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HC&AC The greatest Huddersfield club ever


When minds wander back over time and bowlers chew over the teams and matches they have witnessed in the past in Huddersfield, the subject matter will inevitably turn to the Huddersfield Cricket and Athletic Club. As many will tell you this indeed was the best ever club in Huddersfield for many different reasons.

This 3-Part story of the rise and fall of a truly great club is covered here over the next three days and I will start at the end.

It is 31 years ago since the eventual demise and disappearance of a pair of bowling greens at Fartown. It was in January 1990 that the Arena 84 Bowling Club finally called time on their association with the Huddersfield League.

The club, who once housed one of the most powerful sides in the district under their old name of Huddersfield Cricket and Athletic Club, told the Yorkshire Association and the Huddersfield Association that they had disbanded following their struggles of recent times.

The club was hit by a burned-down pavilion in 1988 and subsequent dwindling membership coupled with the Huddersfield Association taking their two greens out of their fixture programme because they were not satisfied with their condition. The club which many people thought had the potential to become the county's finest crown green venue were not far away from the nadir of their fortunes.

Since the war, HC&AC won the Yorkshire Cup 5 times and the Subscription Cup on 9 occasions and in 1974 they sent out the British Crown Green Merit winner in Fred Whitehead. But by the start of the 1988 season they could muster only an 8-man team in the Binns Cup.

Despite having their name changed in the latter years to Arena 84 they were still often referred to by their HC and AC initials or just plain Fartown. Even when their representative John Beaumont wrote the letter of resignation to the Huddersfield League he still used their old familiar title.

The story continues over the next 2 days with more personal memories from people around at that time including Ken Atkinson who was a member of that most successful team'


Part 2: Bob Swan's memory of the 'Fartown' club and teams

Part 3: The full story of the club from formation to demise including memories of one team member

HC&AC's Fartown home from the air and at its peak with a county cricket ground, rugby league pitch and two bowling greens positioned in the centre.

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