Netherthong Football History Part 2 – 1923 to date

The Holmfirth & District AFL meeting in July 1923 confirmed that 13 clubs, including Netherthong, had applied for membership for the season 1923-24. After discussion it was agreed that the radius measure should stay at six miles from Holmfirth Town Hall.

 Although there was no explanation given, it became very clear in September, when the league fixtures were given, that Netherthong was no longer in the  league and the club was effectively in abeyance.

 However a new club was formed called the Netherthong Argyle Association Football Club which joined the Huddersfield District Football League for under 21 teams and fixtures were arranged from September 16 – April 7. Herbert Hoyle was the captain, C.Wood the vice – captain, S.Butterworth president and Lewis Dyson the secretary. Their pitch was in the field situated at Moor Lane on the right-hand side as you leave the village.. See below a photograph of the team.

Argyle Football Club
Argyle Football Club

Results were :  Argyle 4  Golcar 6.  Scorers for Netherthong were A. Sanderson with a hat –trick and A.Roebuck.   Argyle won the return match 2-1. They drew with Flockton Juniors 2-2 at home but lost the return at Flockton by 5-1.

 The home game against Cliffe attracted a large crowd and Argyle ran out 7 -4 winners with R.Hill bagging 4, A. Sanderson 2 and Harry Charlesworth 1. The return at Cliffe was won by the home team 3-1.

 They drew 2-2 at home with Shepley ( L. Charlesworth and R.Hall the scorers) and also drew 1-1 at Shepley with R.Hall scoring but also missing a penalty. R.Hall was in the goals again, scoring 2 in their away loss to Honley United Reserves.

 In the last game of the year, Argyle drew once again, this time 2-2 away to Golcar Reserves. Sanderson and R.Hall scored. In the first game of the New Year, Argyle visited Brockholes and lost 1 -2. The picture was very different when Brockholes came to Netherthong. The home team were 1-0 up at half-time and in the 2nd. half went on a rampage and won 7-0. A. Sanderson and R.Hall both got hat-tricks and the other was scored by H. Charlesworth.

 Argyle were on a roll and when they visited Golcar United they won by 7-1 with the scorers being H.Charlesworth(3), A.Sanderson (2), R.Hall and F.Shaw. They won the return game at home by 9-0 but the scorers names were not given.

 They lost 4-2 at Slaithwaite but drew  2-2  at home. J.Rothery and H.Charlesworth being the scorers.

 In aid of club funds, they organized a dance in January in the United Methodist School, Mr.C.Wood played the dance music on the piano.

 Their next game was home to a strong Honley United team. It was 2-2 up to the last minute, thanks to goals by A.Sanderson and R.Hall, but unfortunately Honley snatched a late winner. When they visited Honley they were soundly beaten 7-1 with R.Hall scoring their only goal. Fortunately they rebounded and beat Brockholes 4-0 at home with A. Sanderson ( 2 ) , F.Shaw and R.Hall scoring. It seemed that the advantage of the home pitch and supporters played an important part – Argyle were trounced 9-0 at Cliffe but won the return game 4-1.

 In the last game of the season they ended in grand style beating Brockholes 9-2. The scorers were H.Hall ( 3 ), E.Swallow ( 2 ), H.Charlesworth (2 ), A.Sanderson and H.Hoyle.

 It is unfortunate that the local paper did not print the final league table.

  Argyle once again entered the Huddersfield Sunday School League and in their first game of the new season they visited Elland to play Elland Congregational and lost 1-2.  Their first home game  against Cliffe resulted in a 1-1 draw with A.Roebuck scoring. Away at the Crosland Moor ground they lost 3-6 to the United Methodist team. At home to Berry Brow Wesleyans they won 3-2, H.Charlesworth(2) and F.Shaw. They drew 2-2 at Lockwood against the Baptists. Scorers A. Sanderson and H. Charlesworth. In October they beat Thurstonland 2-1 at home with A.Sanderson and H.Buckley scoring.

  The club organized a very successful dance at the National School and the report stated “the company  took part in the up-to- date dances “.

 They lost 2-3 against South Street, J.Wilson and C. Dufton being the scorers and were well beaten 1-7 against Netheroyd Hill. A home match against Outlane gave them a 4-1 victory which was the same score they achieved the following week when they played Moldgreen Congregationals. R.Singleton, Wilson, Sanderson and Buckley scoring.

  Continuing with their fund raising activities they organized a whist drive and dance in December.

  They lost the last two games of 1923, 0-4 at Milnsbridge Baptist team and  1-2 at home against Lindley Zion.

  The paper reported that Argyle were mid way up the table.

    For the first game in 1924  they played Golcar at home and won 2-1 with goals by H.Hoyle and R.Buckley. The next game was also at home and they beat Elland Congregational 3-1 , H.Hoyle (2 ) and H. Charlesworth. The paper reported that J.Kingdom played a particularly good game. The next game was also at home and they lost 0-1 to a goal scored in the last minute by Crosland Moor United Methodists. Yet another home game saw them draw 1-1 with Berrybrow Wesleyans. The paper also reported on a game played in the Moor Road pitch by  Netherthong Juniors against Wooldale Juniors which they lost 2-3.

 Argyle were due to meet Elland Congregationalists in the 1st. round of the Town Shield but Elland were unable to fulfill their commitment so Argyle got a pass through to the next round. In February Argyle met Thurstonland for the first time and won 2-0 away with goals by F.Shaw and H.Charlesworth.

  Argyle organized a whist drive and dance at the National School. Supper was provided by the ladies and Mr.H.Preston’s Band provided the music for dancing.

 Argyle lost heavily 0-5 against the South Street Primitive Methodists but when they met the same team in the 2nd. round of the Cup  they put up a much better performance and narrowly lost 1-2 with the goal scored by F.Shaw. In March, the Netheroyd Hill Congregationalists were the visitors and were beaten 6-3. Argyle were at home against Milnsbridge Baptists and won 4-1 , R .Hall ( 2 ) and A.Sanderson ( 2 ).

Unfortunately they next had Honley Primitive Methodists as visitors and lost 1-6. The following week the  Lockwood Baptists visited and Argyle had a good 5-1 victory.

It would appear that that was the last game of the season although, once again, the local paper did not print a table so one can only guess how well Argyle performed. There were no reports of a team from 1925 through to 1932 but in September 1932 the Express reported that there had been much interest in the newly formed AFC in the village. 30 names had enrolled as players and the following officials were appointed – Mr.S.Butterworth, president . Mr.J.Walker, treasurer. Mr.A.Bray, League representative. Mr.L.Barnes, treasurer. Mrs.L.Haigh, secretary. The tennis pitch had been secured as the playing area and the Queen’s Arms as the headquarters. The team were to be called Netherthong United, NTU. The first game was a narrow loss to Scissett by 2-1. R.Dyson captained the team and John Roebuck scored the goal. The next result was aloss to Meltham Mills by 6-4 with Allsopp,Bray,Swaine & Taylor scoring. The team continued on their losing streak against Kirkburton Church before getting their first point with a 4-4 draw against Hade Edge Rovers. Allsopp with 2, Sanderson and Kaulton with one apiece. Two further losses followed against Wooldale and Newsome and at that stage , after 7 games,  NTU and Hade Edge were propping up the bottom of the league. A win 5-2 against Brockholes United was their first victory with Sanderson getting a hat-trick and their next game against St.Cuthbert’s Church was another win with Bray scoring a hat-trick .

 In the Wooldale  Football Book it showed that in the 1932-33 season NTU  had come 10th out of 12 teams  playing 22, winning 5, losing 15 and drawing 2 for a total of 12 points. The League was won by Scholes. In their two games against Wooldale they lost the away game 0-2 and the return at home by 2 goals to 5.  Under the heading ” NTU tales of woe “, the Express listed details of five injured players. 1. N.Shaw broke his finger against Wooldale, it became septic and he sunsequently had it removed. 2. P.Smith, the goalkeeper, broke his nose also in a game against Wooldale.  3. A.Allsop received an injury to one of his knees playing against Meltham Mills. 4. Tom Hobson sustained serious injuries to one of his knees against Hade Edge in December 1932. A benefit game was played against Scholes in February 1933 which raised £3 to his benefit fund.. 5. And finally A.Sanderson, their left winger, was committed to Holme Valley Memorial Hospital with rheumatic fever.

The following season, 1933-34, there were 13 teams in the league  and NTU,  in their first game  lost 2-6 against  Hade Edge, but then had a real end-to end game against Clayton West before running out winners by 6-2. Unfortunately they lost the next two games, one of them being a drubbing 9-0 against Scissett. Results continued to be very mixed with a 4-4 draw against Scholes, a loss to Emley by the odd goal, a 5-2 defeat against Sovereign Rangers followed by a 7-1 win against Aspley United with Jackson scoring a hat-trick. The year finished with them drawing with Wooldale Wanderers , losing 2-3 against Scholes and drawing 2-2 with Sovereign Rangers to end in 10th. position. 1934 followed the same pattern but they managed to end the season  with three good wins against Brockholes, Emley and Denby Dale which enabled them  to improve to 8th. position  , playing 22 games with 6 wins and 4 draws and scoring 16 points. The league winners were Scissett.

However in September, because of the change in boundaries that the Football Association implemented , the Express football reporter under his by-line ” Arbiter” said that the decision  had wrecked the Holme Valley League. Two of last seasons teams, Wooldale Wanderers and Sovereign Rangers had joined the Penistone & District League with the remainder of the clubs disbanding.

The Express reported at the beginning of 1938 that Netherthong United were in 3rd. position in the red triangle league for U-18. There were no match reports but in March the final table showed United came 7th. out of 12 teams having played 22 games, winning 10, losing 9 and drawing 3. In October 1938 the paper reported United were no longer in the red triangle league but no reasons were given.

In January 1938,  Deanhouse Mills were playing in the Huddersfield Works League and  were lying the beginning of the year . By April they were still in 5th. position having played 18 with 8 wins, 7 losses and 3 . They remained in Section A of the Huddersfield Works League when the new season started in October.The season ended in May 1939 and Deanhouse Mills finished 4th. after 20 matches with 25 points from 11 wins and 3 draws.

In September war was declared and the football leagues were cancelled.

The Express reported in March 1972 that a Netherthong man, Max Taylor of Broomy Lea Lane, was one of only two players that season to be awarded a full purple by London University FC. He was selected for the squad to go to the British University Sports Federation tournament at Easter. ‘Purples ‘ are colours awarded to players for creditable performances and he had played in the side which beat Oxford University 2-0 and drew with Cambridge University 2-2.

A meeting was held at the Clothier’s Arms in February 1973 with a view to forming a new football club. There clearly had been a positive result as a team, called Netherthong SC ( Social Club ) was entered in Division IX of the Huddersfield & District A.F.L. Results and reports were far and few between in the local paper but in a game against Milnbridge the SC won by 3-2 scoring the winning goal in the last minute with goals by Battye, Sykes and Priestley. In the same month they drew 2-2 away at Park Rangers and the members of the team were listed as : O.Wood, D.Haigh, K.Leak, S.Cappleman, G.Baddeley, A.Dobson, J.Turner, M.Tinker, I. Battye, R.Priestley, P.Stead, T.Kimmage and the reserves A.Hirst and A.Muff. In November they beat Honley Lib. by 4-3 with Dobson, Turner and Priestley ( 2 ) getting the goals. This was followed by a 2-2 draw against Crescent FC with Priestley and Kimmage scoring. In January SC continued their unbeaten run to three matches scoring double figures and making it 31 goals for and one against. They beat Park Rangers 11-1 with  Tinker, Battye and Priestley sharing the spoils. Their goalkeeper , Ashton, had some lucky escapes and their right back, not named, was sent off for an incident.

