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Arthursdale Cricket Club 1929-99

From the Barwicker No.
March 2000

The first recorded cricket match in Yorkshire is reported in August 1765 between gentlemen of Leeds and Sheffield. Over 160 years later in 1929, Arthursdale Cricket Club was formed. This came about when Scholes C.C. had two teams; the First XI playing friendly matches and the Second team were in the Barkston Ash League. The First team were unable to depend on availability of players from the Seconds, resulting in constant acrimony due to problems of team selection.

In November 1929, a splinter group of players resolved to form a new club to be known as Arthursdale (Scholes) Cricket Club, with Arthur Chippindale as President (1929-1934) and John William Wildblood as Chairman. Playing facilities were arranged in a field owned by Arthur Chippindale, off Common Lane (now Rakehill Road), opposite the present Scout premises, and in 1930 the first season's cricket was played in the Barkston Ash League; a transfer being made to the Wetherby League the following year. Club colours of dark and light blue had been chosen for the caps. The cricket pavilion was made available to Scholes Football Club for changing facilities and Scholes Ladies Hockey Club paid a rental for tea room usage.

A list of players for the Arthursdale Club from 1930 onwards supplied by the late Jack Tillett includes: Jack Scales (President 1960-61), Fred Fleetwood (President 1966-7), Edmund and Roland Wildblood, William (Bill) Killerby, Stan Hudson (President 1964-65), Kenneth Appleyard, Jack Knowles (President 1962-63), Wilfred Senior, William (Bill) Gregson, Fred Molineux, John Pearman, Leslie Platts, Kenneth Chippindale, Stanley Archbold, Jim Noble, Kenneth Foster, Richard (Dick) Wildblood, Percy Watson (ex Stanks CC player).

Arthur Chippindale had not charged for the use of his field, but in January 1931, he declined to allow any ground extension "as he plans to build on it". This prompted a search for alternative premises, and the need to raise funds, circumstances that were destined to recur and affect the club in future years. In 1935 an offer by J T (Tommy) Horner (Club President 1934-52) of land bordered by The Approach and Rake Beck (now Arthursdale Grange Estate), was accepted and preparations made to create a level playing surface on the sloping ground. As a 'spur' to promote progress on this labour-intensive project, players not adequately contributing to the work effort risked exclusion from team selection, and play was eventually resumed on the new ground during the 1935 season.

The following year Kenneth Chippindale was elected First Team Captain. Annual General Meetings were usually held in the 'The Caf‚' on Station Road, opposite the present library; premises with a succession of new owners - Taylors, Runtons, Quintons, Tomkins and currently a hairdressing salon.

Club Membership card 1939

The onset of wartime conditions from 1939 restricted the availability of players and cricketing activities generally. The 1943 AGM was held in the Scholes Railway Station Waiting Room (Mr Millbank the Station Master being a member) when it was resolved to send a news letter to all members serving in the armed services. The ground lease was due to expire on 1 November 1944; however Mr Horner allayed any uncertainty by offering the use of the field on existing terms for 'an unstated period'. At the 17th. AGM in 1945, a minute's silence was observed in respect of the deaths of two vice-presidents Thomas Adamson and John William Wildblood.

The 1945/6 post-war season brought a welcome return to traditional conditions with the club re-joining the Wetherby League; Edmund Wildblood and Jack Scales being appointed Captain and Vice-Captain respectively. A catering licence was obtained in 1947, enabling E K Brooke's Confectioners (now Satnam's Store) to provide refreshments for Saturday home matches. The annual Christmas Cheer prizes reflect on the prevailing taste and fashion of the period. They included sacks of potatoes, a hare, an ox-tongue, a couple of rabbits, six eggs, two pairs of stockings, a hot water bottle (1946/7 was a severe winter), six bottles of stout and a free perm.

