Our history

The beginnings

Founded in 1878, Poloc Cricket Club spent its first season on the site of the old Pollokshaws Race Course and in 1880 moved to our unrivalled location here at Shawholm where play has continued for the last 140-plus years!  The editor of a local newspaper wrote in 1887; “their ground is a beautiful one hardly to be matched in Scotland for its surroundings”.

“A view of the White Cart Water and one of the parks at Pollok c.1830.

The caption has been damaged, but this may be Shaw Holm (near the point at which Pollokshaws Road crosses the Cart and Shawholm Crescent was laid out).  The artist has depicted the view looking across the river towards an open lawn and gardens in the distance.  There is a wall at the right corner of the painting.

This watercolour is one of a series painted by an unknown artist working for the Maxwell family.  The paintings show buildings and landscapes on the Pollok Estate.”

Reproduced with the permission of the National Trust for Scotland.

A pavilion was acquired by the club from the now-defunct Pollokshields Athletic Club, also located on Pollok Estate, and the building was moved to Shawholm on rollers (!) in the same year, the main avenue from Pollokshaws Road to Pollok House was opened, running past the north side of the ground in what is now Pollok Country Park.  This avenue still provides a beautiful tree-lined approach to Shawholm to this day with the River Cart to the left.

Our club’s golf section was formed in 1889 and with bowls, putting and archery, Poloc became a sporting club possibly unique amongst cricket clubs in Scotland.

“A watercolour depicting the Townhouse at Pollokshaws c.1830.

This landscape was painted for the Maxwell family by an unknown artist and is one of a series showing scenes around the Pollok Estate.  It depicts the view across the White Cart Water from Shawholm.  The village of Pollokshaws and its Townhouse are in the distance, while in the foreground one man is fishing and another is carrying a rake.”

Reproduced with the permission of the National Trust for Scotland.

Growth and development

Full tenancy of the six-acre site was granted to the club in 1888 by Sir John Stirling Maxwell who continued to be involved in Poloc’s affairs until his death in 1956.  He is remembered by older members as an outstanding and generous Laird and landlord.

Sir John Stirling Maxwell, 1866-1956

By 1890 Poloc sides had become strong enough to match their cricketing adversaries, in particular our nearest and fiercest local rivals, Clydesdale.  The Titwood side play only a mile or so away from Shawholm and our rivalry continues to this day.  Home or away, league cup or friendly, “derby” matches remain highlights of any season’s fixture card.

Interestingly, in 1908 the Pollokshaws Working Lads Club decided to form a football section from amongst their ranks.  When their ambitious plans reached the ears of Sir John Stirling Maxwell he allotted that club an area of land on the estate, rent-free. the footballers, in turn, to show their appreciation, took the name of Pollok Juniors FC, adopting black and white as their colours (being taken from the heraldic shield of Pollok House), and Sir John became their first Honorary President.  The ground allocated became known as Haggs Park and was adjacent to Poloc Cricket Club; in fact, the different spellings of the two names “Pollok” and “Poloc” were adopted at this time, deliberately, to avoid confusion, “Poloc” being the historic spelling of the word.

Membership at Poloc reached a peak of 600 in the late 1940’s, including a healthy waiting list.  And, in 1955, Shawholm played host to the first televised cricket match in Scotland when Poloc entertained our other principal Glasgow rivals, West of Scotland, who play on the city’s north side at Hamilton Crescent.

Membership has come down a bit since the heady days of the 1940’s and 1950’s but numbers remain healthy and new members are always welcome!  Members need not be serious sportsmen or women with many gladly falling into the category of “social” members.  With its idyllic and extremely safe setting as well as facilities and well appointed clubhouse, membership of Poloc remains a hugely enjoyable proposition.

A club with the rich history of Poloc has accumulated a veritable plethora of photographs over the years.  It’s a sobering thought that the names of many of the young people posing in the photographs reproduced above are also listed on the memorial to those that fell in the Great War of 1914 to 1918.

See other historic photographs online here.


Historic moments

Shawholm played host to Scotland versus The MCC in June 1965. the ground was fully decked out with marquee and commissionaires.  The clubhouse and its gardens (pictured below, Copyright, John Thompson) had never looked better!  The game was a three-day match played between the 23rd and 25th.

Scotland’s first televised cricket match (pictured below) took place at Shawholm on 7 May 1955 when West of Scotland were Poloc’s visitors.  Poloc batted first making 118 all out in brilliant sunshine.  In reply, West made 120 for 6.  And proving that not much changes over the years, Poloc’s professional, Dawson, top-scored with 44, whilst West of Scotland’s professional, Vigar, did likewise in the visitors’ innings, scoring an unbeaten 66.  This after he’d taken 6 for 22 in Poloc’s innings!

Unfortunately Poloc’s own historical record of the day notes that “the viewing was tedious”!

Notwithstanding the cricket on view however the day was enjoyable with, again, a marquee being erected in front of the tennis courts for teas.

Bringing things right up to date, the ground was invited to host three internationals as part of the 2005 ECC European Championships.  The matches (The Netherlands versus Italy, Jersey versus Germany and The Netherlands versus Denmark) saw white ball/black sightscreen cricket at Shawholm for the first time and yet again demonstrated club members’ willingness and ability to host such matches.

The club also hosts many other representative matches, including those featuring touring sides from overseas.  And, in 2008, Shawholm was selected to host Scotland’s newly launched national Twenty20 knockout competition Finals Day.  Again coloured clothing, white balls and black sightscreens were the order of the day as smash-bang-wallop cricket came to Glasgow’s south side.


The club badge

The club’s badge was most recently redesigned in the 1960s and incorporates aspects of the club’s life at its present location.  The bridge signifies the entrance way to Shawholm from Pollokshaws Road, the water represents the River Cart and the grazing deer is symbolic of the wildlife still roaming free on the Pollok Estate.

Designed by John Irvine