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The trophy with an incomplete history


Eddie Haigh showed me a very impressive trophy that Lockwood Con had been awarded by the Huddersfield Veterans League. It is a cup that only gets awarded in recognition of a special achievement and has only been awarded twice before by the Veterans League.

The first time was to Tommy Dunford in 2010 in recognition of his services to the Veterans League and in particular his stint as League & Competition Secretary from 1996 to 2003 and for good measure he also took on the duties of the General Secretary from 1999 to 2003 as well. Then it was awarded in 2013 to Milnsbridge BC to mark the club winning the Division 1 title for five consecutive years from 2009 to 2013. The most recent of its recipients is Lockwood Con who received the trophy in recognition of the club winning the Division 1 title for seven consecutive seasons (2014 - 2021).

On looking at the trophy it is clear that it has a long history over 139 years having been first awarded in 1884. It is clear that this cup had a long history before it was given to the Veterans League to do with as they saw fit. We would like to learn more about that history. Here is what we know so far. It is inscribed with the wording HC & AC BOWLING CHALLENGE CUP presented by Joshua Dews Esq.

Then followed the names of four winners engraved directly on to the cup, namely William Edwin Wood in 1885; Arthur Clegg 1886; George Henry Stead 1887 and the 'Final Competition won by Arthur Clegg 1888'. This suggests that this was originally a Club trophy awarded for a club competition within the HC & AC bowling club.

Nothing much seems to have happened to the trophy for over 75 years from 1888 to 1966 when the trophy seems to have been resurrected in a different form with a list of annual winners from 1966 to 1984. Whether these are all HC & AC club members or not is unclear although it is presumed that they were.

The names of all the recipients being H. Armitage (1966 & 1967), H. Rowe (1968), G. Townsend (1969), G. Horsfall (1970), H. Pogson (1971), E. Craven (1972), J. Waterton (1973), E. Craven (1974), W. Taylor (1975), H. Rowe (1975), A. Sykes (1977), N. Lister (1978), W. Bainbridge (1979), H. Smith (1980), A. Mandell (1981), J. Sullivan (1982), R. Sayles (1983) and finally A. Sykes (1984).

It then appears that the trophy was passed on to the Veterans League. This was done by Mrs Pauline Turner, the daughter of Arthur Sykes the last named winner and former captain of HC & AC. At this stage, an added engraving to the base announces 'Huddersfield & District Veterans B.A. Outstanding Achievement Award'. This being followed by the names of the three winners of this accolade as listed above for 2010, 2013 and most recently 2023.

The trophy has a number of patterns around the rim and bottom of the cup along with some bowling figures on the reverse side to the club name and first four winners. There is also an engraving of 'B. MALLINSON HUDDERSFIELD' hidden at the bottom of the cup. is this the jeweller who first supplied the trophy?

If anyone can throw any light on any part of the history of the trophy then I know that many people would be very interested to learn a little more of the history of this impressive piece of silverware. Do you recognise this trophy at all from its many guises over the last 139 years? Should you know any of the previous winners of this trophy then please share that information with us to help build a picture of the untold history of this trophy.

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