No final league table was given but Netherthong must have done very well and probably won the league because when the new season started in September 1974 they had been promoted to Div.VIII. Although the paper listed the weekly fixtures for all the local teams they gave no reports or results instead giving any space available to the exploits of the Upperthong teams. However they did record that in April 1975, the Huddersfield District League had asked the SC to try to improve their facilities and provide changing rooms and showers on their ground or risk being expelled from the League.

There was no final league table but  once again the SC must have had a very successful season as they were listed as being in Division VII for the new season in September 1975. There was a match report for the game in October against Thongsbridge which was played in atrocious conditions.  The result was 8-3 to the SC with Heap, Alsop and Holmes all scoring twice and Maude and Tinker also netting, The match between SC and Upperthong in the 2nd. round of the Invitation Cup merited a half-page report and photograph. The SC were leading 3-2 until the dying seconds when Upperthong equalised. The match went into extra time with Upperthong snatching the winner. Alsop and Baxter ( pen ) scored for the SC, The team were congratulated on their performance as there was a four division difference between the teams. In March the team beat Meltham Res. 3-2 in the quarter final of the Richardson Cup. Dobson in goal was in great form and Sykes and Alsop ( 2) were the scorers.

I hate to repeat myself but that was the last report for the season and no league table was given but the SC once again must have performed well  because in the new season starting in September 1976, they had  moved up into a higher division, this time Div.VI.  There must have been a change of policy at the paper because more matches were being reported. After two disappointing results, they hit top form against Cartworth Moor winning 4-0 with a hat-trick from Alsop and a goal by Battye. Alsop scored twice  against Paddock but that was not enough to stop his team losing 4-2. They bounced back in the 1st. round of the Sheffield Cup against Wath Sports winning 3-2. Alsop scored his second from a spectacular overhead kick from 20 yards, Dobson in goal was rock steady and Wakefield, Thompson and Lockwood played well in midfield. The winning goal was by from a corner by Brown which was chipped by Thompson over the keeper and into the net. In the second round against Flockton, despite a brace by Alsop, the lost 3-2. They played top of the table, Linthwaite Athletic in October and lost 4-2 – they had gone one up with a goal by Wakefield and Alsop made this 2-0 after 20 minutes but Linthwaite got on top and scored four times. The referee made Alsop man-of-the-match. Their next match was also a defeat by 4-3 to Milnsbridge with Alsop, Parsons ( pen ) and Priestley scoring. The team were obviously finding life in the higher league much more competitive but that didn’t seem to stop Alsop being a deadly striker.

In the first game in the New Year Alsop hit a hat-trick against Lepton but the team still lost 4-5. Heavy snow played havok with the fixtures but at the end of January they beat Cartworth Moor 5-1. Alsop scored the first goal followed by one by Sykes,  Cartworth pulled one back and then the SC captain, Battye, was penalised for a foul but the Cartworth striker shot wide. Alsop scored twice more for his hat-trick bringing his tally for the season to 27. Baxter scored the 5th. goal from a penalty.

The Express were devoting more space to reports on the SC games particulary as the team were fighting hard to avoid relegation. A fluke second half goal robbed brave SC of a point against Paddock, the promotion contenders. They took two valuable points by defeating Kirsteel Wharf 4-3. Baxter scored the first from a penalty, Alsop netted next and Baxter scored direct from a free kick to put the team 3-1 up. They became rather complacent and Kirsteel scored in the 72nd. and 80th. minutes to draw level. With five minutes to go Alsop was clear with only the keeper to beat when he was hacked down from behind for a penalty. The ever reliable   Baxter converted. Their next game against Honley United was an easy 7-1 win with the scorers being, Turner, Parsons, Alsop, Gray,Alsop, Alsop, Alsop. It looked like Alsop was going to bring his goal tally  to five but he was brought down by the keeper. Dobson, the SC keeper, trotted up to take the penalty kick and shot wide. SC after taking a two goal lead thanks to Battye and Turner were unable to keep the advantage and ended up by loosing 4-2 to Linthwaite. The March 14 issue of the Express had a photograph of the team and a full match report with the comment that they had failed to halt the big slide by losing 0-2 to Milnsbridge YMCA. They suffered their third successive defeat by losing 3-5 to Bay Athletic Reserves – Alsop and Parsons  sharing the goals. If that wasn’t traumatic enough for their loyal supporters they suffered a shock 1-0 defeat against fellow strugglers, Linthwaite. In April the headlines were that  ‘Survival was likely for SC’ after they beat Lepton 1-0 way from home  followed by another away victory by  3-2 at Honley which should have ensured another season for them in Div.VI.

SC were still in Div. VI for the new season which started in September 1977. The Express were continuing their policy of giving detailed match reports of their games. After three successive wins in which they had scored 16 goals they gave a disappointing display and surrendered the Division leadership when they lost 1-2 at home to Thorpe Green – Battye scored their goal. In their next match against Oakes they were outplayed and lost 0-3. However SC had developed an attacking formation in training and in their next game ‘hammered’ out a warning to the Div.VI defences when they thrashed Scapegoat Hill Reserves 8-2. The strike force was P.Livesey and the re-juvenated G.Alsop and both of them scored hat tricks. In very blustery conditions SC beat Lepton 5-3 with goals by Sykes(2), Battye and Alsop ( 2). However tempers became frayed and both Battye and MacCatrey were booked.

The good run continued when they crushed Holmbridge in the 2nd. round of The Sheffield Cup. The result was especially cheering because Holmbridge were in Div.III. Sykes scored a hat trick with Condie and Alsop also on the score sheet. In  their next game they cruised into the next round of The Invitation Cup  when they  hammered Storthes Hall 11-1 even with their leading goalscorer, G.Alsop, absent. Sykes with two goals and one by McCaherty who also missed a penalty went  3-0 up. Netherthong looked sluggish and the biggest cheer came when a reporter fell in the water while retrieving the ball. At the stroke of half-time Livesey scored. After a verbal lashing from the coach, A.Kilcoyne, the second half brought more urgency. Condie, Battye with a brace and Livesey  all scored before Sykes got his third for his hat-trick. The goal of the game came in the 75th. minute when Livesey split the defence and his centre was met by Battye with a brilliant diving header for his hat-trick and before the end of the game Battye scored his 4th. The next match against Bay Athletic Res. was a 2-2 draw with Condie and Alsop scoring. The Express commented ‘ what went wrong’ with SC after another disappointing result when they lost 1-2 to Lindley Lib.Res. Battye had put them ahead after 10 minutes but their passing was atrocious and A.Dobson in goal saved them from further embarrassment. 

The next match was played in conditions more suited to Sherpa Tensing but SC beat Thongsbridge 8-3 in the Sheffield Junior Cup. Alsop grabbed four, Priestley and Ashton got one apiece and McCaherty with two in the bag missed a penalty for the third time in the season. In the Invitation Cup Tie SC played against Diggle, a Lancashire league side, but were not strong enough to beat them , going down 3-6 with Alsop getting a hat trick. The next report was titled ‘ Netherthong turn on a goal tap’. The coach, A.Kilcoyne, claimed that his team were fantastic when they thrashed Little John Res. away from home.  SC went behind before Condle scored an equaliser but they looked sluggish and went in at half time 2-1 down. A pep talk had a great effect and Sykes levelled the scores followed in quick succession by D.  P.Livesey, J.Lockwood, Sykes again, Alsop and Livesey again. The result kept SC in 4th. place. 

With the team missing many chances they suffered a cup shock when they lost 3-6 to Wath Sports in the Sheffield Junior Cup. Livesey, McCaherty and Kilcoyne scoring the goals. The last game in the year was a cracker when SC played Upperthong Res. and, after the lead changed constantly, it wasn’t until the last five minutes that Upperthong scored the deciding goal. Sykes, Alsop, Condie ( pen), Turner and Battye all got a goal each.

SC started off the new year , 1978, in style beating Britannia Works 4-0. Sykes, Alsop scored two , one of which was a penalty, Ashton ( penalty ) and Livesey was voted man of the match.

Football team
Football team

The team photograph above was taken in December 1977.

The Express gave a short ‘biography’ of some of the players. “Paul Livesey – lives in Netherthong and works at David Brown Tractors and is 5’9″. John Lockwood , 5’10”, also comes from Netherthong, works at Hepworth Iron Company and fish and chips  is his favourite dish. David Sykes, the baby of the team is 18, 5’5″ and lives in the village. He enjoys egg and chips and his ambition is to grow taller. Tony Brown is 31, married with two children and lives in Thongsbridge. John Turner is married, lives in Netherthong and is a keen motor-cyclist.  Brian Gray is 31, married, lives in the village and works at David Brown Tractors. Frank Ashton is 19, 5’10” and  from Dalton. Ian Battye, married with one daughter, lives in Netherthong, works in Honley and hopes that one day he will win the Holmfirth Darts Cup. Alex KIlcoyne, 30, lives in Honley and is a Muppet fan. Alan Dobson, 17, married with two children works at David Brown tractors. Geoff Alsop,24, goal scorer supreme, is a native of Netherthong but lives in Thongsbridge with his wife and two children. He likes scampi and chips “.

In June 1978 a Netherthong cricket team, comprising of many of the football team, played against Upperthong at the annual Upperthong Gala. The photograph is shown below but none of the players were identified.

Netherthong v Upperthong Cricket match June 1978
Netherthong v Upperthong Cricket match June 1978


The next report was headed ” Thongs disaster day”. They lost 2-6 at home to Cartworth Moor in spite of two very good goals by Alsop. In February a depleted side had no answer to the power of the joint League leaders, Oakes, and slumped to a 6-1 defeat with Livesey scoring their only goal. They turned things round in their next match when they beat Little John Res. by 5-1 with Alsop getting yet another hat-trick, Kilkoyne and Condie with a penalty  also getting on the score sheet. They nearly caused a shock against unbeaten league leaders, Thorpe Green WMC, but, having led them 1-0 , they were finally sunk when the visitors scored twice in the last five minutes. After winning mid-week games against Bay Athletic Res, 5-2, and Lepton,3-0, they were back into the promotion race but their dreams turned into nightmares with a defeat against the already relegated Slaithwaite Res. by 4-3.  Daykin, Ashton and Battye scored. In the last match of the season they visited Lindley Lib.Res.  and won 7-0. The scorers were Alsop (2), Sykes, Halton, Ashton, Battye and Day. The reporter in his match report commented ”  he was so disappointed he went car spotting on the nearby M62. It was with some reluctance that he returned for the second half. By this time SC were two goals up, Kilcoyne had been sent off and a stray dog made up the numbers”.

