995 and 1999) giving way to a brick building with new windows and patio doors. The club then had two distinct rooms, the bar lounge and the function room.

In December 2001, the club resigned from the Durham Senior League to join the North East Premier League.

The club returned to the Durham Senior League for the 2006 season which also was its 100th season in the league.

The Durham Senior League ended its existence at the end of the 2012 season and was replaced by the Durham Cricket League when 26 clubs from three separate leagues were combined into one division. For the 2014 season, one division was split into two with the first division consisting of 14 teams and the second of 11 teams.

In 2015, the name "Community" was added to the club's name. Success in gaining charity status opened new revenue streams and areas were identified for improvement. A new kitchen, accessible and upgraded toilets, plus external ramping led the way in preparation for the club's 150th year anniversary celebrations. The club also held its first beer and musical festival.

In the autumn of 2016, the square was dug up, levelled, reseeded and a new drainage system installed. Also, the scoreboard had a makeover and an electronic board was installed. 

In 2017, "choppy house corner" was cleared of years of rubbish and grass cuttings. Now landscaped, it looks much better.

In 2018, to coincide with our special 150th anniversary, a complete refurbishment of the entire clubhouse was undertaken.

In 2019, the 1st XI finished second in the Durham Cricket League. Due to the league winners not having the Clubmark accreditation, we were promoted to the North East Premier League First Division.