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Good Old Days: Colne Valley Pairs

Memories


Number 8 in Dave Parkin's series of looking at the history of a range of competitions in the Huddersfield area. The aim is to publish them to coincide with the running of the 2024 version of the same competition. That is achieved today with the potted history and full record of the Colne Valley Pairs KO which started in 1981.


The Good Old Days No.8: The Colne Valley Pairs KO

by Dave Parkin


The second event of the COLNE VALLEY LEAGUE’S thriving competition schedule begins on Wednesday 12th June & ends on Friday 14th June this week with at least 37 pairs competing over 4 venues to find the final 8 which will be held at SLAITHWAITE C & BC.

 

The league was started in 1921 as the interest in bowling between the war years was huge (595 entries in the HUDDRSFIELD MERIT in 1918 for example). The CV LEAGUE started with 8 teams and the first champions were LONGWOOD but from my investigations, it took 60 years to add a PAIRS event as the first one I could find was 1981. The league around this time wasn’t afraid to try new things but were slow in using standard jacks compared to their big brother down the road.


The format wasn’t clear in 1981 but by 1982, a sponsor was on board and the event’s final was run on CV MERIT day, a similar format employed by the MIRFIELD LEAGUE in the none-too-distant past. Entries peaked from what I could see in 1985 when 16 greens were needed over multiple nights to whittle down the 185 pairs to 16 finalists.


The current sponsor must be one of the longest consecutive ones around as it will be 32 years since sponsorship for the ARTHUR SHEARD PAIRS began in tribute to JONATHAN SYKES’ grandfather who was a well-known local bowling figure. ARTHUR had finished runner up in the 1966 COLNE VALLEY MERIT at LINTHWAITE HALL when a member of TAYLOR HILL.

One other winning pair of note was the 2005 winners which included current CV LEAGUE official, KIERAN O’PREY without whom these events wouldn’t run. Multiple winners GARY SISWICK (KIERAN O’PREY) & MARK ATKINSON (TOM FOWLER) will try to win it again this year but with different partners and defending champions, the father & son pair, STEVE & NATHAN HAIGH will be hoping to triumph again having made the final the last two years.

 

As complete a record of winning pairs that I could find can be found below. If anyone can fill the gaps, I would be most appreciative.



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