For the new season, which started in September 1978, SC started off with a win by 3-1 against Hade Edge in windy conditions. Alsop 2 and Sykes 1 were the scorers. The Express did not report the next few games but then said that SC had continued its unbeaten run of four games with a narrow victory over Honley Libs by 2-1 with Sykes and Priestley scoring. In October the reporter started his article with ” Oh,what a circus ” sings David Essex which summed up SC’s performance against Vulcan Sports when they suffered their biggest defeat losing 8-1 with Stoker getting the consolation goal. They didn’t do much better in their next game against Upperthong Res. in the Sheffield Shield match going down by 2-5. Holmes and Sykes got on the scoreboard. November started off well with two good wins. The first was against Park Ramgers who they beat 5-1 with goals by Stoker, Battye, Alsop (2) and Livesey who also missed a penalty. In the Groom Cup they defeated Thongsbridge Ath. by 2-0 with goals by Holmes and Livesey. Unfortunately they lost their next game against YMCA Res. by 3-2 , Sykes and Holmes scoring. At a very muddy local derby at Sycamore in December they beat Thongsbridge 3-1 with Sykes, Holmes and Alsop giving them a good win. To round off the year they won their last two games – 4-2 against Park Rangers – Holmes, Sykes, Battye all scored in the first half with Livesey netting a penalty in the second half., and 5-1 against the Town Hall. Livesey (2), Alsop, Baxter and Sykes. The resumption of football in the New Year was seriously affected by the bad weather and heavy snow. There were two references to games being played in April  1979 and, with the team having taken  32 out of 36 points, they  were in with a good chance to win their league- once again no final table was given.

  The village still had a football team playing in the 1980s  and what I hadn’t realised ,until I came across the four photographs below, was that in the 1984-85 season they also had a reserve team.

netherthong Reserves



Team photo march 1985


All the action
March 1985


Further action
March 1985


Football team line-up
January 4 1985

In January 1986, the express printed a photo of Netherthong Juniors FC.

NT Juniors FC
January 1986

Back row from left : Jonathan Liversedge, Chris Gilleard,  Robert Lloyd, Steven Worden, Gareth Gibson, David Part, Matthew Jackson.  Front : Shane Parker, Sean Steepies, Wayne Jessop, Andrew Kilner, Mark Turner ( captain ), Robert Sparks.  (I uploaded this photo in December 2018 so  so the young lads will now be in their forties.) 

The local derbies against Upperthong were always eagerly awaited and the game played on 14 March 1985 was termed Match of the Day by the reporter even though it ended in a 0-0 draw.  The toast of Netherthong was the stand-in keeper, Paul Hepplestone, following a spellblinding performance. The team were Paul , Timothy Walker,Neil Thomlinson, Richard Wibberly, David Sykes, Ian Glover, Richard Mallinson, Sean Jessop, David Hardy, John Lindley, Barry Marshall and Glyn Brown.

Football team line-up March 1986

For the new season starting in September 1986,  the club were in Div.111 with a new 1st. team manager, Alan Kelly. He would also be in charge of the newly-formed U-14s. Steve Cappleman remained the manager and Steve Robinson was the U-16 coach.



 The following report occurs in the chapter on the Deanhouse Workhouse, but I have duplicated it here because it was the first reference to a tennis court that I had been  able to find. It supports the fact that tennis had been played in the village for many years, and that there had been a club with tennis courts, location unknown , but best guess is that it was off New Road in the area now known as the Oval – see later in this chapter.

 In August 1921 , members of the two House committees of the Huddersfield Board of Guardians ( Crosland Moor and Deanhouse ) played bowls on the tennis court at Deanhouse for the Silver Rose Bowl , trophy which had been offered by Miss Siddon several years before. Deanhouse had won the trophy for the last three years but this time Crosland were the victors by 373 points to 363. 

The following photograph ( no date ) shows people playing tennis on a grass court with what looks to be other people playing bowls. Is this the court mentioned above at Deanhouse or was it taken at Thongbridge?

Tennis court with bowling green on the left. 1920s? Deanhouse ?
Tennis court with bowling green on the left. 1920s? Deanhouse ?

The members of the Tennis Club held a whist drive and dance in the National School in February 1923. A few months later, a Holme Valley Lawn Tennis League  was formed with seven teams, the nearest club  was at Thongs Bridge and it’s likely that its membership would have included players from the Netherthong club.

 In July 1924, the paper reported the opening of the Club’s New Pavilion which had been erected by John Batley & Sons. Cllr. Batley presided over the event and he handed Cllr. Gledhill a silver key, suitably engraved, to unlock the door and declare the pavilion open. A public tea was served in the United Methodist Sunday school and more than 120 sat down. After the tea, an enjoyable evening was spent at the courts with various tournaments being played. The funds benefitted by £45 but much more was needed to pay off the cost of the pavilion. It would appear that the courts were located off New Road down from the Church. The photograph below , which might be of Harold Wimpenny holding the racket, could be the courts mentioned above.

Tennis court with Harold Wimpenny ? holding the racket.
Tennis court with Harold Wimpenny ? holding the racket.

To aid the funds, the Club organised a whist drive, supper and dance in the National School which attracted a large attendance. The music was supplied by Preston’s Orchestra.

The next fund-raising event was in January 1925, when they promoted a fancy dress carnival in the National school which proved to be a great success. The judges were Mr.& Mrs. Gledhill and the Bijou Orchestra  provided the music for dancing.

Although the Netherthong club never joined the local league, they did play a number of friendly matches, and in July,  they entertained at home  a team from Holme Bridge . The final results gave Netherthong 10 sets and 84 games against Holmes Bridge with 6 sets and 62 games. All the games were played as doubles and some of the local players were Mr.C.R. Wood & Miss Buckley  ; Mr. G. Charlesworth & Miss E. Bray  : Mr. H. Wilkinson & Miss B .Porter : Mr.A. Shaw & Mrs. Stuart.

 The 1926 AGM was held in April in the Pavilion with Mr. G. Charlesworth presiding. The treasurer, H. Wimpenny, reported that there was a credit balance of £24 13s 8d. Cllr. W. Gledhill was re-elected as President. The next report in the Express was that a whist drive and dance had been held for club funds. Supper was followed by dancing to Mr. H. Preston’s Orchestra. A further report in March 1928 was that the Club had organised a whist-drive, supper and dance in the National School. In April 1928 the Holme Valley Tennis League was dissolved until the first week of 1929, due to lack of support  but at the same time the Dearne Valley Tennis Club was thriving with six clubs. The next report was in March 1934 when they held a military whist drive in the Zion Methodist schoolroom in aid of funds.

No further reports appeared in the Express so one can only wonder what happened to the club , the court and the pavilion. So frustrating.


Foot Racing and Road Running

In the late 1600s, foot –racing was extremely popular and normally took place on the highways. Its growth continued, and in 1859 Honley converted its cricket field into one of the finest tracks for foot-racing in the North of England. Athletes came from all parts of the country to compete and champions were objects of hero-worship. It attracted great crowds  and large sums were wagered. In 1864 the race-track was closed and another one was opened in Oldfield, but it didn’t stay in existence very long.

At the Crosland Moor Annual Sports in June 1890, Ben Shore of Netherthong, with a 26 yards start, won first prize, a marble clock. In the 400 yards handicap. F. Gill was one of the competitors in the mile flat race.

The Netherthong 10k race is an annual feature on the calendar and from the comfort of my house I can watch each year as the athletes race down across the fields,  join  New Road, disappear, and then return some time time later and struggle back up the fields. . The start and finish is at the Clothier’s Arms. See photo below.

The start of the Netherthong 10k race
The start of a Netherthong 10k race
In November 1964, Mr.Edgar Whiteley aged 80 years died at his home in Leas Avenue. In conjunction with the late Mr.A.Seddon, he had founded the Holmfirth Harriers Athletic Club in 1907. A life member of the Harriers his name is perpetuated by the ” Edgar Whiteley ” Trophy which is competed for annually. As a young man he was well known as a sprinter,  won prizes valued at over £200 and was a regular competitor at the Holmfirth Flower Show Sports, where for many years he was a ” scratch ” man. He also played football and cricket. In complete contrast, he was one of the founders of the Holmfirth Branch of the National Federation of the Old Age Pensioners’ Association.


Whist is a classic trick-taking card game which was played widely in the 18th. and 19th. centuries. Early in the 18th. century it was not a fashionable  game and not fit for ladies or people of quality. However by the late 19th. century, elaborate rules had been developed, and it became very popular. In the early 20th. century it started to be displaced by bridge.

Whist, in the shape of public Whist Drives, proved to be  one of the most popular fund raising games/activities/events for most of the local organisations and churches, and is reported in many of the chapters in this history. It still retained a high level of popularity into the 50s, and in the events page in the Express for December 1949 there were seven adverts for whist drives in the Holmfirth UDC namely – Holmbridge Parish Church, Cliffe Sunday School, Choppard’s Church, Hepworth Village Institute, Hade Edge Silver Band, Underbank WMC and Holmbridge Carnival Committee.

I could only find one report of a ” competitive ” whist match . It was played at Netherthong in January 1902 between Victoria Working Man’s Club and our own WMC  and Victoria won by 117 points to 120.


  Throughout the Victorian period, legislation prohibited “games of chance” ( i,e. gambling ) in pubs. In 1908 a pub owner, named Anakin in Leeds, was taken to court for permitting darts to be played in his establishment, and he offered to prove that darts was a game of skill. A board was set up in the courtroom, and  Anakin threw three darts in the 20 and then challenged any of the magistrates to duplicate his feat. When they could not, the court was forced to accept that darts was indeed a game of skill, not chance, and the laws were eventually changed. From the turn of the century to WW2 darts grew in popularity as a pub game and a National Darts Association was formed in 1954.

In spite of the WW2 having been declared in September, darts were still being played in the District, and a report in the Express in October 1939 showed a league table for the Huddersfield & District Darts League with Clothiers laying 2nd. out of 16 teams having played 6 , won 4, drawn 4 with only one loss. This was the first report that I could find of this league. By November the Clothiers were top of the table after 10 matches. However, by February 1940 , they had slipped right down the table and were  9th. having 7 losses. There were no further reports but it appeared that the Clothiers were still playing in October 1940.

The next report was in March 1941, which said that the Clothiers were back in the League  which now had 11 teams. They were 4th. having played 132 games, winning 69, losing 61 and drawing 2. All very confusing as this league season  must have finished and  then, sometime before  August, a new season started. It was reported that the Clothiers had two teams in the new league of 12 teams, the A team were 2nd. and the B team in 6th. position. By November the Clothiers A were on top with the B team 7th. The next newspaper report was in January 1942  when, after 17 weeks and 119 matches, Clothiers A remained top of the table with 75 points  and the B team had dropped further down with 50 points.  In the final league table, after playing 154 games  , the Clothiers A topped the league with 101 points, the B team scoring 59 points.

In recognition of their success, three members of  of the winning team were awarded the League Championship Prize from the Holmfirth Darts Association for the season 1941/42. They were R. Hallas, W. Armitage and J. Braid.

Certicates issued to 3 of the members of the Clothier's winning dart team for 1941/42
Certificates issued to three of the members of the Clothier’s winning dart team for 1941/42. The Monthly meeting of the Holmfirth Darts Association was held in July 1942 in the Clothiers and reported on a record season.

