The club was officially formed on Monday 13th April 1908, after a local meeting was held to discuss the formation of cycling and cricket clubs. At this meeting our first committee was elected:
- President - Mr P.Taylor
- Secretary - Mr R.Wilson
- Committee - Messrs Mears, Myles, McGilchrist, Carmichael, Wilson.
Formation Notice, Falkirk Herald, April 1908
At the time there were many local clubs including: Stenhousemuir, Bonnybridge, Castings, Denny, Grangemouth, Stirling, Linlithgow County, Carron Amateurs, Airth Castle, Clackmannan County, Thornbank, Kennet, Alloa Corinthians, Falkirk Caledonia, Stanley House, Alloa St. Johns, Stirling District Asylum, and Laurieston.
Other significant events from 1908: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1908
The newly formed club played its first few games on the ground at the famous Blairlodge School (now Polmont YOI). The school was very innovative for it’s time and was one of the first ever to use electric lighting. More details on the school and the area http://www.falkirklocalhistorysociety.co.uk/home/index.php?id=32
The 'great old man' of Scottish Cricket T.S. Elgin went to school at Blairlodge and started his cricket there. All of the teachers were top sportsmen, with Rugby internationals and top cricketers, and in his book he relates to an occasion when the school team played a Scotland XI, apparently declaring at 700 for 0.
The first recorded fixture was against Mr Henry Drummond’s XI at Blairlodge, on 27th June 1908.
Westquarter & Redding C.C – 26 all out (J.Myles 11)
Mr Henry Drummond’s XI – 45 (W.Wood 11)
Blairlodge, The Beginning
The club then moved to a ground described as "between the dykes'. This was in the area of St Margaret’s between the present school and the Meadowbank Health Centre, (now the site of Polmont Library.) The club eventually secured tenancy of land at Blairlodge, and club members worked together to dig out a Square, and to lay the drainage network.
The construction of the square was supervised by Charlie Benholm, who played professionally for West Lothian C.C at the time, and was top of the range for its time using “Nottinghamshire Red Marl Clay.” The work was completed in time for the club to start playing on the ground just prior to the First World War.
Blairlodge had been rented to the club for many years from the owner of the house on the Redding side of the ground, but shortly after the club re-formed after World War 2 he informed the club that he wanted to sell the ground. This was bad news to the club, as the sum required was in excess of £7,000 (close to £180k today) and they simply had no funds or ability to buy the ground at the price asked for.
Over the next year they attempted to raise funds, with jumble sales, raffles, dances etc., and raised almost £1,000, which was a large sum at that time, but still considerably short of the owner’s asking price. However, in 1949 Dr Erskine came to the club’s aid, contributing the balance to allow the purchase of the ground. Club president Johnny Richardson, and secretary Johnny Myles, made it their objective to repay Dr. Erskine in full, which they did in instalments over the next 7 years.
The bulk of the funds were raised from rent from a group of ladies who used the clubhouse for Whist during the week, in addition to the work of the committee (Myles, Richardson and Jim Hunter) in securing grants from Local Authorities. At the time the membership fee for adults was £1.25 per annum (too high for some of the members) and the club received a yearly total fee income of around £30. At the time the cost of a decent cricket bat was around £10, and balls cost £3.
In 1956 a ceremony was held in the Blairlodge clubhouse, where Johnny Myles presented Dr. Erskine with the final cheque of £1,000 to complete the repayment. In return, the Dr presented Richardson and Myles with a gold watch each to mark their efforts.
In 1960 the club held a dinner to thank Johnny Myles for his contribution to the club since it's inception, which saw him excel as a fast bowler and prolific batsman in early years, on one occasion taking 5 wickets in 5 deliveries. As the years went on he turned to spin, and then finished his playing years as an accomplished wicket keeper, playing his final games at the age of 70. Mr Myles was also a driving force behind the scenes, taking on the role of groundsman and secretary during the club's formative years.
In 1980 the club entered into partnership with local rivals Castings (who originated from the Falkirk Iron Company.) This saw combined XI's take part in East League Division 2 and the East Grades. However, this partnership came to an end in 1982 when Castings folded.
Although Westquarter & Redding haven’t produced a famous cricketer to date, they have produced a European Cup winning footballer! During his early years with Falkirk FC, Gary Gillespie turned out for W.R.C.C regularly, playing as a top order batsman and occasional bowler.
From Blairlodge to Bailliefields
After unsuccessful attempts at gaining planning permission for a new clubhouse at Blairlodge, (with Falkirk Council's demands to build a road adjacent to the ground proving the major barrier to progress.) The club eventually struck a deal with home builders Wimpy in October 1995 to sell Blairlodge and buy nearby Haugh Farm. This would become the ground now known as Bailliefields. As with Blairlodge, the construction of Bailliefields was a club effort, with much of the work being carried out by the players. The ground was named in memory of long-time player and club treasurer, Tom Baillie, who passed away shortly after the ground was completed.
From 1995-97 while the groundwork was being carried out at Bailliefields the club played its games at Little Kerse (BP Grangemouth) and the first completed game at Bailliefields was on 6th June 1999 when they defeated Drummond, and remained unbeaten at home until June 2001.
Over the years the club has had it's success, winning the Falkirk Herald Trophy in 1963 and 1975, reaching the Small Club's cup in and have won promotion within the East Leagues on many occasions, with the most recent success being two successive promotions in 2006 and 2007.