It is quite possible that the all American game of baseball was invented in England. The authoress Jane Austen refers to a game of “base ball” in Northanger Abbey written in 1797/98. Did you also know that baseball was played in Thurrock and well supported too?

In 1937 Jimmy McQuade founded the baseball team at Thames Board Mills known as ‘Thames Raiders’. They played in a regional league and cup competitions, which included the following teams:






Aveley Cubs

Belhus Park, Aveley


Ford Sports

Kent Avenue, Dagenham


Briggs Brigands

Victoria Road, Dagenham



North Road, Purfleet


Benfleet Greys

Benfleet Recreation Ground


Snowdown Magpies

Aylesham, Kent


Dagenham Royals

Parsloes Park, Dagenham



Welling Way, Falconwood


Edgeware Wildcats


Essex Nationals

Mayesbrook Park, Dagenham


Briggs Tigers

Victoria Road, Dagenham


Hornsey Athletics


Southend Buffaloes

Eastern Avenue, Southend


Essex Nomads

Mayesbrook Park, Dagenham



Dock Road, Tilbury


West Ham Invicta


Hornsey Red-Sox


Enfield Cardinals


The league was known as the South Eastern League. There was no relegation or promotion from this league.

The Thames Raiders were members of the Southern Baseball Federation. They joined the National League in the early 1960’s playing teams from Hull, Liverpool and Manchester. Not many teams from the south did this because of the travel involved.

They also played in the South East Counties Cup and friendlies against teams from Alconbury, Wethersfield, Northolt.

Their most successful season was 1960 when they won both the league and the cup, as well as the Kosta Memorial Trophy.

Thames Raiders wore a white uniform with a black stripe and black baseball caps originally they wore green and white. The uniforms had to come from America as it was very difficult if not impossible to buy baseball equipment in the U.K. at that time.

A baseball team has 9 players a pitcher, a catcher, four infielders (1st base, 2nd base, short stop, 3rd base), and 3 outfielders.

Thames Board Mills ceased playing baseball circa 1982. In their hey day they were watched by crowds of 400 to 500 on a Sunday afternoon.