 In January 1944, the League consisted of 11 teams and the Clothiers were in 9th. position. Among the players who regularly turned out for them were – W. Scurrah, R. Hall, S. Hepworth, J. Roebuck, J. Horncastle, B. Dollive, W. Morley and E.  Thornton. By the 19th. week of the league ( March ) , the Clothiers had dropped to last place having only scored 43 points from 119 games. That was the last report for the season but in November 1944 the new season started with 15 teams. The Clothiers were in 3rd. position by the 7th. week but had dropped to 11th. by the end of the year. The team members were J. Roebuck, S. Hepworth, T. Swallow, E. Coldwell and L. Davies. By April 1945, after the 23rd.week of the season, the Clothiers were in 10th. place and the team consisted of  L. Davies, R. Hall, H. Swallow, W. Leake and S. Hepworth. Unfortunately they were the losing finalists against the Crown Hotel in the Holmfirth Darts Association Knock-out competition in August. The new season started in September, and by December the Clothiers were 8th. of  16 teams having scored 34 points out of a possible 65. There were no further reports in the Express for the rest of the season but it would appear the  Clothiers had not fared too well as at the start of the new season in September 1946. There were two leagues, A &B , and they were 5th. in league B.

The final league table for Section B in April 1947 showed the Clothiers came 7th. out of 11 teams and from a possible maximum points of 140 they obtained 70. At the start of the next season in October, the Clothiers were in Section A which comprised nine teams.  That season ended in February 1948  and they finished 5th. having scored 52 points out of a maximum of 119. The winners were the White Hart, New Mill, and the Royal Oak , Thongsbridge. In June they entered in the Rose Bowl Competition organised by the Holmfirth Darts Association and the team members were R. Hall, S.Hepworth, John Roebuck and W. Leake.  They were not registered for the new season in October.

The start of the new season for 1962 was in September, and the Clothiers entered a team in Section B. By December they were 5th out of 15 teams having played 13, won 8 and drawn 1. They were led by Keith Hollingsworth and Keith Knutton and by the end of January had climbed to 4th. behind The Prince of Wales, The Railway and Honley Social. In a couple of top-of-the-table clashes they beat the Railway by 4-3 and overpowered Honley social by 5.5 – 1.5 and reached the dizzy heights of 2nd. place. Their final table position at the end of the season was 3rd. behind the Prince of Wales and the Railway having played 30 matches winning 22 and drawing 2. The AGM of the Darts Association was held in the Crown Hotel in May, and a number of new rules were adopted. The new season started on September 2, 1963 and 35 teams were entered into two leagues with the Clothiers having an A and a B team. After the first 5 matches, Clothiers A were second behind Victoria but had dropped to 4th. after 12 matches. In the team K.O. tournament the A team reached the semi-final but lost to the Red Lion by 1-6. At the end of the year the A team were 3rd. and the B team 13th out of 17.

In January 1964 an individual KO tournament was held in the Clothiers, The pairs were : K. Horne v J. Daly  : R. Hardy v A Tinker : J. Kilty v J. Roebuck : B. Hinchliffe v G Appleyard  : H. Boyes v C. Jessop. Unfortunately the results were not printed.

When the league started again in October 1967, the Clothiers entered two teams and, for the first time, as far as my knowledge goes, the Cricketers entered a team. The registered players for Clothiers A were Doug Haigh, Den Haigh, D. Greaves, J. Heppenstall, H. Brook, J. Williamson, K. Hollingsworth, N.  Ellis, D. Schofield, G. Swain, P. Heald and J . McLochlan. Those registered for the B team were M . Edinbro, S, Haigh, R. Gale, D. Stangroom, H. Scholfield, G. Scholfield, R. Haigh, S. Scholfield, S. Longley, B. Gray, A Hirst and Mrs. J. Hepponstall. The Express did not give any names for the Cricketers team. At the end of December the two teams from the Clothiers were placed 16/17 and 10/17 with  the Cricketers only faring slightly better at 9/17.

In the 1972 season, both the Clothiers and Cricketers had a team in Section 3 and when the season finished in April 1973, the Cricketers were 2nd. with the Clothiers much further back in 8th. position.  At the start of the new season in September 1973, the Cricketers had two teams, one in section 1 and the B team in section 4. The Clothiers team were in section 2. When the season finished in March 1974 all the teams had played well, Cricketers A were 4th. out of 11, the Clothiers were runners-up in section 2, as were Cricketers B in section 4.

At the start of the 1974 season in October, the Cricketers A team and the Clothiers were both in Section 1 with the Cricketers B team playing in Section 4. It was not the best of seasons for the Netherthong teams and after the first ten matches the Clothiers hadn’t managed  a win. When the season finished in April 1975 , the Cricketers A were 10th. out of the eleven teams, having played 20, losing 15 and only winning 5. They were marginally better than the Clothiers who stayed  bottom of the section for the whole season only winning  3 games. The Cricketers B came 8th. out of 12 in their section winning ten and drawing one. Not surprisingly at the start of the next season in October, the Clothiers had been relegated to Section 2. They performed much better, and by the turn of the year were leading after 11 games. It was the turn of the Cricketers A to prop up the bottom of Section 1 with just one win after 12 games. When the season finished in April 1976, the Cricketers A remained in bottom place having won three games out of 22. The Clothiers couldn’t maintain a bright start and finished 5th. out of 12 , winning 13 games. The Cricketers B finished mid – table in Section 4, winning 11 games out of 20.

In the 1976/1977 season,  Clothiers and Cricketers both entered a team each and were put in Section 2. Throughout the season they were neck and neck at the top of the table, and the final tables in April 1977 showed they had both played 22 games  and won 16 for a total of 32 points. The table listed the Clothiers first and the Cricketers second but, as they had scored the same number of points, the Clothiers was put first alphabetically. A measure of the popularity of darts teams in the pubs and inns was that 50 teams had been playing in four sections. At the resumption of the new leagues in October 1977, the Clothiers were in Section A and the Cricketers in Section B and by the end of the year, after six matches, the Clothiers were bottom of their section with one point, with the Cricketers, still to score a point, faring even worse. Neither team showed any improvement during the rest of the season and the final results showed that the Clothiers came 11th. out of 12 having played 20 and winning five. The Clothiers did manage to  win four of their 20 games but still came last. I only came across one report but, it appears that, during the same season, the Clothiers entered a team in the  Meltham League playing darts and dominoes and in the final table the Clothiers came 4th. having played 18 and winning 14. Their Dominoes team fared less well coming 9th. out of 10 , playing 18 matches and winning 8.

At the start of the 1978-79 season, the village only had one team and that was the Cricketers who played in Section 3 of the League. The season finished in April  and they came 7th. out of 14, having played 20 games and winning 13.


In 1920  the Netherthong Working Mens’ Club, which had its own snooker/billiard table, entered a team in the Holme Valley League. There were 13 teams and, at the end of the season, which ran from November 1920 to February 1921, they achieved the dubious distinction of playing  20 matches  without winning a single one. This was in spite of them receiving a favourable handicap.The format was that each team played four games at home and four games away against the same club, and that constituted a match. The winner of each game was the first one to score 120 points but the match was decided on the overall score count.

 In the last game of the season, they played Wooldale WMC.  Wooldale ( received 50 ) beat Netherthong ( received 150 ) by 998 points to 746. The Netherthong players were ; A.Bailey, G.Charlesworth, A.Buckley,  J.Shore, H.Swallow, G.Ricketts, F.Harper.

October 1921 saw the opening of the new season of the League  with 12 teams. Netherthong’s first match was against Wooldale WMC and Wooldale ( scratch ) beat Netherthong ( received 100 points ) by 957 to 915. The  players were H.Swallow, M.Mallinson, F.Harper, J.Shore, H.Ricketts and A. Preston.

 After six matches, Netherthong  finally achieved a win against Hepworth Institute and followed this up by winning against Brockholes.  By the end of January 1922 Netherthong were 10th. out of 12 having played 9 and losing 7.

 When the details for the new season, 1923-24, of the Holme Valley Billiards League appeared in the Express,the  Netherthong WMC were no longer listed  but no explanation was given for its withdrawal. I’ve yet to find any more information.


  Hunting with the hounds was a very popular pastime, and for a detailed history I can recommend ” Hunting in the Holme Valley “, an illustrated history of the Working Man’s Hunt by Cyril Ford & C.B. Woodcock.

 Hunting was well supported by the villagers, and on Saturday, 12 November  1908 the hunt started at the Cricketers’ Arms and on the following Monday, 14 November, from the Queen’s Arms.

Hare coursing was also very popular in the valley and the Holmfirth, Honley and Meltham Hunt was one of the oldest institutions of its kind in England. The only paid man was the huntsman, there was no Master of Hounds and nobody rode on horseback with the hunt being carried out on foot.

In October 1913 the Holmfirth, Honley and Meltham Hunt met at the Queen’s Arms. Two years later a large group of 100 followers from the three Hunts gathered at the Queens Arms with James Senior, huntsman, and Frank Lee, whip.  There were plenty of hares in Mark Bottom.

 Beagles eventually replaced the Harriers and in 1928 the Holme Valley Beagles, which displaced the pack of harriers  formerly owned by the H,H & M Hunt , had their first public run.  Hares were sought out in their own country and hunted by hounds, whose pace gave every opportunity for the fleeter hare to escape, thus forcing the dogs to hunt by scent alone. They were well supported by the inhabitants of all the surrounding villages and hamlets. They met at the Clothiers in November 1932 and a great afternoon was enjoyed by all.

 One Sunday in March 1939 the Beagles started from Deanhouse. The hounds found the “ puss “ near the Institution, ran towards Holmroyd and on to Lower Oldfield.  Puss  doubled back towards Miry Lane and Holmroyd Wood then onto Larch Wood, Banks Wood, Holmroyd, the Institution, Lower Oldfield and down to Gift Wood before finally ending at Honley Cricket field. The Huntsman made a sporting move and called the hounds off.

 Mr.John Donkersley of School Street, who had been a very keen follower of the Beagles for 60 years , died at the age of 83 years.  A cortege was led from his house to the Parish Church by Mr.Barnes ( Beagles current huntsman ) in his red coat and Thomas Dutton , a whipper –in, who wore his green hunting dress. They each had charge of a pair of beagles. 

In October 1947 the Beagles turned out from the Clothier’s Arms and the hounds cast near the vicarage and worked the fields up to Knowle Bridge to no avail. They crossed Moor Lane and worked over the hill and raised a hare which they chased down to Crimbles but managed to lose it. After working the fields near Marks Bottom without any success, it was decided to return the hounds to the kennels and many of the followers returned to the Clothiers and were welcomed by the host and hostess, Mr. & Mrs. Hampshaw, who put on a very good tea.

Once again in October 1949, the Beagles started from the Clothiers but before the actual start, the company stood in silence to the memory of the late Mr.Wimpenny in whose honour the hunt was named. ‘ The first hare raised took the hounds to Upper Oldfield and came back towards Wood Nook. A very wily hare took them to Honley Head, back to Wood Nook, Knoll Lane, Holmroyd and Knoll Bridge’. The local reporter continued …. ‘the afternoons hunting had been a great success providing almost continual hunting with excellent hound work. This was very good beagling.’

There were several reports in 1950. The first was on Saturday February 11  in the morning at 10.30 and in the afternoon at 14.00 from the Clothiers. The Beagles met again on Saturday 7th. October for the  Albert Wimpenny Hunt, which had two starts from the Clothiers, one at 10.30 and the other at 14.00. The third report was in  November when the Beagles turned out from the Cricketers for the  Tommy Dufton  Hunt.

