Cricket Buckles

24th November 2017 — 22 Comments

Image courtesy of the Northern Club

Eight months ago Brian Meilak of Canberra in Australia decided to collect, from various sources, information on cricket buckles and create a book for himself.

As you can imagine, the compilation has consumed a lot of his time, and meant many late nights. The first volume, a whopping 664 pages showing a total of 442 cricket buckles, is a fantastic resource that can be seen HERE.

This typical illustration is courtesy of ‘Wild Colonial Boy’ of the AMDRH forum

Brian reminds us that his online (free) book wouldn’t have been possible without the help of fellow detectorists posting pictures of their amazing finds … and he thanks everyone of you!

And now he’s working on the second volume, due out early next year, and asking for contributions from UK Detectorists. The cricket buckle isn’t a common find in the UK, but I did find a couple of clasps on the UKDFD.

Courtesy of the UKDFD

The UKDFD example shows an oval stamped sheet-metal belt clasp. The clasp depicts a shooting scene on the left, a fishing scene on the right, and a cricket bat, ball and wickets in the centre. The loop for attachment to the belt is missing, but the two points at which it was soldered are evident on the back of the clasp. The soldered clasp hook survives.

If  you have found a cricket buckle, and would like to contribute to the building of this picture-book, Brian will be happy to receive any photos at this address:

If you choose to send pictures, please consider the following:

  • Please send clear pictures of front and back

  • Include buckle dimensions

  • Are there any English registry marks? Can you please send a photo of that as well? Can you read the registry date (See 2.3 English Registry Mark)? Can you send the date as well, as some times the registry mark cannot be read correctly from photos and can only be read in good light with a jeweller’s loupe.

  • Are there any words or phrases on the buckle (front or back) that are difficult to read? Can you send the wording as well, as some times the words cannot be read correctly from photos and can only be read in good light with a jeweller’s loupe.

  • Do you know the history of the cricket buckle? Do you have a reference? Can you please send that as well?

In his introduction to the book, Brian writes: 

A Cricket buckle is an item that would be on most detectorist’s wish list. What amazes me is the variety of patterns and shapes that have been found. Some are pure works of art. I’ve been fortunate to walk across a few, and that has spurred my interest in them.

Here are a couple more illustrations from the book …


SHOWN ABOVE ‘After the Match’. Cricket buckle c1860s. Unusual circular brass coloured metal buckle depicting a cricketer seated on the ground with a bottle and glass to his side. Title embossed to the border. Two inches in diameter.

© John Mewburn


Over at the Relic Hunters Forum Brian Ridley punned that I had him stumped because he’d never found any buckles. However, Mick Hopton posted a cricket themed item found by his son – and one that Brian may use.

© Mick Hopton

Examples are coming thick and fast now. This next one is an example of what my friend Jerry Morris found a few years ago. He especially likes the Victorian sense of humour …

© Jerry Morris

Matt Bullimore has always wondered about the bits and pieces he found and thinks he may now have a solution. What do you think?

© Matt Bullimore

Paul Mower has sent me a cricket themed buckle plate found on a farmer’s field which used to be to be used for village cricket matches near Horsehay, Shropshire. The inscription at the bottom reads “May it ever flourish.” I understand that Brian can use this one also …

© Paul Mower

Stephen Grey says that there are ‘some cool buckles out there, buried in the mud of forgotten fields’, and he proudly shows one of his cricket buckle finds, which he ‘loves dearly’. It’s a cracker!

© Stephen Grey

Mick Hopton found the headless batsman shown below. He reckons it may be of something other than a buckle because of the size and thickness. What do you think?

© Mick Hopton

Jerry Fargher says that the bronze alloy badge below came from his garden and he believes it dates back to 1858 when a Hovingham team of 22 players took on an All England team. Sadly, the professionals proved too much for the villagers.

© Jerry Fargher

And still they arrive. Diggerdale of the BMD detecting forum has kindly given me permission to use the one he found a few years ago.

© diggerdale

Liz, an administrator on the BMD, says that she found the example below in Rutland, England’s smallest county. The village still has a cricket team, but she’s not sure that her example is from a buckle. What can be said is that the partefact has a cricketing connection.

© Liz

From the BMD forum comes another buckle, this time from member called ironage. What a super effort the people on this site have made! I’m not sure if Brian can use these examples, but I welcome them in my blog. Unfortunately there are few details with many of them.

© ironage

My friend Jim Crombie wrote:

Below is a cricket associated buckle fragment I found down on Lord Elgin’s estate several years ago which I commented on in your blog post a few months back. From memory an Australian had recorded then published an article or book with photographs about them. I can’t recall if this example was a known example. However, just in case it is a new unknown example I’ve attached a photograph.

