The club was formed as Commercial Travellers so far as we know during the 1930s. Originally it was made up of, as the name suggests, Commercial Travellers: “people who travel to different places trying to persuade people to buy their company’s products or services”. Friendly matches were played against other local teams.
This lasted into the 1970s when league cricket began in Hampshire. Travellers were not founder members of the Hampshire League in 1973 but joined a couple of years later. At this time the club name was changed to Southampton Travellers. By now the club was dominated by people working in the property world. The linked evening team was called ‘Auctioneers and Surveyors’.
The club struggled in the league at first and new players were needed. A link was made with the university and this became a good source of players for the club from 1977 onwards. As the club grew stronger a second team was formed in the 80s and the home ground moved from the Sports Centre to Lordshill. During the Sports Centre years the club’s post match venue of choice was the Old Thatch pub on Romsey Road near the Winchester Road junction.
On the field the club has largely had one team at the top of the regional league structure and one nearer the lower end. There was a season in County 4 in the 80s but one problem with relying on the University link was that strong players would join during post graduate work but then move on.
Recently the university link has weakened, probably because of the demise of ‘Academics’ – the university staff team which played Sunday friendlies and was the usual place where potential players, who were looking to play competitive cricket, were identified.
Our current teams are drawn from across the Southampton community. Some players have been with the club for 30 or more years but we welcome new people every season.
It is good that at this point in our history our first team is holding its own in the County leagues. We have come a long way since those 1930’s commercial travellers started the club!