In October 1967 the Beagles started off  at the Cricketers and initially progressed towards Oldfield – hunting continued for just under three hours. The programme for the  season August 1968 to August 1969 showed a start from the Cricketers on August 26, and two from the Clothiers on December 14 and January 18. 

The next report I have is from November 1971, when a good crowd were at Deanhouse to see the Beagles turn out for the Tommy Dufton Hunt – the chase took in New Hagg, Oldfield Road, Upper Hagg Farm and back to Gill Wood. After a hunt of over one and a half hours, the hare was given the day. They found another hare that kept the hounds busy by taking them to Marks Bottom before the Huntsman decided that ” blowing out ” was called for.  A meal was taken at the Clothiers before everyone re-assembled for the afternoon session. About 70 enthusiasts made their way to Swinney Knoll where a  hare was chased but for the first time that season the hounds had failed to kill.

In November 1973, it was the Cricketers turn once again to host the Beagles. The morning hunt started at 10.30 and the first hare was found within 10 minutes and it led them in a circle from Gill Wood,Lower Hagg, Oldfield Road back to Deanhouse. The route in the afternoon took everyone to Bank Wood, Swinney Knoll, Wolfstone Heights and Marks Bottom.


The older inhabitants have  memories of there being  two cricket pitches in the village. The first one was located  in Deanhouse  in a field behind  a beer house. In the 1848 Directory, there were three un-named beer houses in Deanhouse and one of them had to have been  the house now occupied by the Cricketers Arms. No public house was shown there in the 1855 Ordnance Survey map  but one did appear for the first time in the 1932 OS map, and it must have been known as the Cricketers Arms before that date. The Express in November 1921 referred to the Local Hunt meeting at the Cricketers’ Arms which raises the question as to when it officially became the Cricketers.  Just to confuse the picture, the Cricketers Arms is clearly identified in the November 1881 issue of the Huddersfield Weekly Examiner !!

In my chapter on the Netherthong Brass Band, I have recorded that there was a match between the Deanhouse Cricket Club  and the Brass Band in 1876 which was followed by a gala and sports in the evening. The paper noted that it was an annual event ?? Further information about the local cricket club was  very difficult to find  but then, in the Huddersfield Weekly Examiner 1881, I came across three articles from that year in the space of several months.  The first in September  was very sad. Arthur Woodhead, a tailor aged 21, died suddenly on a Saturday afternoon at Deanhouse Cricket Ground. He was playing at cricket and batting when he fell down and died immediately. Mr. C.Trotter, surgeon of Holmfirth, had on several occasions attended the deceased for attacks of rheumatic fever, which had greatly damaged his heart. Mr.Trotter saw the deceased after his death and stated that death was due to the result of heart disease, and he deemed it unnecessary to report the incident to the coroner. Several months later the members of the club concluded their cricket season for 1881 by partaking of a supper provided by Mr. Stanfield of the Cricketers Arms.  A meeting was held presided over by Mr.Jackson, president of the Club. Mr.G.Senior, secretary, read the report which showed out of 21 matches played,  14 had been won, three lost and four drawn. After the report had been adopted , the officers for the ensuing season were elected and then songs and recitations were given by members of the club. A new bat was presented to J.H.Dearnley and James Dyson for being the highest scorers during the year ; a new cricket ball to Sam Woodhead ( any relation to the Arthur Woodhead who died in September ?)  and a new silk hat to Henry Easthead were given to them for their excellent bowling. In December a concert was given in the National School in aid of funds for the Cricket Club. The room was crowded and everyone enjoyed a varied programme of glees, songs, duets and instrumental music. Among the artistes were the Misses Beaumont, Messrs. Eastwood, Beaumont, Walker, Roberts and Deanley, a comic singer, Mr.Howard, instrumentalists masters, J. and E. Hollingworth, and members of the Philharmonic Band.

The following year, the Club held their annual dinner in October, at the Cricketer’s Arms and 40 people sat down to a first class meal. The following members were elected for the next season – Mr.J.T.Jackson, chairman, five VPs ( not named ), Mr.E.Stanfield, treasurer, G.Senior, Secretary and a committee of 12 members. James Lancaster was re-elected captain of the First 11 and J.Charlesworth the captain of the second team. The club had played 27 matches – 18 by the 1st. team which  won 12, lost three and drew two. The second team played 9 matches winning seven and drawing the other two. A bat was presented to Mr.Dyson for the highest batting average of 18 runs per innings. T.Woodhead and C.Eastwood were presented with a ball each for their valuable services. In 1883 the Club gave their annual concert in the National School which was packed.  Rev.J.Prowde was in the chair. The artistes were Mrs.H.Hirst ( soprano ), the Orpheus Quartet Party and Mr.G.Nicholson, the great Yorkshire chorale. Miss Dickenson accompanied the singing on the pianoforte. The total number of matches played by the club teams during the season were 28 winning 10, drawing 13 and losing five. The first eleven plated 16 and the second eleven 12.

  There is no real information about the other cricket pitch but it was thought to have been  in a field off what is now New Road and,  in all probability, was where the tennis courts and pavilion were erected in the 1920s.

  The articles in the Huddersfield Weekly Examiner for 1881,1882 and 1883 show clearly that cricket was  thriving in the village with matches regularly being played against other clubs in the local villages.  These were the first reports I have come across but it’s a fair assumption that the club would have been formed a number of years earlier. In 1882 the minutes of the Local Board stated “ the road roller be lent to Deanhouse cricket club for the year for 5/-. In November 1894 their annual concert was held in the National School. The artistes included the Arlon Prize Quartet, Miss Shaw of Meltham, Mr. Nicholson of Leeds, who was a comic, and Mr. C. Ansty, a solo cornet.

In February 1890 the cricket club held a concert in the National School . It was filled to capacity – 600 people, and the artists included Miss Marshall, Miss Helena Sykes, Huddersfield Orpheus Quartette, Miss G.Craven ( solo violin ) and Harold Sykes ( solo cornet ), and in the same year they ran another successful concert in the Church schoolroom which included a mirth- provoking and grotesque ventriloquial entertainment by J.Whelen of Halifax. He caused quite a furore with his two dolls, Joseph and Sarah, who sang songs, duets and comical dialogue.

1891  The Cricket Club held a tea party and concert for 340 at the National School 

The Express reported the AGM of the Cricket Club held at the Queen’s Arms on December 18th. 1897. Prizes were given to Ben Gill, Ben Shore, Albert Bray and Thomas Buchanan. There was no report for 1898 but the AGM was held on November 11th. and showed the club was in a sound financial position. Mr.Woodhead was re-elected as president with C.A.Hoyle as treasurer and J.Mosley as secretary.

 There was also an earlier report on April 20 1889 that the Deanhouse Cricket Club had been recently revived and the old field had been reformed. This had obviously been successful  and, for the first time,  the results of matches played by Netherthong cricket team were reported in The Holmfirth Express from April 26 1890. The paper  gave the results  until the end of season in September but omitted to give a  final league table.

The following season Netherthong did not feature in the match reports so the only conclusion is that the cricket club must have  been dissolved during the close season, but the event had not been recorded. Many of the better Netherhong players would have gone off to play with other teams in the local leagues.

  It is interesting to note from the results below that batting was not a strength of any of the teams perhaps due to the quality of the pitches. 

Apr 26 1890. Netherthong v Primrose Hill Baptists played at home.  The team was B.Shore, A.Ricketts, C.Hoyle, J.Senior, A.Hoyle, J.Woodhead, H.Roberts, B.Gill,C.Ricketts, G.Beevers and R.Hobson. Netherthong batted first and scored  53 runs and then bowled Primrose out for only 9 runs with Shore taking  5 wickets and  Ricketts 3 wickets.

May 3 v Wooldale.      Netherthong 77 runs beat  Wooldale 24 runs.

May 24 v Holmfirth 2nds. Netherthong scored  62 runs ( Sykes 20 ) and beat Holmfirth who could only muster 28 runs.

May 31 v Bradley Mill played at home.    Netherthong 77 runs  ( Hoyle 23 ) beat Bradley 54 runs with  Gill taking 7 wickets and  Beavers 3 wickets.

Jun 7 v Holmbridge – 2nd. teams. Netherthong  44 runs lost to   Holmbridge 143 runs.

Jun 14 v Helme away.  Holme 59 runs   Netherthong  73 runs.

The 2nd. teams also played at Helme.  Helme 80 runs   Netherthong achieved  157 runs for the loss of 7 wickets.

Jun 28. The cricket feast match between Netherthong and Mr.Storey’s team was played at Netherthong.  Netherthong batted first and scored 111 runs . Mr. Storey’s team fell 10 runs short of that total. 

The Netherthong team were : G.Heap,D.Kaye, J.Littlewood, A.Ricketts,J.Heap, A.Woodhead, T.Woodhead, A.Sykes, B.Shore, B.Gill, C.Ricketts.

July 12 v Hepworth. Netherthong 40 runs lost to  Hepworth 106 runs.

July 19 v Clayton West . Netherthong scored 93 runs and  Clayton West were bowled out for 25 runs.

Aug 2 v Holmfirth 2nds. Netherthong scored a very creditable 108  but still lost to Holmfirth who scored  127 runs.

Aug 9 v Primrose Hill Baptists.  Netherthong 38 runs lost to  Primrose Hill 56 runs.

Aug 17 v Wooldale Free Church played at home. In a low scoring game  Netherthong scored 31 runs and lost to  Wooldale who scored 40 runs with  Gill taking 5 of their wickets . Team was : A.Sykes, A.Ricketts, A.Woodhead, C.Weed, F.Kenyon, J. Charlesworth, J. Seddon, J.Woodhead, C.Hoyle, C.Ricketts, B.Gill

Aug 23 v Hepworth. Netherthong 58 runs beat  Hepworth 44 runs.

Aug 30 v Holmbridge . Netherthong  41 runs lost by 2 runs to Holmbridge.

Sep 13 v Bradley Mills. Netherthong 61 runs beat  Bradley 30 runs.

Sep 20 v Thurstonland   . Netherthong 77 runs beat   Thurstonland 31 runs.

The favoured venue for the cricket club’s meetings and social activities  was the Queen’s Arms in Townsgate as it could accommodate 60 people for meals,

The Netherthong Cricket Club held a meeting in February 1902, where it was resolved to dissolve the club and wind up its affairs.

In 1913 there was no reference to a Nethertherthong team in the league tables for the Huddersfield League, the Council First Competition or the Association First Elevens but there appeared to be a team in the Holmfirth Cricket Club’s workshop competition. There was mention of one match between Boar Lodge, Holmfirth against the Netherthong WMC. Boar Lodge scored 239 runs in their hour and the WMC made 78 runs in 45 minutes.

In May 1906 a challenge cricket match was played at Deanhouse in the old cricket ground adjoining the Cricketer’s Arms. Two teams of employees from Deanhouse Mills decide to test their powers. The teams were named ” The Sporting Fraternity ” and ” The All Round Brigade “. It was an entertaining game and the ARB won by four wickets. Everyone adjourned to the Cricketer’s Arms where Mr.& Mrs. James Taylor, the landlord and landlady, provided a splendid dinner.

The SF were made up of the Low Shed Weavers and were – T.Brook,W.Bray,M.Bailey, G.Rickets,T.Hobson,W.Coldwell,H.Que, C.Brierley,D.Bray, T.Tinker and F.Bray. They scored 49 all out.

