The Cricket History of Calderdale and Kirklees

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Woodlands, Miry Lane, Thongsbridge, Holmfirth

HD9 7SA   View Map

Altitude: 124 Metres/407 Feet

Hudds Lge    Hudds Junior Lge

Volunteer Contacts:

Alan Moore & Mel Dean

Junior Section Website

  Club Image

Founded: 1860
Nearest Landmark: Thongsbridge Tennis Club
Nearest Railway Station: Honley
By Bus: 309/310/311 from Huddersfield Bus Station
Nearest Other Club: Holmfirth
Nearest Pub: Sycamore Inn

  • Club
  • People
  • Team Photos
  • Ground
  • Oral History
  • Local Context
  • Further Reading


Timeline (40kb PDF)

Early Years (1.9mb PDF)
Later Years (2.5mb PDF)
Club History in Express & Chronicle Newspapers (145kb PDF)

History of Club and Ground - Extract from Pennine Pitch (74kb PDF)

Concise History of Club (14kb PDF)

1876 Scores v Holmebridge at Thongsbridge (754kb PDF)

1910 Lumb Cup & Association Cup Winners - Team Photos (634kb PDF

1929 Paddock Shield Final Winners v Lockwood at Kirkburton - Report (282kb PDF)

1930 Member's Card inc. Officers & 1st XI/2nd XI Fixtures (448kb PDF)

1931 Paddock Shield Winners - Team Photo (191kb PDF)

1932 Huddersfield League Champions: 'G.Mellor Takes Nine Wickets' (785kb PDF)

1939 Hinchliffe Cup & Lancaster Cup Winners - Team Photo & Tables (233kb PDF)

1943 Charity Match - Photo of Players (46kb PDF)

1944 Section 'B' Champions, Club News & Team Photos (431kb PDF)

1945 Paddock Shield Final Winners v Lascelles Hall - Scores (182kb PDF)

1950 Johnson Cup Winners, Players & Wives & Tea Committee (664kb PDF)

1951 Johnson Cup & Paddock Shield Winners (97kb PDF)

1960 'Double' Winners & (9 Dec) Dinner at Holmfirth Civic Hall (610kb PDF)

1964 Walker Cup Runners-Up (167kb PDF)

1965 Section 'B' Winners (300kb PDF)

1975 Secretary's Report: 'Three New Players for Next Season' (362kb PDF)

1970s Bowls Club - Photos (248kb PDF)

1982 '64 Years of Cricket 1919-83' - Club Officials & Key Events (492kb PDF)

1983 Cup Winners & (14 Jan) Harold Wimpenny - Fred Stallard Winner (342kb PDF)

2005 Heritage Exhibition Launch Event - Thongsbridge Tennis Club (341kb PDF)

Heritage Display in Club Pavilion (136kb PDF)

League Handbook Entries - undated (42kb PDF)

Match Report & Scores v Slaithwaite (home) - undated (59kb PDF)

Match Report v Meltham Mills (away) - undated (111kb PDF)

LEAGUES: Alliance, Combination, Hudds Central League, Hudds League (web link)


Who's Who (277kb PDF)

H.C.Allen   Profile (110kb PDF)

Arthur Beaumont   Profile (19kb PDF)

Harold Beaumont   Profile (13kb PDF)   Cricinfo

David Berry   1975 Paddock Shield (94kb PDF)

Albert Bray   Profile (7kb PDF)

Jim Dawson   Huddersfield League President (269kb PDF)

K.R.Dyson   Profile (15kb PDF)

Dominic Ford

Mohammad Ghouse   Cricinfo

Herbert Haigh   1932 Professional (116kb PDF)

Tom Hirst    1944 Professional (90kb PDF)

Jeff Howard   Oral History

Arthur Kaye   1954 Presentation (80kb PDF)

William Lancaster   Profile (7kb PDF)   Cricinfo

Arthur Noble   Photo (124kb PDF)   Archive (web link)

Eddie Parkin   Cup Victory - undated (88kb PDF)

Derek Randall   Profile by David Brenchley (29kb PDF)   Cricinfo

John Shaw   Profile (26kb PDF)

Graham Sutton   1985 - New Skipper (222kb PDF)

Alfred Sykes   Profile (7kb PDF)

Mick Thornton   Photo (115kb PDF)

Harold Wimpenny   Profile (33kb PDF)   Photos (496kb PDF)

Team Photos

1910s (693kb PDF)

1920s (180kb PDF)

1930s (189kb PDF)

1940s (165kb PDF)

1950s (161kb PDF)

1960s (291kb PDF)

1970s (201kb PDF)

1980s (273kb PDF)

1990s (177kb PDF)

Undated (278kb PDF)


Story of Miry Lane (589kb PDF)

1951 Miry Lane (122kb PDF)

1966 (May) Opening of Bridge (341kb PDF)

1969 Conveyances (32kb PDF)

1969 New Tea Room & Boundary Wall (146kb PDF)

1981 New Pavilion Development (1.6mb PDF)

2006 Plans for New Clubhouse (126kb PDF)

2006 (Dec) Miry Lane (466kb PDF)

2007 Thongsbridge v Marsden (web link)

3D Map & Aerial Photograph (250kb PDF)

Holme Valley Cricket Grounds - Painting in Clubhouse (80kb PDF)

Line Drawing by Sue Brant

Miry Lane Heritage Graphic (59kb PDF)

Painting of Ground (41kb PDF)

Action (926kb PDF)

Clubhouse (336kb PDF)

Environs (477kb PDF)

General Views (615kb PDF)

Pavilion (472kb PDF)

Players (118KB PDF)

Signage (252kb PDF)

Spectators (404kb PDF)

Tea Room (67kb PDF)

Oral History

Jeff Howard

Coaches and Professionals
Community Links
Cricket Country
Ethnic Minorities
Thriving Junior Section

Tea Ladies in the Holme Valley (Thongsbridge CC & Holmfirth CC)

Documentary - Produced and Presented by Reanne Atherton

Local Context

Profile of Thongsbridge by Lindsay Pollick (241kb PDF)

Thongsbridge (Wikipedia)

Holmfirth Branch Line (web link)

Local History (web link)

Thongsbridge Tennis Club (web link)

Cricket Heritage Trail: Compo Country - Holmfirth & Thongsbridge (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

If you have any information about this club or any others in this area that could be of use please feel free to contact us via

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Select Images to View Below:

The Ground
  Archive Images


Greatest Moment

1919 - when the club re-formed after the disruption of the Great War.

Local Hero

Harold Wimpenny - he never played for the club but became a Life Member on account of his sterling service.

Bizarre Fact

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.

Disclaimer - Designed and programmed by Lee Booth.

Heritage Lottry Fund University of Huddersfield