1919 - when the club re-formed after the disruption of the Great War.
Harold Wimpenny - he never played for the club but became a Life Member on account of his sterling service.
The 1944 Holmfirth flood put a halt to cricket at Thongsbridge for 4-5 weeks.
Over the Bridge
You locate the cricket ground by traipsing over a small iron bridge near the car park. The tan-coloured pavilion building and scorebox are on your right. This is a new construction: it was officially opened on 20 September 1981 by former club president Mr. H. Wimpenny.
Atop the two-storey building is a rather handsome clock, and Tetleys and Carlsberg are given a name-check on the frontage. (The original pavilion had been opened on 31 May 1913 - and thus lasted for more than two-thirds of a century).
Located downstairs in the pavilion are a set of showers and a pair of changing rooms: one for the umpires on the left, and one for the away team on the right. It is upstairs where the home players dump their kit bags and pad up as and when required. The view of the playing area from this vantage-point is excellent. When the sun starts to set in mid-evening, the picture is a very pretty one.
The playing area is surrounded by mills and cottages - and you'll often see locals picking fruit in adjoining fields. There are whitewashed dry stone walls at both ends of the ground, and the River Holme trickles under the aforementioned bridge.
There is also a football pitch, a set of four benches, three advertising boards (for Sovereign Motor Co., S.G. Shaw Industrial & Commercial, and CEF Electrical), and a large collection of trees - hence the venue's name.
The tea room is sited on the other side of the ground from the pavilion, and so many games are staged at Woodlands that occasionally the groundsman has to denote which home XI should use which strip by using special paint marks next to the wickets in question.
A 'Pretty, Picturesque Ground'
The history of the ground is an interesting one. Through the hard work of members, it was extended by 15 yards in 1934. A decade later it was severely affected by floods. The first bout came in the spring of 1944; the second arrived in September 1946, when several feet of mucky debris was left on the playing surface.
But observers have been very kind, and rightly so. One, writing in 1951, declared that Woodlands was a 'pretty picturesque ground', that its wickets were better than ever, and that the club benefited from having a loyal, enthusiastic membership and did not have to rely on a bar for finance.
The year after, a second said: 'The Thongsbridge club have of recent years had to face...tribulations, for flooding by the river has on occasions left two feet of filth and rubbish over the whole field. Only the great enthusiasm of the Yorkshireman for his cricket has enabled...such difficulties [to be overcome].'
Today, the feeling of Thongsbridge cricketers is that they are lucky to have such a lovely ground. One commented: 'I think it's a nice, quaint venue, and surely one of the nicest settings in the League. Even opposition teams think it's a nice place to play, and for some it's their favourite away ground. The wicket is not the best, but it's not too bad either. I'd say that 200 is a par score on our strip.'
Early Years and a League Title
Thongsbridge C.C. was formed in the middle of the nineteenth century. There is no official record of the club's birth, but 1860 is a possible date. The club used to play in the Alliance League. They applied to join the Huddersfield Central League in 1914, but were turned down, only to gain admittance the following year alongside Broad Oak; in 1926 they joined the Huddersfield League and have remained members ever since.
It is clear that 1933 was a key date in the history of the club. Only seven years after they had joined the Huddersfield League, they won it. The 1933 Holmfirth Almanac and Yearbook said that Thongsbridge had been 'worthy champions'. In the same year, they also finished runners-up in the Sykes Cup. Messrs. Lancaster, Haigh and Wilkinson - president, treasurer and secretary respectively at the time - would have been delighted.
And the future looks pretty bright. One of the club's juniors, 16-year-old Philip Birkhead, made headlines a few years ago when he rattled up 109 in a league fixture at Woodlands, after the opposition had put a total of 290 on the board.
He was Thongsbridge's youngest-ever centurion and as one letter-writer to the Holme Valley Express put it: this was 'local cricket at its best'. The club juniors are obviously on a roll, for not long after there was another remarkable game at Miry Lane. The youngsters of Holmbridge scored 252-0 - only to see the home side cruise to an amazing nine-wicket victory.