The club was founded in 1881 following a meeting in the Cherry Tree Inn and was known as the Broom Hills CC. The first President was Reverend G W Keightley (Harold Rankin's father-in-law) and vicar of Great Stambridge Church; and Vice President Alfred Mottram Rankin who first allowed the ground to be used for cricket. The first fixture is believed to have been against a side from Leigh and took place on 3rd June 1881 in Leigh on Bentall's Meadow behind where the Grand Hotel now stands. The President played in the first match along with William Rankin, the 15 year old son of Alfred. Also playing were two members of the Wiseman family, James and George, oyster merchants and farmers of Paglesham. The remainder of the team was made up of local people possibly connected with the Rankin family business. Alfred Hunt (tailor), Frank Arthy (solicitor's clerk), Alfred Warren (butcher), Walter Smith (miller's clerk), Henry Groves and Lewis Hammann (both engine fitters) and finally Charles Shelley of the family of thatchers who still trade from Hockley to this day.
Early teams also included members of the Whittingham family; namely John, who was a smith and wheelwright in North Street, and James a blacksmith of Canewdon. John Hedgecock, bootmaker of South Street was the ground captain and notably Phillip Benton, farmer of Great Wakering and noted historian who wrote much of the definitive history of South East Essex was at that first meeting and a member of the club.
Early fixtures also included Wakering and Southminster. The club changed it's name to the Rochford Cricket Club at the AGM of February 1886. After World War II when cricket restarted the club was known as AM & H Rankin Limited CC, however, the type setters at the Southend Standard clearly got fed up with this and soon shortened it to Rankin's CC.
The ground is on well drained sandy soil 400 yards north of the end of the River Roach (previously Roche or Broomhill - hence the name of the house and the meadow on which the club play). The south side is known as the River End and the north side as the Cherry Tree End as the Cherry Tree pub is only 350 yards away.
Until elm disease hit the whole country in the 1960's and 70's the cricket ground had magnificent mature elms all along the east side of the ground together with many trees which are still there and need managing and replacing on an ongoing basis.
There were two large elms on the boundary at the river end behind mid-off and mid-on which when struck on the full were awarded 6 runs.
Since the late 1940’s the wicket has always been considered a batsman’s wicket giving a true bounce. In the 1940's, 50’s and 60’s tending the wicket was overseen by Donald Rankin who spent many hours on it and also made many runs on it. This very important job was taken on by Alf Wheal, a very good all round cricketer himself, and he maintained the high standard of the wicket and outfield right up to 2005.
The trees on the west and north of the ground were planted in the 1960’s and have been left to grow naturally without attention. Access to the ground has always been immediately opposite the Cherry Tree Pub (now part of a small chain known as The Pie & Pints Inns) on the Stambridge Road out of Rochford.
Although there was a second XI fielded on occasions in the past the club began playing a 2nd XI in the Mid-Essex League in 1988 and a 3rd XI in 2009. There have been occasional 4th XI games which we hope will become more regular in the future.
The ground and wicket are still in excellent condition and compare favourably with any ground in Essex and in 2014 more land was leased from the Rankin family and a second pitch constructed in order that the 3rd XI could play at the home ground rather than at Great Wakering School where they had been for a number of years.
The club now has three Saturday teams who compete in the Mid-Essex league, a Sunday team and a Midweek Evening League side. The colts currently consist of U15's, U13's, U11's and U9's teams and have been very successful over recent years winning a number of competitions. The club has been a strong supporter of the ECB initiative known as All Stars which has introduced children from 5 years old to the game and is one of the biggest All Stars centres in the County.
The club also plays in friendly fixtures at home and runs an annual cricket week each year as well as a President's Day when past players return to meet up at the club.