About Elland Cricket, Athletic & Bowling Club

As with many sports clubs, Elland Cricket Club has long history.   It started out as a Sunday School team; there is some dispute as to the year – but a cricket historian based at Huddersfield University, puts it as early as 1861.

A cricket XI was formed of teachers and scholars linked to Providence Independent Sunday School in 1860, and it was out of this side that Elland CC came into being in 1863.   Little is known about the reasons for the name change, but the involvement of leading members of the local community such as John Wilson Esq. and William Dewhirst Esq. suggests the Club came to be viewed as an ‘opportunity’ to project the town’s profile.

The subsequent move to a ground with greater possibilities for improvement was accompanied by a fixture list based on matches against other local teams.


In the late 1870's and 1880's the rising status of Elland CC was reflected in a series of major matches which were played at Hullen Edge. Staging this type of ‘big match’ cricket, against leading touring XI's, had been a common way of attracting prestige for clubs in the area since the 1840's - leading players came together to form teams which could be hired to play matches against local and district sides of varying numbers.

Not surprisingly, these matches were the major events of the season. The 1846 All England XI, which was the first to tour the country in this way, played at Leeds during their initial season and regular annual matches were played by this team, and others that followed in its wake, in other Yorkshire towns. The most famous of these ‘big matches’ to be staged at Elland was the first one, against the mighty 1878 Australian tourists. The Club also played against a team of touring Clowns…


"The public spirit of the Ellanders has once again come to the front and, by the engagement of the Australian Cricketers, thousands of people, round and square, have been offered an opportunity of witnessing one of the finest treats that could have been provided. The treat was all the more exceptional because the match was only the fifth which the Antipodeans have played upon this side of the water, three out of the five, moreover, having been at Nottingham, at Lords and at Kennington Oval, whilst only one, that against Yorkshire, has approached this division of the country."

Halifax Guardian, June 8th 1878
Advert in the press

"The Australian Eleven begin a three days match with Eighteen of Elland and District on Thursday. The Elland Club has been coming steadily to the front for some years. It has at last reached the foremost place in the Halifax district, Halifax itself having possessed no really first-class club since the dissolution of Trinity. The Elland men seem most enterprising, proof of which was found in their having, at so early a period in the stay of the Australian Cricketers, engaged in a match with them."

Halifax Courier, June 8th 1878
The Australian team
MATCH STATS: Australians 90 and 85, Elland 29 and 66


…and the Indians


In 1886 the Indian Parsees joined the list of prominent touring sides to visit Elland. The match, which took place on the 18th and 19th of June, was drawn, with Elland scoring 162 and 125 against the Parsees’ 116 in their only innings.

Traditional Parsee dress

Apparently, the exotic nature of the Parsee players and their surnames proved memorable to the locals. The pronunciation of names such as D.D. Khambata, S.M. Bhedwar and J.D.P. Pochkhanavalla was particularly challenging for the nineteenth century Yorkshire tongue, much to the amusement of the spectators.

Nevertheless, the Tourists were made very welcome, and at a postmatch dinner, given by the Elland President, John W. Smithies, ‘several toasts were drunk, [with] the “Parsees” being warmly honoured.’

A century before Kerry Packer… a cricket circus comes to Elland!


Their previous match

"Yesterday Casey’s peripatetic cricketers commenced a two days match with 15 of Elland Cricket Club. One of the players, Dugwar, is a juggler and equilibrist: the rest of the Clowns do not play cricket but greatly amuse the spectators between the innings and as the game proceeds with jokes, acrobatic feats and whimsicalities. It was intended to give a grand variety of entertainment last evening after the wickets were drawn, a very good programme being arranged, but [with] a thunderstorm coming on at six-o-clock… the programme could not be proceeded with. There will be such an entertainment today, of course weather permitting, and we are told it is well worth seeing, with such tricks as were done yesterday during the match the spectators were greatly amused."

Halifax Courier, 7th August 1880

Rain ruined the second day of the ‘Clowns’ match, and the paper reported: This was extremely unfortunate, as the Elland Club had gone to great expense in securing Casey’s team. By these two unlucky days they lose as much as £25.
But, despite the weather, Casey’s had been enough of a success for them to be booked the following season.

