The men's and women's clubs amalgamate
[ St Albans Centennial Book (1905-2005) ]
In 1975 negotiations were opened to amalgamate with the St Albans Women's Cricket Club. Following a trend, the two clubs decided on a trial association during which the women would have the use of net practices and club facilities. The knot was officially tied at a special meeting in the spring of 1977.
Established in 1937, St Albans had won more women's championships than any other club at the time of the merger and in its heyday fielded two evenly selected senior teams which often keenly contested the title.
Its formation could be traced back to the demise of a High School Old Girls club. Of the three enthusiasts, two lived in St Albans - Helen Steere and Joan Stevens - and wanted to continue playing. They joined with Peg Hooper and the naming of the fledgling club as St Albans was not difficult, with Malvern Park to be the home ground in that suburb. It remained the club's base until the late 1960s.
The feats of legendary Phyllis Blackler are interwoven into the history of St Albans women's cricket. She was a veritable female W G Grace, her representative career spanning an incredible 35 years and including tours to Australia in 1938 and 1958 and England in 1954 and 1966. Blackler's highest Test score of 68 was achieved on that farewell tour; in 1946/47 she had made Canterbury's first double century; and she bowled with success at all levels.
When Ann McKenna captained Canterbury against England in 1968/69 she had seven club-mates alongside her. McKenna and Janice Stead, who had toured England in 1966, played in the Tests against the tourists, while Stead, Jackie Lord, Denise Jelley, Sue Rattray, Vicki Burtt (née McGregor) and Sheree Harris earned international honours in the 1970s.