VILLAGE CRICKET  1918-1940

                                            

Between the wars it appeared that every village wanted a cricket pitch, and Outwood was  one of those. Villages.  

A combined football and cricket  pitch was on Hedleys,  not much of a wicket,  but the shop assistants used to play there on a Wednesday afternoon as that was a general half day closing in those days.

The Outwood United Methodists made a cricket field near the Rehoboth chapel and the Victoria Hotel.  The pitch was formed on a sloping field,  the high ground being moved to the lower part,  by volunteer cricket enthusiasts, to form a level surface which was then reseeded,  with a refined seed for the wicket square.

Lingwell Gate Lane also developed a cricket pitch in Jerry Green's field at the top of Nook Hill, on the right hand side.  The cricket pitch was developed,  like many others in the surrounding areas, by clearing an area in the middle of a field,  levelling it and reseeding the cricket square.  

To protect the cricket square , posts were set in sockets in the ground and the posts connected by old winding rope from Lofthouse Colliery.               

On a match day the cows were taken out of the field,  cow clap was a hazard for the fielding side. 

The posts were lifted out of the sockets and dragged to the boundary, this was marked by a length of string fastened to sticks pushed into the ground.  

The pavilion was a modified railway Goods van.

As you watched a cricket match at Lingwell Gate Lane,  you could see another cricket match being played, in similar conditions, on a hillside in Lofthouse.                                                  

When the innings closed with the team batting first, miraculously a tea urn appeared along with home made cake and buns, these being available for a few coppers.  

At the end of the cricket match, the posts and rope were dragged back to the wicket area and replaced in the sockets. The cows were then let back into the field.    

One year the Lingwell Gate team won a cup, this was carried, overhead, on the way home.  

The cup was taken into Henry Green's grocery and Off  Licence at the bottom of Grandstand Road, where it was duly filled with draught beer.  

On the opposite corner of Grandstand Road was a fish and chip shop, run by a Mrs Grace, she gave the team helpings of fish and chips.

Congratulations flowed thick and fast all around,  Nellie Arundle, giving congratulatory slaps, a bit harder than the player expected.                                                                               

A wonderful time was had by everyone around.                                                                       


 Des. Ashton


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