Halifax Courier, 14 August 1880

More literature from their previous tour match

Wartime glory


Yorkshire Cricket Council Play-off Final - 1916
Elland 260 for 9
Staincliffe . . . 62

This was one of only two occasions when the Club reached the final of this prestigious competition (which covered the whole of the county and included many of its leading clubs). The Council was split into sections with the winners of each entering a ‘play-off series’ to decide the overall champions. After winning the Halifax section of the Council, Elland met Hunslet Nelson in the play-off semi-final.

After scoring a formidable 233, which included an aggressive 107 from Ted Wadsworth, Elland dismissed their opponents for 183. In the final against Staincliffe - which was played at Brighouse - Elland once again batted first and scored over 200. This time White (89), Hepworth (56) and B. Smith (53) were the main contributors in a total of 260 for 9.


The Later Years

Post-war Price Rise


This Committee proposal in 1947, to raise subscriptions rates, gives an interesting insight into the membership structure and costs immediately following the Second World War:
Honorary Members and Vice Presidents 30/-
Full members
- Gentlemen 20/-
- Ladies 15/-
- Gentlemen (under 21 years) 12/-
- Ladies (under 21 years) 12/-
Ordinary members
- Gentlemen 10/-
- Ladies 5/-
Schoolboy cricket members 5/-

Welcome offer!


Before motorised rollers became commonly available, the arduous work of rolling the pitch was never popular amongst players. This was evident in the following minute, which was recorded at a meeting held on April 7th 1952.
There was a proposal the middle and practice wickets be rolled by voluntary labour. An amendment was moved that Messrs Mitchells of Halifax should be engaged to do the work. On the vote a stalemate was reached.
A further amendment was moved that it be done by volunteers and at this point Mr D.C. Andrew (Messrs Conways) intervened and said he would lend the club either a Roller or a Tractor of theirs to save the expense. He was warmly thanked.

The Club used the money it was left by Earnest King, after his death in 1959, to buy its first motorised roller.

Changing times


1962 annual expenditure: £7,695 14s 2d
1969 annual expenditure: £15,962 9s 6d.


A County gound


As the twentieth century came to a close, Elland Cricket Club’s proud tradition of staging premier cricket matches was still going strong. In 1978, exactly 100 years after the visit of the most prestigious touring team of all, the Australians, Yorkshire County Cricket Club began to play regular 2nd XI Championship matches at Hullen Edge. In all, 21 matches were played before the last, in 1999.

England skipper Michael Vaughan

This, of course, means that many Yorkshire stars of recent years put in significant performances at Hullen Edge during their rise to County and Test honours.

This list includes Anthony McGrath, who scored 218 against Surrey 2nd XI in 1994 and David Byas who scored 125 against Glamorgan 2nd XI in 1987. But it does not include the current England captain, Michael Vaughan, who had the misfortune to score 0 and 10 against Kent 2nd XI in 1992.


Sykes Cup success



Elland’s cup-final victory in 1998 was comfortable, vanquishing Hall Bower by 113 runs.
Elland 280 for 4
J. Webster . . . . . 141 not out
Hall Bower restricted to 167 for 5
J. Thornton . . . . . 4 for 58

Club goes online


Elland are not the only local cricket club to realise the advantages to be had by a presence in Cyberspace.

As the website announces:
Elland Cricket, Athletic and Bowling Club was founded in 1870 and is ideally located between Halifax and Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. The club boasts outstanding Cricket, Football, Bowling and Tennis facilities and is made up from a number of sporting sections. The sports facilities are superbly maintained throughout the year by a full time groundsman, David Fletcher. David received awards in 2003 for the quality of the Cricket field and the Bowling greens.


Junior success


The end-of-term report on the Club’s junior sides in 2004 made happy reading for the Hullen Edge faithful:
Our under-15 team finished a creditable 5th in 2004 and the under-13s were in mid-table. Dominic Finn led the Huddersfield U-13 representative side and, in his annual report, experienced former cricketer Geoff Barnard paid him the compliment of saying in his annual report that he was the best captain they had had in his four years as manager.

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