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The Answer: Where/What is Homfray B.C.?


Earlier in the week we posted the article about the 1986 Mirfield League tables and the question was asked about the Division IX table which included a team from Homfray BC. The question being - 'where on earth is Homfray?'

We have had two responses to that plea which go a long way to resolving the answer to the question. The first response came from Martin Holt:

There was a carpet manufacturer called Homfray. Although it was based in Sowerby Bridge it also had some subsidary companies in the Birstall area. The mill in Sowerby bridge had a small bowling green on the site. Homfray BC could possibly have been a works team and it would be interesting to know where they actually played.

Then Bill Swan completed the answer with his response: Homfray was a carpet firm. Homfray Sports played on a Wilton park green in Batley.

The Cowcliffe "B" team including Malcolm Stead played there in 1986. We lost 9-1, our only winner was the late Derek Hughes.

I did a Google search on Homfray Carpets and got this back with the second paragraph of special relevence to our interest in the Homfray Carpet Company. A little history: Homfray & Co. became a company in the 18th Century when Francis Homfray

started iron mining at Penydarren. In 1804 Samuel Homfray took delivery of an engine from Richard Trevithick which he used to win a bet against his father in law, famously the richest man in England, to build the world's first locomotive. In winning his bet Samuel delivered the World's first locomotive journey on the works tramway, running a train thirteen miles and winning Samuel a thousand guinea bet. Thirty years later Robert Stephenson found a practical use for Samuel's invention.

Henry Homfray founded the second incarnation of Homfray & Co in 1891. He returned to Yorkshire (the family home notwithstanding the peripatetic Samuel and his siblings) with his wife Marie Theresa Woodward to produce carpets around Halifax. The company expanded to employ over three thousand people in Yorkshire as well as having operations in Portugal, Pakistan and Australia. In 1952 Homfray & Co. was the first company to make carpets by the tufting process on a narrow machine at Albert Mill, Halifax.

Today the Homfray Trust supports charitable funds and organisations connected with Yorkshire. Henry Homfray's great grandson, David Murray Wells, acts as trustee.

Thank you to Google, Martin and Bob and if you have anything to add to those answers we will be pleased to hear from you. Contact us

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For the records, Wilton Park, including the bowling greens, was opened in 1909 on the grounds of a former mill owner


Homfray could have built Wilton park, Wilton carpets are made from wool

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