The ARB were from the Top Shed Weavers and were – H.Mallinson,C.Hoyle,F.Kenyon,J.Kenyon,B.Sanderson,S.Hollingsworth,F.Bower and A.Ricketts who scored 52 for the loss of 6 wickets.

A benefit cricket match was played at Thongs Bridge cricket ground in July 1926  in aid of Mr.Jackie Mallinson who had been sick for two years. The match was between employees of Messr. John Woodhead Ltd., Albion Mills, and a Deanhouse eleven.  Albion Mills batted first and scored 108 but Deanhouse hit 110 for the loss of 8 wickets, H.Preston scored 35 and T.Littlewood 17.

The only reference I have found to Deanhouse ladies Cricket Club was when the Express reported on the death of Edna Smith in June 1930 aged 19 and said she had been a member of the Club. In 1934,

C.A.Hoyle died in 1934 at his residence in Giles Street aged 62. He was a cricketing enthusiast, played for Netherthong Cricket Club and later on became an umpire.

 In April 1937,  the Express reported that Deanhouse Mills had formed a cricket team which had been entered into a workshop competition promoted by Holmfirth C.& A. Club. 14 teams had entered but in typical Express style there were no further reports.

There was a one-line comment in the Express in June 1978 that a team of cricketers from Netherthong  had played a match against Upperthong at Upperthong gala.

I have never come across any photographs of local cricketers but, in May 2020, Sheila Whittam ( nee Roebuck ) sent me the attached photograph of a youth cricket team. She identified  Frank Roebuck, her uncle, as the furthest right in the middle row. All the boys’ socks are identical with a patterned top, there is no writing on the shield which appears to be a relief of a sports team.  School team ? Junior team ? Cubs team?

Edward Dyson, aged 75, who died in July1938, was a cricketer, footballer and a member of Netherthong Rugby Club.

William Lancaster who died in July 1939 aged 65 years, played cricket for Thongsbridge as well as playing 10 times for Yorkshire. His service was held at All Saints and three former England and Yorkshire cricketers , Wilfred Rhodes, Percy Holmes and George Hirst, were among the pall bearers.

Public Houses and Inns

Public House, inn, alehouse, tavern, pothouse, beer house, boozer, local, gin palace, saloon, honky-tonk, shebeen, snug, taproom…


No township or hamlet could hold its head up high unless it had a number of the above establishments and Netherthong was no exception.

From the early times Netherthong had boasted a total of five named public houses plus a further two in Thongs Bridge, which for a long period was part of the Parish of Netherthong. There were also a number of un-named beerhouses located at Deanhouse, (a beer-house being licensed to sell beer but not spirits).

In the 1820s – 1830s, the Government were keen to promote beer drinking instead of spirits, especially gin. Widespread drunkenness, through gin consumption, was believed to be detrimental to the working classes and had led to the rise of the Temperance Society which campaigned for the closure of ‘gin shops’. Beer was taxed which meant that the cost of beer could be prohibitive to the working classes, despite the fact that beer was safer to drink than water. Water at that time was untreated and dangerous to drink. The Alehouse Act 1828 established a General Annual Licensing Meeting to be held in every city, town, division, county and riding for the purpose of granting licences to inns, alehouses and victualing houses to sell exciseable liquors to be drunk on the premises. It was introduced by the Duke of Wellington’s Tory Government and abolished the beer tax and extended the opening hours of licensed public houses, taverns and alehouses from 15 hours a day up to 18 hours a day.

The Beerhouse Act of 1830 followed closely on the Alehouse Act and remained in force with various modifications before it was repealed in 1993. The Government encouraged people to allow their houses to sell beer by retail in 1830. An application to the Justices for an excise licence was granted on payment of two guineas, the occupant had to be a rate-payer and named on the rate-payer register , complete with Christian and Surname, a Memorial from an official of the town and a description of his character, job, house and address. The Memorial had to be displayed upon the church door advising people of your intention to change your house into a retail beer shop at least three weeks before your application was to be heard by the Licensing Justices. If the applicant was found a fit and proper person to hold such a licence for the purpose of retailing beer, they would grant him a certificate of excise, the licence to retail beer was granted later. The Justices also considered the rateable value of the applicant’s house which at that time would have been approximately £4 per year. As a beerhouse this would increse to between £14-16 per year. With these changes to the applicants’ homes, a new name was created in 1830 – public or beerhouse.

The earliest reference to Inns in the village that I had been able to find was in the 1848 Directory which listed the Clothiers Arms, Queen’s Arms and the Rose & Crown but, with the information above about the Beerhouse Act, there can be no doubt that one or more of the three had to have been in existence, plying its trade, for a long time before 1848. Subsequent Directories have been useful for tracking changes in the landlords and I have tabulated these later.However in the chapter, a  Brief History of Deanhouse – a hamlet that shows the change of time, there is the following reference . ”  At that time, 1838, there was no record of an inn in Deanhouse but an unnamed beerhouse was listed in 1853. As farmhouses in those days often brewed and sold beer as a sideline, the conversion of farmhouse to inn, first known as ‘The Blazing Rag’ seems to have been a gradual one. While officially the Cricketers today, it is still known locally as ‘The Rag’. “

I have just ( May 2014 ) looked at a superb reference book titled ‘Images of England – Huddersfield Pubs’ written by Dave Green and published in 2006. In it he has photographs and some information about pubs throughout the local area including Holmfirth, Honley, Meltham etc. He included a photograph of the Clothiers with the following information – it was established around 1822 by Jonas Mallinson who apparently had the occupation of a clothier hence the pub’s name.

Another good addition to local history is by the Holme Valley Civic Society Local History Group who published a book in 2016 titled ‘ Public Houses of Holmfirth – Past and Present’.  It is a fascinating book full of photographs and names and was the result of  collaboration by a number of its members. It is only available to buy at Holmfirth Public Library

The very first Ordnance Survey map in 1855 identified an Inn called the Gardener’s Arms located at Miry Road Bottom near to the Wesleyan Chapel and across the road from the Parsonage. This is the only reference I have ever found about it and in the next issue of the Ordnance map in 1888, it had “disappeared”. There were four or five cottages on the edge of the field on the right hand side of Miry Lane leading up to Oldfield and there are stories that two of them might have been ale- houses. In the 1848 Directory there were three un-named beer houses in Deanhouse with landlords called Thomas Crook, John Littlewood and Charles Wood and I’m sure that one of those three had to have been located in the house that is now known as The Cricketers Arms. One or both of the others could have been based in the cottages mentioned above.  In the 1851 census , Thomas Crook, aged 60,  was listed as a Beerhouse Keeper at Miry Lane Bottom  and as stated below was in the 1857 Directory.

In that Directory, issued in 1857, only one beer house in Deanhouse is mentioned with the landlord being Thomas Crook and this confirms that it most likely had to be the one located in the “ cricketer’s house”. The first anomaly about the Gardener’ Arms is that the OS cartographer gave it its full title rather than inn or ph that he inscribed on the map for the Clothier’s and Queen’s Arms ( N.B. there is no reference on the map for the Rose & Crown which we know was definately in existence and located in Towngate). He did however have a lot of blank space around the black dot denoting the inn and maybe he decided that the map would look more “ artistic “ by filling the space with writing. It still doesn’t explain how he decided to give it that name but there was a reference that there were allotments in the area so Gardeners would seem an appropriate name. Maybe we will never know. However patience is a virtue and lo and behold in January 2015, I came across the following report in a May 1855 issue of the Huddersfield & Holmfirth Examiner. ‘ A ball and concert was held at the Gardener’s Arms. Attendance was moderate. Dancing and other amusements were kept up with great animation until a late hour.’ The next question is what happened to it. It stood on the edge of the land that was required for the erection of the new Deanhouse Workhouse in 1864 and maybe the Guardians purchased the public house because they could not risk the temptation to its inmates of having a source of alcohol so near. However the beer house at the “ Cricketers “ was not that much further away. So maybe another mystery.

The Clothier’s Arms was the only other Inn shown on the 1855 map. It played a prominent role in the village not only as an Inn and an eating establishment but also as a meeting place for local organisations and clubs. It served as the Coroner’s Court on many an occasion and was the official headquarters and Lodge room of the Netherthong Gardener Friendly Society, It features in a number of the photographs in this history.

The Queen’s Arms was located in the cottage, now marked as Queen’s Cottage in the Town Square, adjacent to what was to become the location of the War Memorial .The Directories recorded landlords from 1848 right through to 1927 – in the 1880 OS map it is marked as a PH but in the 1918 and 1932 OS maps it becomes an Inn. It was very spacious at the rear and was a venue for many organizations including the Cricket Club, Liberals, Conservative Club and often accommodated up to 60 people for meals. It co-existed side by side with the Co-op when they opened their shop in 1881.

In February 1936 a Notice of Objection to the renewal of the licence was given at the Licensing Sessions in the Upper Agbrigg Division held at County Police Court, Huddersfield. The objection was based on the grounds of redundancy. Inspector Cooper said the Queen’s Arms was owned by Messrs. Seth Senior & Sons, Highfield Bewery, Shepley and was not good structurally and the trade was small. There were two other houses within 500 yards( Clothiers and Cricketers ) and two convictions had been recorded against the present tenant. In his opinion the house was not necessary for the requirements of the neighbourhood and no inconvenience would be caused if the licence was taken away. Mr.W.Hinchliffe represented the owners and the tenant, William Brook, and made formal application for renewal of the licence. The Chairman , Arthur Lockwood, said the Bench had decided that the licence should be referred to the compensation authority and in the meantime the licence would be provisionally renewed. This could have only been temporary because in 1937 the Co-op bought the Inn from the Brewery and, after renovations and alterations, they converted it to living accommodation and the Sykes family rented it from the Co-op. Two of Mr. Sykes daughters who were young children at the time, were still living in Netherthong in 2010.

Richard Russell, a native of Netherthong, who had been “ mine host “ of the Queen’s Arms for many years, died in February 1925 aged 63 years.

The Rose & Crown is another mystery – it was not shown on any of the maps but was included along with its landlords in five of the Directories from 1848 with the last entry being in 1870. We know from the minutes of the Netherthong Co-operative Society that they purchased the premises when they set up business in 1881. Rumour has it that the bar of the inn was located in the same position as the counter of the current Londis shop . In February 2021 Dave Pattern supplied the following information about a Rose & Crown that might explain why  the pub closed in 1881. However there was a Rose & Crown in Thongsbridge, which was in the Netherthong Parish area, and the closure could have referred to that one as it closed in 1857.

“In May 1879, Reuben Senior (of Shepley brewery Seth Senior & Sons) purchased the 747 acre Goodbent Estate of grouse shooting moorland. The Wessenden Head Inn had once stood on the estate but had been closed circa 1860 by the previous owner and used instead as the gamekeepers house and shooting box.

Reuben was apparently keen to have a licenced premises open in time for the 1879 shooting season and a farmhouse was converted for use as an inn. Beerhouse keeper Wilford Tinker of the Shepherds Boy (Austonley) — which might have been a later name for the Highland Laddie beerhouse on the Greenfield Road — was successful in having his licence transferred to the new premises at the the 1879 Brewster Sessions (the premises wasn’t given a name but opened as the “Isle of Skye”). To help grease the wheels at the Brewster Sessions, the brewery said they would undertake to close the Rose & Crown at Netherthong if the transfer was permitted. Reuben also wanted Tinker’s licence upgraded to serve spirits, but this was refused. The Isle of Skye was eventually upgraded to a full innkeepers licence in 1884.”