© Jim Crombie

And they keep on coming … hadn’t realised that there were so many examples found by detectorists. This next example is courtesy of a friend of Alan Warner (QM). Thanks for sending your mate’s cricket buckle, Alan.

© Alan’s Friend Spencer

Since Alan mentioned this blog to friends one of them – Jimmy Haughey – shows an example he found a few days ago.

© Jimmy Haughey


Click on Image to access the book.

Brian Meilak, the catalyst for the blog post, has informed me that version 2 of his cricket buckle book is now available – and what a fine production it is, with over 900 pages showing hundreds of buckles. He says that his picture book resource wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of people like you posting pictures of your amazing finds. See his introduction.

He has included some of the examples shown in my blog … I noticed Stephen Grey’s’ and Matt Bullimore’s buckles and many from the UKDFD. Brian explains why he word ‘Australian’ remains in the title and this version has had a big tidy up.

There are 557 buckles shown, with 79 other non-cricket examples. Section 2 is a complete revision and he has expanded the cricket buckle history section. There’s a section on cleaning and fixing and a short explanation of the unique wording or phrases combinations on the buckles. This ebook is a tour de force and could prove to be the definitive word on the subject. Brian should be proud of his achievement.

You can access the book by clicking HERE

I advise you to go and prepare a drink and read at your leisure!


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22 responses to Cricket Buckles

  1. Cricket Buckles?? Now there is an esoteric topic.. I never, even in my wildest dreams, have ever thought that there would have been such a variety of them that would have had enough material to fill a book of over 600 pages.. and now volume two.. I really must congratulate Mr. Meilak for such an in depth volume.

    Thank you again my friend


  2. I have found a couple of cricket themed buckle plates. Both of which were found on farmer’s fields in Shropshire which were used as village cricket pitches.

  3. Believe it or not I found one of these cricket buckles up here in Scotland on the Broomhall Estate (on a field near Charlestown in Fife) a few years ago. Thought it was really strange at the time as cricket has never been a popular sport up here in the land of Scots.I gave it to the landowner and had forgotten all about it until reading this post.

  4. Great buckles.. never been one for cricket but when I was about 2 or 3 years old my mum and dad were going up to Yorkshire by train to see family … And in our carriage was a cricketer who was born on the same day as me …. My mum says he bounced me on his knee for most of the journey ……. And this cricketers name the great Freddie Trueman …. Gary

  5. I am sure I have one in my boxes full of trash. Could find it if you were interested.

  6. Very interesting John, I have to admit that I have never heard of or seen a cricket buckle.

    You have shown some nice examples of them and I was delighted to see them. I now must admit that I would love to find a good example of these buckles.

  7. John from Ontario (AKA Geobound) 25th November 2017 at 6:04 AM

    Very interesting post John, I too would never had thought that there would be so many of these?

    Cricket has started to become more and more popular around these parts, but I think it has to do with the East Indian population and how quickly it is growing?

  8. Those are stunning John, and what a brilliant thing to collect.

    It is I suppose a form of eccentricity, typical of most folk who
    collect things which are out of what most would regard as
    ordinary, and we need people like that, to remind us that
    life is what we make of it, and what we make of it causes
    us to enjoy our lives. Thank you for sharing this great article with us.

  9. Thanks to ALL contributors for the pictures and comments!

  10. I think Mick Hopton’s headless batman is the centre-piece off a cricket buckle. See 5.18.47 in the book. A key match is the 2 stumps.

  11. Its great to see whats been dug/recovered outside of Australia.
    Matched Diggerdale’s great find with 5.20.16 Cricket Rectangle Vertical
    and ironage’s great find is: 5.19.19 Cricket Rectangle Horizontal Vintage Phrase

    Liz’s piece is definitely a cricket buckle – v2 of the buckle book has a picture
    of the buckle in it

  12. glad to help john with an update just shows how interesting this blog is … was found by seany …from northern Ireland

  13. Owwwzaaaat?!! Cheers John!

    • Thank you Brian for confirming that it is a buckle, I am delighted that a find from Rutland has made it into your book. This has prompted me to try and find out a bit more about it.
      It has surprised me just how many buckles there are, but logically I suppose there would be as there are numerous small clubs about.
      We also have to thank Mr W, as without him this info would not have been shared.
      Thanks John.

  14. I have a round one of these would you like it free as a donation found in my back garden in oxfordshire

  15. Hi i am from london & i am a Thames mudlark, today i found a 19th century cricket belt buckle on the Thames foreshore, There is a photo of it on my web page on face book which is called London River Finds.

  16. Patrick mcinerney 2nd April 2019 at 11:11 PM

    I have a cricket buckle would love a I’d

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