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R.I.P. David Howroyd

Rest in Peace

David Howroyd passed away suddenly but peacefully on 20 November at the age of 80. David was the General Secretary of the Veterans League from 2014-2015 and a Committee member before that. But his first love was Golcar Liberal Club where he played for numerous bowling teams and where he served as Club Secretary for a number of years. That included the period when the club celebrated its Centenary in 2013 and an article below the photograph covers this in more detail..

Above is a photograph of David Howroyd receiving the Veterans League Section 5 Winners Trophy for 2015 on behalf of Golcar Lib B.

Whilst searching for more information about David I came across this Examiner article which has some quotes from David at the time that he was Club Secretary at Golcar Liberal Club and involved in the 2013 Centenary celebrations of the green at Golcar Lib. I thought readers would be interested in reading the full article.

Golcar Liberal Club is marking the centenary of its much-loved bowling green – and descendants of those who worked hard to set it up may even take part in a special event there this weekend. The green was delayed by a gas explosion at the club – and if all the plans had gone ahead it would have had a skating rink next to it.

It was opened on September 15, 1910, after several years of debate and fundraising, and has provided countless hours of sport ever since. A large crowd gathered in glorious weather 100 years ago to witness the inauguration ceremony in front of the club when Oliver Taylor was chairman and the official opening was performed by WM Crowther, president of the Colne Valley Liberal Association.

Current members will be hoping for another sunny day this Sunday when they celebrate the centenary with a mixed pairs competition starting at 10am which has been sponsored to the tune of £500 by Carlsberg. Club secretary David Howroyd said: “Our members are rightly proud of the bowling green which has been one of the main features of the club over the years and has kept us going a lot of the time.

“It has proved a very wise investment by those who proposed it and made sure it happened 100 years ago and it’s always been a popular attraction. “It’s perhaps fitting that as we celebrate the centenary the green is in superb condition with many visitors commenting on how good it is. Sunday’s competition is very apt because it may well be that the ancestors of some of those taking part from both the Lib and the Cricket and Bowling Club were actually at the opening ceremony back in 1910.”

A great deal of work went into providing the facility after the building and some land was bought from Mrs Seth Mitchell in 1906 and 1907. The initial trustees involved at the time were Oliver Taylor, William Lockwood, Allen Haigh, Fred Mathewman, John W Pilling, David Whitwam, Alfred Lockwood snr, Fred Pearson, Fred Whiteley, Tom Haigh, John Griffiths, Stead Taylor, Ephram Bailey, Wilfred Ramsden and John Atkinson.

Things might have moved more quickly but for a gas explosion at the club which damaged two rooms at the front of the building in the late spring of 1908. The explosion was caused by club members Willie Thornley and Willie Dyson – they were each fined the sizeable sum in those days of two shillings (10p) – and the following week it was proposed at a special meeting to consider “the desirability or otherwise of proceeding to make a bowling green.”

A bowling green construction committee was formed and around 50 members agreed to help. Six navvy barrows were bought along with half-a-dozen round-mouthed spades while the club advertised sods for sale from the field site while rough work was carried out on creating the bowling green.

By the end of 1908 a final effort was called for to finish off the green and, while the club looked into buying the field next door as well, it was decided against opening a skating rink!

A final tender of £10 for the ‘deep digging’ section of the bowling green was accepted from Messrs Whiteley and Garside and, in August 1909 – a year before the green was actually opened – the committee sought help from each member on an interest-free loan basis, but with little success.

Trustees were then asked to lend £60 to complete the work and, over four following meetings, it was agreed to complete the laying of sleepers and drainage to get the green in action with a 10in crown. Sods were brought by Lewis Wood from below Salendine Nook to complete the surface which would be 40 yards by 41 yards inside the sleepers.

When the green was finally ready, it was hoped the club would be debt free, but it was around £1,000 in the red. Proceeds from the opening ceremony, it was hoped, would greatly reduce the figure. The Examiner reported that honorary secretary WJ Gledhill revealed total costs for the club and green had been around £3,000.

“For that large expenditure they had obtained fine new premises, with bowling green and garden, and an additional plot of land below,” said the report of Gledhill’s comments.

“They had worked hard themselves and had been well supported by outside friends. For the assistance of these friends they were very grateful.

“It was their ambition originally to enter the club free of all debt, but they had not been able to accomplish it. “They hoped that as a result of the day’s proceedings, the liabilities would be considerably reduced, if not cleared off all together.” This comment was greeted with loud applause, and a splendid chapter of Colne Valley history was launched.

FUNERAL NOTICE David Howroyd on November 20th 2023, suddenly but peacefully, David aged 80 years of Golcar.

Loving husband of Val, much loved dad of Steven, Sharon and Tracey and devoted grandad of Hannah, Sam and Joe. David will be sadly missed by all his family and friends.

Service and Committal at Huddersfield Crematorium on Tuesday December 12th at 11.15 am. Will friends please accept this the only intimation.

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