The following item from 1841 refers to the landlord of the Rose and Crown. PARDON ASKED – I, Jonas Sykes of Deanhouse, having slandered, and injured the Character of Moses Sykes, of Netherthong, by circulating a false Report respecting a crime he was not guilty of; I hereby declare that there is no truth in the Statement that I made. I beg his Pardon for so doing and he has kindly consented to forego all proceedings by my publicly acknowledging myself in error, and paying all expense of advertising the same.

Jonas Sykes.

Witnesses: George Sykes, John Mallinson.

Netherthong, Sept 8th 1841.

There is reference to two inns in Thongs Bridge in 1853 – the Rose & Crown , publican Hiram Earnshaw and the Royal Oak with publican Ellen Bray. By 1857, the Rose & Crown had closed and Hiram Earnshaw had moved and taken over the Royal Oak. In 1870 the publican had changed to Walker Fenton and in 1901 it was being run by Maria Esther Walker. That was the last recorded reference. We do know that the Royal Oak was closed in 2004 and converted into flats.

The final mystery relates to the Cricketers. There are no references to it by name in any of the Directories other than that there was a beer house in Deanhouse . However there was an unnamed public house shown in the 1932 Ordnance Survey map in the building where the current Cricketer’s Arms is located. The building is dated as being early C18. In 1853 there is reference to three beerhouses in Deanhouse owned respectively by Thomas Crook, John Littlewood and Charles Wood but in 1857 there is just the one reference to Thomas Crook.  However in   the Huddersfield Weekly Examiner  for November 1881 there is a reference that ” a supper was provided by Mr.Stanfield of the Cricketers Arms for the members of the Deanhouse Cricket Club”.There is no further information until 1936 with Arthur Sykes being listed as a beer retailer. It doesn’t need much imagination to realize that there always must have been a beer house located in the building and somewhere along the line a decision was made to finally to make it “ respectable “ and give it a name. There is a report in the Holmfirth Express of April 20 1889, that Deanhouse Cricket Club had been recently revived and the old field had been re-formed. When they came to give the pub a name what more natural than to call it The Cricketers. A public house , ph, is shown on the site of the “ Cricketers “ for the first time in the 1932 OS map. In 1936 Arthur Sykes is referred to as a Beer Retailer and it is likely that the sign would have been erected by then.

I have been researching the history of Netherthong for about ten years and thought I had found all the pubs that existed in the village. Lo and behold in May 2016, whilst I was reading through  all the copies of the Huddersfield Examiner for  1871 , there was a reference to a Public House called the Butcher’s Arms in Deanhouse. First and only reference I have ever come across and the details of the report were as follows : There was an alleged assault in a Public House  in November when Daniel Woodhead, sizer of Netherthong, appeared  at the County Police Court in Huddersfield to an information charging him with having, on October 21, assaulted Mark Woodhead, weaver, also of Netherthong. The complainant said he was at the Butcher’s Arms in Deanhouse when the defendant came in and charged him with something of which he was not guilty. Shortly afterwards some other person made a remark to him and he said ” Are you as ill as Daniel?” Upon that the defendant struck and kicked and knocked him down. A witness was called but he said he knew nothing about it. The defendant denied having assaulted the complainant and called a witness who said both men shook each other but no blows were exchanged. The magistrates dismissed the case.  

In 1849 there were three breweries listed in the District. Two were in New Mill , Bentley & Brook were called New Mill Brewers and Highfield Brewery was run by Seth Senior. The third one was owned by Josiah Helliwell of Wood Bottom, Wooldale.

So far the only information that I have been able to get on the landlords of the three local pubs and The Cricketers was from the early Directories and occasional references in the local paper. Both Moses Sykes ( Rose and Crown ) and John Bates ( Queens Arms ) in the 1851 census gave their occupations as Inn keepers and John Littlewood , a widower aged 78, who lived in Town Gate gave his occupation as a beer house keeper.

Rose and Crown.

Moses Sykes
Moses Sykes

1848- 1853 — Moses Sykes – see also 1851 census. He passed the  licence to Thomas Woodhouse in 1854.

1854 — Thomas Woodhouse  Sykes.

1866 — Alfred Gill

1870 — Noah Woodhead

1881 – Taken over by the Co-Op and closed.

Queen’s Arms.

1848-1853 — John Bates see also 1851 census

1857 — Miss Sarah Gill

1866 — James Woodhead

1873 — Ann Woodhouse

1879 — Thomas Woodhouse

1901-1904 — Fred Charlesworth. Mrs.Rachel Roebuck ( see photo )

1912 -1920 — Richard Russell

1927 — Mrs.Ellen Wood

1932-1937 — William Brook

1937 — Purchased by the Co-Op , closed and sold as private accomodation.

Clothiers Arms.

1822 — Jonas Mallinson

1848-1857 — Uriah Hobson

1866 — Elizabeth

1870 — Joseph Ashworth

1871 — George Henry Beaver

1873 — John Mallinson – died October 1873

1895 — Ann Senior

1898 – 1904 —  Mr.& Mrs.William Broadbent

1922 — John Moorhouse

1931 — Chas. Edward Carter

1943-57 — Frank Silverwood Hampshaw

1979 — Derek & Sylvia Schofield.

1987 — When Derek Schofield died, his wife Sylvia took over on a widow’s licence for one year. A tribute was paid to Derek who had died suddenly on Monday , April 13, aged 57. He left a widow, Sylvia, daughters Ann and Jane and grandchildren, Amanda, Ryan, Heidi and Lucy. The Rev. John Capstick said he was not just the landlord of the local inn  but an involved and very thoughtful and caring member of the community. He grew up in Netherthong and was regularly involved in fund raising for the village Senior Citizens and the annual schoolchildren’s procession and feast. A service was held at All Saints on April 17.

I am indebted to the patrons and the current proprietor, Sue, of the Clothiers for an informative chat on November 2014 and for them delving deep into their memories to supply me with the following lists of landlords after Derek Schofield. They were less sure of some of the exact dates.

198 ? — Derek Lander

1991 — S.Whittle – for about 10 months. During this period he also owned the Cricketers

199? — David Greenside

199? — Thwaites , the brewers, bought the freehold and installed Linda Gledhill.

199? — Graeme Hoyle – he ran it for seven years.

2000? — There were a series of caretakers, one of the names was Paul.

2012 — A couple, Sue & Chris, residents of Netherthong, took over until the summer.

2012 .. Ian and Karen Morrison took over and ran it until March 2016.

2016 — The new owners were Heather Krasner, Gillian Holden and Graeme Hoyle.

2019 — change of ownership recorded as Graeme Hoyle and Darren Kitson. Following on from the death of Darren Kitson, the Clothiers, from December 2020,  is now owned by Graeme Hoyle.


Cricketers Arms.

1871 — Alan Woodcock

1881 — Mr.Stanfield

1906 — Mr.& Mrs. James Taylor

1910/1920 ? — Mrs. A.Sewell

1914? — William Sewell

1927 — Alice Swallow

1928 — Norman Goldthorpe

1936 , 1978 — Arthur Sykes. ** see report on his death below

1983 — John & Judith Beardsell

1986 — Stuart & Margaret Whittle

On the same evening that I visited the Clothiers, I also went to the Cricketers where I received help from the patrons in filling some of the gaps.

1991 — Stuart Whittle – he also owned the Clothiers during the same period.

199? — Vance and Brenda

199? — Roger and Eileen

1998 — Mark and Anita Taylor

2000 – — Peter Sykes – current owner


Rachel Roebuck, owner and landlady of the Queens Arms
Rachel Roebuck, owner and landlady of the Queens Arms


In August of that year the licensee of the Cricketers was found dead in the cellar of the public house a few weeks after being told of an ‘ out of the world tax demand’. The Kirklees coroner heard that Mr.Kenneth Sykes, aged 52, a a father of three children was also a dyehouse colour mixer and was worried about the demand. His wife, Vera Sykes, told the inquest about her husband’s concern and she said that she had wanted him to give up the dyehouse job. Apart from the problems with the tax matters, there was really nothing to worry about at all. She described how, on the morning of August 10, she could not find her husband when she got up after realising he must not have gone to work. There was a smell of gas coming from the cellar and she called a neighbour. P.C.Keith Garlick said that he had found Mr.Sykes in the cellar with a plastic bag over his head and a flexible gas pipe inserted into the bag. Dr. Barlow , the pathologist, said death was due to asphyxia.

In August 1899, the Local Board discussed Public Houses and their closing hours with reference to the Populous Places Licensing Act 1874.The annual licensing sessions for the West Riding had been held in the courthouse at Huddersfield. Unless a district was classed as a populous place, licensed houses had to close at 10pm. According to the Act it was up to the licensing commission to declare whether a district was a populous place. The Beerhouse Act of 1870 said that beerhouses, licensed prior to 1870, were not bound by the Act of 1874. In some districts this could mean beerhouses staying open until 11pm and fully licensed pubs closing at 10pm.

In September the Local Board referred to the licensing act confusion with the public houses closing at 11pm instead of 10pm. The Council had arranged for the gas lights to be turned out at 11pm but now the law was going to be enforced, it was resolved that they should be turned out at 10.15. The chairman said the lamps were lighted for the benefit of the people of Netherthong and not the publicans and the resolution failed.

In June 1902, to celebrate the Coronation, it was decided that non-populous places would have an extra hour of opening on the Thursday, Friday,Saturday & Sunday.

In February 1912 it was reported that the Annual Brewster sessions discussed the closing hours of the Clothier’s Arms, Queen’s Arms and Royal Oak Inn ( which was in the Netherthong Urban district and would shortly be in the Holmfirth district ). Because the population of Netherthong was under 1000 , it was treated as a non-populous district and pubs would have to close at 10 pm. However as the Cricketer’s Arms was classified as being in the Honley District it could stay open until 11pm. The question was raised that as Netherthong was to be part of Holmfirth could the pubs stay open until 11pm. The bench declined to comment.

On the 22nd. November 1915, new regulations were brought in relating to the “hours during which intoxicating liquor may be sold”. The regulations were very complicated with lots of paragraphs and conditions. The decision was that opening hours for weekdays would be 12 noon to 2.30 and 6.30 to 9.30. Sunday opening would be 12.30 to 2.30 and 6.00 to 9.00.

Temperance Societies were prominent in the surrounding areas and in October 1891 a Temperance meeting was held in the Wesleyan school with Fred Sykes as lecturer.

In November 1914, the Board of Guardians met to discuss whether the inmates at the Deanhouse Workhouse should be given beer at Christmas. There was a tie in voting and the chairman, Miss Seddon, gave the casting vote in favour. Letters opposing the issue of beer had been sent from the Huddersfield Temperance Society, Band of Hope Union, Women’s Total Abstinence Union and the Home Mission Lodge of Good Templars. Bentley Yorks. Brewery Co. supplied a barrel of beer for the festivities. ( This article also appears in the Deanhouse Institution chapter ).

