According to Hornsey Club's official history, written by A Dey & D Cox (162 pages in 1970) the club can claim an unbroken existence since 1870. However, in 1842 an "eleven of Hornsey played an eleven of Highgate for £20".
In 1848 Hornsey played in a field opposite the 'Priory' which was owned by the Warner family. (Sir Pelham Warner famous of the body-line tour in Australia was one of our early Presidents). The secretary was F. S. Danvers whose name along with Warner is remembered by street names in the locality.
The official history of the club (if you find a copy) is full of extraordinary detail and information about the early days of the club. It was fully researched by the authors and has a number of interesting photographs. Names of famous cricketers (national and county), records, other Middlesex clubs, and scorecards of matches, make it a delightful if somewhat eccentric read. A summary of the history would reveal that before the end of the 19th century, Hornsey had established itself as one of the leading clubs in London along with clubs like Southgate (one of our oldest adversaries).
In the inter war years Hornsey developed the Tivoli Rd ground with an attractive Edwardian pavilion which later had squash courts added to it. It had a fine tennis section playing on grass courts and regular hockey matches. All matches were 'friendly ' and Hornsey operated a full day and half day teams as well as a second eleven. Competition was fierce.
After World War II, the club continued to play top-level cricket with a constant supply of good young cricketers from the nearby Highgate Public school with whom the club has always had a close connection. In 1959, the club hosted a County Championship match between Middlesex and Hampshire, and a photograph in the history shows the Tivoli Rd ground at its best. The view from the balcony on the old pavilion is superb with Alexandra Palace on the hill and trees all the way up to Muswell Hill.
A major change came in 1969 with the formation of the The Middlesex County Cricket League when Bob Peach, Roger Pearman (Hornsey) and David Evans (Edmonton) got together and short-listed 12 clubs of 'suitable' playing strength within the county (including Richmond – from Surrey).
The initial meeting was held at Hornsey CC and attended by Hornsey, South Hampstead, Edmonton, Ealing and Finchley. They agreed to expand their group to 16, adding Richmond, Brondesbury, Brentham, Enfield, North Middlesex, Shepherds Bush, Southgate, Stanmore, Teddington, Wembley, and Winchmore Hill.
In general, league results in this early period were a reasonable reflection of earlier and continuing performances of leading clubs. Hornsey, the first official winners in 1972 repaid popular predictions, and with Finchley (1973 and 1975), and South Hampstead (1974) all three had considerable success in at least one of the National and the more locally based Middlesex competitions. The Pearman brothers, Roger and Hugh, were very much instrumental in Hornsey's cricketing success, and it would be hard to find any 2 others in the county whose achievements ranked with theirs.
The club won the 1st XI Middlesex Championship under the guidance of Colin Nash in 1981, but since the League divided into 3 divisions in 1999, we are still waiting to fly a championship pennant at the Tivoli Rd Ground. It is worth mentioning here that the club ground is the nearest quality ground to the city and West End and 10 minutes from Finsbury Park underground station by bus. In 2004, the clubhouse and squash courts were burnt down, but rebuilding the clubhouse was completed in 2005 and we now have excellent facilities to go with one of the most picturesque grounds in North London.