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Woodhead Road, Holmbridge, Holmfirth HD7 1NQ   View Map

Altitude: 195 Metres/640 Feet

Huddersfield Central League

Volunteer Contact:

John Booth

  Club Image

Founded: c.1868
Forerunner: Holme Bridge Britannia CC
Former Grounds: Holme
Nearest Landmark: St. David's Church
Nearest Railway Station: Brockholes
By Bus: 310 from Huddersfield Bus Station, H7 from Holmfirth Bus Station.
Nearest Other Club: Cartworth Moor
Nearest Pub: The Bridge Tavern


Timeline (40kb PDF)

Early Years (3.4mb PDF)
Later Years (6.4mb PDF)
Club History in Express & Chronicle Newspapers (148kb PDF)

Notes on History of Holmbridge CC by Andrew Pearson (26kb PDF)

History of Club & Ground - Extract from Pennine Pitch (44kb PDF)

Concise History of Club (15kb PDF)

1871 Holme Bridge Brittannia v Little Hayfield - Report & Scores (117kb PDF)

1888 or 1889 Holmebridge v Scholes: 'Cricket Match of Long Ago' (65kb PDF)

1893 Huddersfield & District Alliance - Results & Tables (255kb PDF)

1909 Huddersfield & District Association - Tables (35kb PDF)

1920s Balance Sheets (655kb PDF)

1920s approx. Team Photo (84kb PDF)

1921 Huddersfield Central League 2nd XI Champions & Averages (284kb PDF)

1922 1st XI & 2nd XI Averages (99kb PDF)

1929 Huddersfield Central League Champions (Table) & Trophy (129kb PDF)

1930s Balance Sheets (1.1mb PDF)

1930s approx. Team Photo (209kb PDF)

1931 Huddersfield Central League Champions & (19 Oct) Subs Receipt (276kb PDF)

1940s Balance Sheets (344kb PDF)

1940s approx. Team Photos (138kb PDF)

1950s Balance Sheets (934kb PDF)

1950s approx. Team Photo (44kb PDF)

1950 2nd XI - Team Photo (65kb PDF)
1952-64 'Impact of Club Improvement Scheme' - Graph (11kb PDF)

1953 Huddersfield Central League Champions

1954 Allsop Cup Final Winners - Photos & Report (974kb PDF)

1955 Thornton Cup Winners & Junior Batting & Bowling Averages (978kb PDF)

1956 Huddersfield Central League Champions & Len Hutton Visit (538kb PDF)

1960s Balance Sheets (412kb PDF)

1960 Allsop Cup Finalists - Team Photo (134kb PDF)

1961 Huddersfield Central League Section 'B' Winners - Newspaper Report (290kb PDF)

1962 Tinker Cup Final - Team Photo (124kb PDF)

1964 (Jan) AGM: 'Meetings and Balance Sheets' (1.6mb PDF)

1968 (24 Feb) 'Players Promise Full Support' - Newspaper Cutting (457kb PDF)

1970 Member's Card (33kb PDF)

1972 Secretary's Report: 'The Season was Dry' (162kb PDF)

1972 (1 Feb) AGM Minutes: 'Prizes for Raffles' (901kb PDF)

1974 (21 Apr) AGM Minutes: '£60 Profit and Pontoon Tickets' (78kb PDF)

1978 (15 Jul) Scorebook v Denby Dale (135kb PDF)

1978 Geoff Boycott Visit & (Jul) Team Photo (156kb PDF)

1981 (2 May) Scorebook v Bradley & Colnebridge (158kb PDF)

1982 '£30,000 Bus Terminus Scrapped' & Phil Brammall (227kb PDF)

1986 Bob Taylor Visit - Photo (241kb PDF)

1986 (4 May) Scorebook v Thurstonland (128kb PDF)

1987 Tinker Cup Final Winners v Almondbury Wesleyans & Team Photo (142kb PDF)

1988 (8 Mar) AGM Minutes: 'Excellent Fundraising' (91kb PDF)

1991 Team Photo - Huddersfield Central League Section 'B' v YMCA (180kb PDF)

1992 (10 Mar) AGM MInutes: 'Umpires, Groundsman and Ladies' (93kb PDF)

1993 Scorebook v Cartworth Moor (126kb PDF)

1994 (21 Aug) Allsop Cup Final Winners

1994 Team Photos - Allsop Cup Winners & Section 'D' Winners (128kb PDF)

1995 Huddersfield Central League Champions - Newspaper Reports (191kb PDF)

1995 Huddersfield Central League Champions - Presentation & Photo (192kb PDF)

1997 Girl Cricketers - Recruitment Drive (91kb PDF)

2006 (11 Nov) Annual Dinner at Crosland Moor Golf Club (35kb PDF)

2007 (12 Aug/11 Oct) Slush Trip & Curry Night (77kb PDF)

2008 1st XI & 2nd XI Fixtures (96kb PDF)

2009 Snacks Price List (54kb PDF)

2009 (13 Nov) Annual Dinner at Meltham Golf Club (62kb PDF)