Arthursdale Cricket Team 1948

1948 proved a successful season with the First XI winning the Hare Cup and being runners-up in the Senior (South) Division, whilst the Second XI won the Harbourd Cup. In November 1949, a key player was lost when Fred Fleetwood, a member since 1930 resigned to join Shadwell CC. A talented 'all-round player', Fred had frequently headed the batting and bowling averages; some of his prodigious bounday shots were known to reach the back gardens of The Avenue or the railway embankment. (Whether relevant or not, consideration was given in 1947 to third party insurance cover.) The Fred Fleetwood Cup (which he presented) is a regular First XI competition in the Wetherby League. He was churchwarden and author of a booklet 'All Saints Church, Barwick-in-Elmet', a concise history dated April 1983.

At the 1952 AGM, Mrs Margaret Silversides was elected President (1952-59) to succeed her father, Mr J T Horner, who had recently died. Horace and William Silversides became the owners of the ground.

A boys team was entered in the league for the first time in 1953, during which two records were broken by second team players - most runs scored in a season (436) by Jack Hopps and seventh wicket partnership of 109 by Don Hunter and Ken Hudson.

Playing for the Juniors, Ian Wood took 31 wickets for 91 runs, an average of 2.9. Ian's long and successful playing career started in 1952, heading the junior bowling averages in 1955 and, quickly promoted to the First Team, won the First Division bowling averages in 1956 at the age of 16. He achieved the League Best All-Rounder for 1964, whilst Jack Tillett gained that title in the Reserve Division. Ian Wood transferred to Barwick CC in 1972 and captains the Third Team for the current year 2000.

Ian's brother Keith is one of several players to become league umpires; others include Norman Agar, Jack Tillett and Ronnie Farrar (a Wetherby League representative to the Umpires Association). Ian and Keith's father, Maurice Wood, had the greengrocer's shop at the corner of Barwick Main Street and Leeds Road (now Verdee's Store). After Saturday morning delivery, the grocery van was often used by Keith to provide team transport for away matches.

A third wicket stand of 157 by Gordon Schofield and Ernest Walker in 1957 broke the previous record, a significant achievement since boundary sixes were not recognised in the Wetherby League until 1972. The boys' team were Southern Division Champions the same year, mainly due to the bowling performances of Paul Reaney, who later achieved fame in first-class football with Leeds United FC.

A disturbing revelation of development proposals for the ground, followed by a notice to quit by November 1960, created an urgent need to find alternative accommodation. A field was eventually selected on Thorner Lane, near Bramley Grange and, after much preparatory work, a transfer to the new site was accomplished on Sunday, 3 September 1961. This effectively severed the club from its local community origins.

For many years a high proportion of members were Arthursdale residents (less than todays population). Additionally the club contained many members of the same (local) family, for instance -

Ted Schofield and son
Bill Walker and two sons
George Cox and three sons
Kenneth Appleyard and son
Arthur Scott and son
Richard Green and two sons
The Hudson and Wood brothers

The new ground's location presented travel difficulties for the boys junior team in particular and overall playing strength suffered, prompting press adverts in 1972 to recruit new players. Surmounting these circumstances, cricketing performances of high standard were achieved, with the First XI gaining promotion to the First Division in 1962 and winning the Senior Evening Cup (for the first time) in 1966. The Second XI won the Reserve Evening Cup in 1966 and 1967.

There was drama on the field of play during a 1970 Second XI Evening Cup match at Scarcroft, when the Arthursdale captain sent off a senior player for persistantly talking to spectators whilst fielding - an uncommon event.

'The Beehive Inn' at Thorner became the venue for meetings and at the 46th. AGM in 1974, Gordon Schofield gave his 26th. and final Treasurer's Report. Five years later the club recorded its 50th. anniversary, whilst Fred Fleetwood became League President.

Cricket continued at the Thorner Lane ground for 20 more years until early 1999 when the proposed sale of the ground threatened the club's future. With no suitable alternative venue to be found, 1998 proved to be the last season of cricket, the club being formally dissolved in January 1999. Thus 70 years fter its formation, this splendid cricket club came to an untimely end, after providing so much enjoyable sporting and social opportunity for some two generations of members, players and spectators alike.

This article is based on details compiled by Richard A Green, the President of the Club in its final years. We are grateful to Gordon Schofield of Scholes for supplying the photograph of the Arthursdale team used to illustrate this article. 


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