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HC&AC Part 2

ALL OUR YESTERDAYS


I am grateful to Bob Swan for sharing his memories of HC&AC in Part 2 of this 3-part recall of the best team ever to play in any Huddersfield League.


HUDDERSFIELD CRICKET & ATHLETIC CLUB

Also known as Huddersfield C&AC or simply HC&AC and later as Arena 84 or more simply Fartown.


HC&AC was formed in 1875 by the amalgamation of two local sporting clubs Huddersfield Athletic Club and St Johns Cricket club. The new club was based on the Fartown ground on Spaines Road, Fartown. Alterations begun on the site in1879 meant that Rugby could be played at Fartown from 1879. I don’t know when the two bowling greens were laid but they were certainly on The Ordnance Survey map of 1907.


Fartown was now a top class sporting venue staging over 70 Yorkshire County Cricket matches and also the new Rugby League code. The history of these two sports is covered in a heritage funded Huddersfield Rugby website and also in the Wikipedia Fartown Ground website. (Sadly there is nothing about the history of crown green bowls on these sites.)

HC&AC hosted the Websters Brewery Northern County bowling handicap for a number of years. Games were 31 up playing off a +7 handicap on Sundays. I have not found any records about this top class competition.


I don’t know when they joined the various leagues but they certainly did well in the Huddersfield League, winning the Subscription cup 12 times, including a win over their neighbours Cowcliffe in 1969 at Milnsbridge BC. [The first time I’d watched a bowls match] They also won The Yorkshire cup on 5 occasions with an influx of ambitious bowlers from Huddersfield and surrounding areas contributing to the successes.


HC&AC, I believe were founder members of the Huddersfield Veterans League and continued until around 1987. With the cessation of bowling at Fartown the team relocated to Cowcliffe Liberal Club in 1988 where some of the team had bowled in the past. Reggie Sayles won the Veterans League Over-70s that year. He had started his bowling at Cowcliffe Conservative Club, moving up the road to the Liberal Club when the Con. Club shut.


In 1988 the bowlers went off to different clubs including Reggie who went on to win the Over-70s again in 1991 when playing for Kirkheaton C&BC. He tried to enter the Over-80s that year as his birthday fell on the day of the Final but was excluded from the competition.


Bob Swan March 2018


Two photographs of the HC&AC Bowling Team that won the 1974 Yorkshire Cup. In recognition of reaching that Final the team was kitted out in new plum coloured blazers, slacks, shirts and Panama hats with ‘Fartown’ banding around the rim. Thank you to Bob Swan and Ken Atkinson for the photographs.


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