2009 1st XI & 2nd XI Fixtures (63kb PDF)

2009 (19 Sep) Race Night at Bridge Tavern (69kb PDF)

£350 Prize Draw (48kb PDF)

Club Cap (71kb PDF)

Club Logo (18kb PDF)

Cup Winners - undated (83kb PDF)

Heritage Display in Club Pavilion (370kb PDF)

'Long-Serving Officials' - undated (86kb PDF)

Member's Cards - undated (73kb PDF)

Women's Teams - undated (237kb PDF)

LEAGUES: Huddersfield Central League (web link)


Who's Who (678kb PDF)

John Booth

Phil Brammall

Alf Hewitt

Richard Holmes

R.Howarth   R.Howarth (191kb PDF)

David Mellor   David Mellor (555kb PDF)

Joe Mellor   1911 Medal (33kb PDF)

Dennis Schofield   Cricinfo

Terence Swift   Terence Swift (191kb PDF)

M.Thompson   1965 Professional Contract (183kb PDF)

Team Photos

1920s (84kb PDF)

1930s (267kb PDF)

1940s (152kb PDF)

1950s (378kb PDF)

1960s (245kb PDF)

1970s (102kb PDF)

1980s (103kb PDF)

1990s (306kb PDF)

Undated (185kb PDF)

History of Ground

Story of Woodhead Road (977kb PDF)

1975 Woodhead Road (171kb PDF)

2000 Snow (43kb PDF)

2008 (26 Jul) Holmbridge v Hoylandswaine (3.4mb PDF)

2009 'Local Rules' (63kb PDF)

2009 (13 Sep) Holmbridge v Bradley & Colnebridge (2.8mb PDF)

3D Map & Aerial Photograph (250kb PDF)

Watercolour by Tony Haigh

Woodhead Road - Heritage Graphic (62kb PDF)

Woodhead Road by Daniel Sewart (28kb PDF)

Ground Today

Action (2.3mb PDF)

Aerial Views (266kb PDF)

Church (613kb PDF)

Environs (873kb PDF)

General Views (1.5mb PDF)

Groundsman (337kb PDF)

On the Boundary (1.3mb PDF)

Pavilion (1.1mb PDF)

Players (261kb PDF)

Scoreboard (143kb PDF)

Signage (325kb PDF)

Spectators (404kb PDF)

Teatime and Tea Lady (270kb PDF)

Wicket & Square (367kb PDF)

Winter Snow (446kb PDF)

Oral History - John Booth and Friend

20 Seconds of Fame (audio)
Back in the Day (audio)
Clearing the Fence for Six (audio)
Local Rivalry (audio)
Past Professionals (audio)
Paying for Upkeep (audio)

Local Context

Profile of Holmbridge by Lindsay Pollick (144kb PDF)

Holmbridge & Holme (web link)

Holmbridge WI (web link)

St. David's Parish Church (web link)

The Bridge Tavern (web link)

The Old School (web link)

Former Cricket Clubs in Local Area (web link)

Further Reading

G.Redmonds, Holmfirth Place-Names and Settlement (1994)

P.Riley, Holmfirth: A Bygone Era (2006)

E.Williams, Holmfirth from Forest to Township (1989)

Holme Valley Express

Huddersfield Examiner

Cricket Heritage Trail: Beyond Holmfirth - Holmbridge & Cartworth Moor (web link)

Club Archives

Items Held by Club


With grateful thanks to John Booth (HCC) and Andrew Pearson.

You will need the Adobe Acrobat Plug-in to view these files.





Select Images to View Below:

The Ground
bails   Archive Images


Greatest Moment

Winning the 'Double' in 1994: Allsop Cup and Section 'D' title.

Local Hero

Club junior Dennis Schofield who went on to play for Yorkshire.

Bizarre Fact

In recent years the club have been involved in a long-running dispute over a (proposed) bus-turning circle close to their ground.


The Landlord and the Church

Once upon a time, when Holmbridge leased their ground from a local mill owner, the club was not allowed to play after 6pm on a Sunday, such was the bond that existed between their landlord and the nearby St. David's parish church.

When the club came into ownership of the ground (in the 1960s and 'in perpetuity', as a result of public subscription, and at a total cost of £100), it no longer had to take account of the church bells, nor had to adjourn Sunday games to Monday.

This tale says a lot about Holmbridge. Situated two miles south-west of Holmfirth, it is a sleepy Pennine village, with a strong community spirit, and it is no surprise that one of the most popular picture postcards of the place features summery views of the cricket ground and church. Pop into one of the local pubs and you'll spot the same picturesque scene painted onto a popular ornamental plate.


Television Fame!

So charming is the Woodhead Road ground that the producers of Last of the Summer Wine once asked permission to film at the venue.

John Booth, club secretary for 20 years and now league representative, takes up the story: 'At one point in the late-1970s we received a call from the BBC. They asked us whether they could do some filming at the ground and we were happy to oblige. We put out 13 cricketers and two umpires - and the umpires, batsman and bowler had to wear make-up for the occasion. All in all it took about four hours to film, for about 30 seconds of TV action!'

