ROCKHAMPTON are preparing to host an eight-team sixes tournament on Sunday as the club’s belated 150th anniversary celebrations continue.

The Voneus Village Cup Lord’s finalists of 2013 reached the superb landmark last season only for the start of the party to be delayed by a covid hangover.

But Rockhampton have made up for lost time this year by already holding a quiz night and a race evening, while four more major social events are on the summer calendar along with a gala dinner taking place at the Seat Unique Stadium towards the end of September.

Chairman Ian Williams said: “We were still getting back to normal last year after the covid disruption, hence the decision to put things back a bit.

“But the socials that have already taken place this season were very successful, and we’re now looking forward to a great day of sixes.

“After that, our four Saturday teams will be responsible for organising an event each during the summer so there’s lots to look forward to.”

On the pitch, Rockhampton are in a rebuilding phase after the first team dropped out of WEPL and back into the Gloucestershire County League.

Williams added: “We had a very special group of players, most of whom were local and grew up together, who took us to Lord’s.

“Three are still in the first team and three are now in the 2nds so we are rebuilding, and the plan is to come back bigger and stronger thanks to our junior section.

“We’re putting a lot of time and effort into developing our youngsters and giving them as many opportunities as possible, and we’re grateful to (Gloucestershire’s) Jared Warner for all the work he does with our youth teams, passing on that first-class experience.”

It’s hard to think of another cricket club in the county that has undergone a transformation as dramatic as that of Rockhampton.

Until the mid 1980s, the club were a Sunday-friendly outfit with a postage-stamp ground ... a far cry from the magnificent ‘new’ facility Rockhampton moved to in 1996 and which Gloucestershire use for 2nd team and T20 warm-up matches.

Michael Vaughan, Mark Wood, Marcus Trescothick, Mark Ramprakash and Haseeb Hammed are amongst a very long list of star names who have been spotted out in the middle or on the boundary edge in recent seasons. And the old ground is still in use for senior matches and junior games.

aseeb Hameed

Williams added: “It feels as if we are in a good place right now, on and off the field. As well as our four Saturday sides, you’ll find more than 100 youngsters up here on a Friday night taking part in All Stars, Dynamos and junior practice.

“And we’re very proud of being a family club ... recently I counted four families here for a social who have been involved with us for three generations!”

The sixes action on Sunday starts at 10.30am. Group one features Rockhampton, Old Down, Cam and Oldbury-on-Severn with Bishopston, Alveston, Thornbury and Marshfield in the second pool.

The event runs alongside the club’s annual cider and ale festival. Entry is free and includes live music.