Other aspects of the venue add to the effect: the cute white pavilion, the small flower gardens, the turreted white wall at the top end of the ground, and the various poignant plaques and dedications: ROBERT GRIFFITH 'BOB' CAPPER - 3RD DECEMBER 1925-4TH APRIL 1999; IN MEMORY OF NORMAN ELON BARBER 1926-1990 - HOLMBRIDGE C.C.; HOLMBRIDGE C.C. REMEMBERS NEIL RICHARD BEAUMONT, AGED 24 YEARS, CRICKETER AND FRIEND.

Players may complain about the occasional undulation, but one local writer is in no doubt that, 'the two flattest fields in the Holmbridge area are home to Holmbridge Cricket Club and Holmbridge Football Club.'


Moving Moment

Holmbridge CC was founded in the 1880s and in its early years was based a quarter of a mile away from its current headquarters, at the top of Holme Banks. The club moved to the Woodhead Road site in around 1910. The club joined the Huddersfield Central League in 1915, at the same time as Leymoor, Meltham, Scholes and Thongsbridge.

However, within the space of 12 months, they had temporarily withdrawn from the competition, alongside Broad Oak, because of 'player shortages'. Quite predictably, world war was impacting upon local league cricket.

Holmbridge look back to the 1950s as their 'golden' decade. They captured the Allsop Cup in 1954, the Tinker Cup in 1957 and 1958, and also won various section titles. In the Central League, the club's local rivals are Thurstonland and Cartworth Moor; however, in yesteryear it was Scholes (before Scholes moved into the Huddersfield League). Indeed, Holmbridge-Scholes used to be a regular Bank Holiday fixture.


Local Rules

On the local circuit, Holmbridge is renowned for its short boundaries. Booth explains: 'The ground is approximately 100 yards long and 50 yards wide. This means that at both ends the leg-side boundary is pretty close. Needless to say, a lot of balls get lost in the nearby River Holme and the fields surrounding the ground. It's a horrendous problem.'

The boundaries are so close that local rules apply: umpires at Woodhead Road only signal six when the ball has cleared the ground; if it hits the boundary on the full (and doesn't go out of the ground), it is only a four. Booth says: 'I can remember a time when you scored three rather than four by hitting the boundary on the full.

Today, in a 45-over match, a par total is about 250. But just because there are short boundaries doesn't necessarily mean that scores are always high. Batsmen can start to cut and pull before they're really in, and this can give the bowler a chance.' Two of the club's greatest-ever players were Denis Schofield and Bruce Jakeman, a former Holmbridge pro.


Professionals and Midges

The club has also been active in the corridors of power, as the minutes of Central League committee meetings make plain:

4 November 1915, 'Holmbridge moved that the matter of playing without professionals be considered twelve months hence but received no support.'

26 May 1948, 'The Holmbridge rep. raised the question as to Holme Valley Grammar School boys playing in Central League cricket. The reason why he mentioned this was because one of their members had refused to play in their 2nd XI, stating as his reason if he did so he would be debarred from taking part in school matches…'

The Woodhead Road side was also mentioned in a curious minute of 4 May 1982: 'The Secretary said that he had been asked to bring to the notice of the League the excellent sporting spirit and appeals at the recent Bradley & Colnebridge versus Holmbridge game. Mr Barry Leadbeater said that he was very impressed with both clubs' attitude to the match and wished to compliment them both via Mr. Gordon Littlewood.'

Not surprisingly, the history of the village and the cricket club is linked to water. Holmbridge translates as 'bridge over the Holme', and the river runs straight through the centre of the village and parallel to Woodhead Road for long stretches. The pub next to the club is called The Bridge and midges are a big problem on the river side of the ground in mid-summer.


Old Fashioned Village

It is also a fact that in 1852 44 villagers were killed in floods after 90 million gallons of water seeped out of the nearby Bilberry Reservoir.
Once, the club considered filling in part of the nearby river and extending the playing surface, but the cost was prohibitive (£200 per square yard). On another occasion, the Water Board dug up part of the outfield at the road end to do some filtering work.

Woodhead Road is also famous for the grass bank that runs alongside the boundary to the left as you look out from the pavilion. A good two-thirds of this banking was cut away and demolished in 1954 - to leave it as it is now. In the mid-1990s, the wall on the same side was rebuilt. In between, in 1980, the pavilion building was extended.

Today, Holmbridge is a gorgeous old fashioned village. There's a general store, a well known Sunday School (which has its own annual 'Feast' and was once famous for its bazaars), and a burgeoning branch of the W.I. ('Our members have enjoyed an interesting programme of events over the past few months. A trip to Helmsley walled garden and Sutton Park was delightful').

One writer depicts the place thus: 'It stands at the head of a steepsided valley...Some of the cottages date from the 1700s and the valley is noted for its unique style of architecture - four-decker cottages dug into hillsides...Holmbridge is a lovely village.'

Disclaimer - Designed and programmed by Lee Booth.

Heritage Lottry Fund University of Huddersfield