Gaming was very much frowned upon as the following articles show. In April 1871 the Huddersfield Chronicle reported that George Henry Beaver, the landlord of the Clothiers, had been charged at the County Police Court in Huddersfield with permitting gaming in his house. P.C. Ramsden said that he had visited the defendant’s house by the tap room door and after he had been there a little time, some one came out and seized him at the same time making a sign to several persons in the room to desist playing at some game. He went into the room and saw a portion of a pack of cards in the landlord’s hand. The defendant made the comment that unless something was going on nobody would stay in the house. The defendant denied he had participated in the gaming.  The Examiner also reported on the same incident but with slight variations in the details. On 11 April. PC Ramsden said that at 6.30,  he went to the house kept by the defendant and, going in the tap-room door, a maid said ‘hush’ to the company in the room. The PC rushed forward and saw a table at one end of the room at which was seated 5 or 6 persons of which the landlord was one, he having in his hands some cards. As soon as the landlord saw him he put his hand in his pocket but he, the PC, also put his hands in and pulled out 35 cards. Some of the men who were in the room rushed out. PC Ramsden left the house but visited it again after 15 minutes when the landlord said to him ” You know as well as I know , that unless there is something going on, nobody will stay”. A penalty of 5s and costs was imposed.

Later the same year in November, Alan Woodcock, landlord of the Cricketer’s Arms, was charged at the County Police Court in Huddersfield with permitting gaming in his house and premises. Sergeant Lucas with two policemen, Ramsden and Yates, went to the house of the defendant and found some company there. They looked through a hole in the blind and saw the landlord with cards in his hand. On entering , the officers found some men seated at a table. The landlord had a number of cards in his hand which he put into his pocket. Mr.Booth ,who defended , said that no offence was committed unless they were playing for money and there was no proof of this. The Magistrates dismissed the case.

The second anniversary of Armistice day was celebrated in November 1920 by a supper and social held in the house of mine host, Mr.Richard Russell, the Queen’s Arms Hotel. Covers were laid for 60 ex-servicemen and friends and an excellent meal was provided. The social that followed was very well attended and the only toasts proposed were ” The King “, ” The Army, Navy and Air Force” and ” The Memory of the Fallen Heroes “.

1931 . In March at Holmfirth Police Court , the magistrates were engaged for a lenghty period in the hearing of licensing prosecutions relating to the Clothier’s Arms. Chas. Edward Carter, the licensee, was summoned for supplying intoxicating liquors during non- permitted hours to four men, John Smith, Frank Dickinson, Herbert Kenyon and Herbert Sykes all of Netherthong were charged with consuming alcoholic liquor during non- permitted hours. The landlord was also summoned for aiding and abetting but this was not proceeded with.

Supt. Wood, outlining the case for the prosecution, stated that about 11pm on Saturday, February 7 , Inspector Wilde, Police Sergeant Askam and P.C. Jones were on duty in plain clothes near the Clothier’s Arms and they noticed a light in the kitchen. They stood near the window and heard voices. The Inspector was lifted up to the window and could see glasses containg beer on the tables and persons reaching for the glasses and drinking from them. At 11.50 pm the Inspector tried to open the back door but was unable to do so and it was not opened for a while. On entering they saw the landlady rushing out of the kitchen carrying four glasses which she emptied on the floor. There was a lengthy discussion on who did what etc. and the Inspector finally told them they would be reported for drinking beer which they denied.

The defence contended that there had been no drinking and that the men were just eating cheese and biscuits. After considering for five minutes, the Chairman announced that they had considered the case against Chas. Carter had been proved and he was fined 25/- on each of four counts. The other defendants were each fined 20/-.

22 years later it was a case of deja-vu when the licensee of the Clothiers, Frank Silverwood Hampshaw, pleaded guilty at Holmfirth Magistrates Court in August 1953 to three summonses for supplying beer during other than permitted hours. Ronald Stephenson (49 ) a scribbling engineer of 119 Wood Street and Clarence Sykes ( 30 ) a machine packer from number 8, Outlane were summoned for consuming beer and James Horncastle ( 28), a farmer at Beech House was summoned for consuming stout. None of them appeared but sent their apologies via their representative. Hampshaw said he had been the licensee since June 1943 and this was his first conviction – he pleaded guilty and was fined £3 on each of the three summons. The three drinkers were fined £2 each for consuming.

The first record I have come across involving the Queen’s Arms was in March 1873 at the County Police Court, Huddersfield. Ann Woodhouse, the landlady, was charged with having, on February 14, kept open her house for the sale of intoxicating liquors during prohibited hours. The excuse given was that the three men observed drinking by P.C. Booth were helping the landlady with her accounts but no books or pens were seen. The Bench said that they were of the opinion that the making of the accounts had been feigned because the parties had been caught. They fined the defendant £1 and expenses but did not order that the licence should be endorsed as this was her first offence. It was almost 60 years before the Queen’s Arms was reported again, this time in April 1932. William Brook, licensee, was summoned for serving intoxicating liquor to John Winder, a scourer from Honley, and F.Williams, a tile fixer, also of Honley, during non-permitted hours and the two men were summoned for consuming drinks. On Sunday, June 12th. about 11.30pm., Inspector Wilde and PC Jones went to the Queen’s Arms entered by the back door and, when they went in the tap room, they found both men with a pint of beer. The landlord was standing in the doorway and when the Inspector asked the landlord what the two men were doing there , he said he had been fairly caught. Inspector Wilde said that they had kept the Inn under observation for some time and they had seen a man coming out wiping his mouth. All three defendants admitted the offence. The Chairman fined the landlord 30/- on each case and fined the other two defendants £1 each.

In April 1934, William Brook, the landlord of the Queen’s Arms, once again pleaded guilty to supplying intoxicating liquor during non- permitted hours and Arthur Dyson, piecener, was summoned for consuming intoxicating liquor during non-permitted hours. Supt. Crockford stated that on Sunday, March 10, about 10.30pm, Inspector Cooper and P.C.Jones, after making observations, entered the Queen’s Arms and found Dyson in the bar with a pint of beer in his hand. When P.C. Jones was taking away the glass, Brook struck his hand and some of the beer was spilt. The police asked the landlord if he cared to give an explanation and he did not reply. P.C.Jones, in evidence, said that when he looked inside the bar he saw a number of beer glasses with fresh froth adhering to the sides and there were six men in the tap. Supt. Crockford asked Jones if the landlord gave any explanation for the men being there. Inspector Cooper replied no. Brook said he did not serve any drink after 10pm. He had not sold the beer to Dyson but had given it to him. He said he had been playing the piano. It was stated that Brook had been fined for a similar offence previously. The Chairman informed Brook that he would be fined £5 for supplying liquor. He added that Brook had taken over a house of good standing without conviction for a long number of years and here in two years there were two convictions.

The 4th. of a series of Harvest Home was held by Mr.W.Babb in the Clothiers Arms in aid of the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen’s Families Association and £8 was raised. There was a large turnout for the services when harvest songs were sung by George Earnshaw and Corporal Will Wagstaff. The licensees were Mr.& Mrs. Hampshaw.

Harvest Home was regularly held in the Cricketers Arms and in November 1951 there was a very large array of produce on show – after the appropriate hymns were sung , £15 15s was realised and this money was handed over to the Holmfirth UDC for distribution to the Old Folks’ Clubs at Holmfirth, Honley and New Mill. The final Harvest Home of the series was held in aid of the Holmfirth British Legion’s effort for the Earl Haigh Poppy Fund and generated £16 14s.

In September 1967, the Holmfirth Round Table organised a Medieval Fayre and Tavern Tournament and more than 30 hostelries in the area journeyed back a few hundred years to take part in the Tournament. There were five competitions which consisted of tossing a sheaf of corn, climbing a rope, tug-of-war, jousting and drinking of a yard of ale, with a prize of 100 guineas going to the winning team. It was won by a five man team from the Clothiers’ Arms and the achievement of the team was marked the following week with a presentation of the yard of ale glass to D.Scholfield, the landlord. The glass was hung on a silver chain in the bar. The Harvest Home in the Clothiers in October 1968 raised £21 and the money was handed to the treasurer of the Village Feast Committee. The Rev. Frank Lord conducted a short service.

The Express in March 1969 published a full page listing many of the local pubs. The advert for the Clothiers was as follows.

Prop. D.S.Scholfield

Dinners – up to 20 book in advance

Sandwiches – anytime

Pie and Peas – Friday Nights

Buffet Parties catered for

Telephone – Holmfirth 3480.

A pile of old pennies collected at the Clothiers were cashed in on D-day ( decimal day) in July 1971 and the proceeds from this and a raffle were handed over to the Scout Group. The pile had been started by Mr.& Mrs.D.Scholfield the previous November and, with the help of a raffle to guess the number of pennies, £11 was raised and a cheque was presented to Mr.J.Jackson, chairman of the Scout Group Council. Later that year in September, the Clothiers paid host to the Village Feast harvest home which realised £31.50 with the proceeds going to the Village Feast fund. The fruit, flowers and vegetables were auctioned by Mr.H.Brook who was assisted by Mrs.A. Harrison. The Rev.J.Capstick officiated and Mrs.A.Shaw was the pianist.

The Senior Citizens Club benefitted by over £1,000 from collections at the Clothiers Arms from 1974 to 1979. The money was raised by a bottle on the bar, holding raffles and using half the proceeds of the harvest home. A cheque for £201 was presented by the landlord, Derek Schofileld , to the treasurer, Raymond Hall, of the club in August 1979 taking the total to £1,100. The photo shows the handover of the cheque.

Derek Schofield handing over cheque to Raymond Hall
Derek Schofield handing over cheque to Raymond Hall

A team from the Clothiers was one of 12 from various local hostelries that took part in a Farmers Knockout pub tournament at the 1978 Pennine Show. Each team comprised four lads and two lasses and the first prize was £30. The Clothiers were not in the first three but all the entrants did compete in the grand finale – ‘Old Mother Giles’ Corset race’.

In January 1979, Derek Schofield of the Clothiers Arms was among 100 publicans nominated by their customers for regional and possible national awards in recognition of their contributions to the local community life and to charity.

A total of £122 was raised for the School Feast and Old Folks Treat at a harvest home in the Cricketer Arms in September 1980. Honley Silver Prize Band provided entertainment for the visitors and a short service was conducted by the Rev.J.Capstick. The auctioneer was Stanley Dickinson, a customer at the pub. Three years later another similar auction was held, organised by John and Judith Beardsell, landlord and landlady.

Mrs. Judith Beardsell, auctioneer and Rev.J.Capstick Oct 1980
Mrs. Judith Beardsell, auctioneer and Rev.J.Capstick Oct 1983


In December 1982 Derick and Sylvia Schofield, landlord and landlady of the Clothier’s Arms, decided to part with their collection of 700 ex- juke box singles which covered every variety of pop music from the mid- sixties. They were auctioned off and the sale was very well attended and just over £70 was raised with the proceeds going to the scout group to help their funds.

Clothier's "Record "sale
Clothier’s “Record “sale

The Huddersfield Examiner printed the following photo in November 1983. It shows Derick and Sylvia Schofield and customers in the Clothier’s Arms. The licensee, Derick Schofield, was born and brought up in Netherthong and had run the pub since 1966. In his youth he played for the village football team and said that at that time there was a football field and tennis courts where the Netherfield estate now stands. He helped rebuild the local football team 10 years ago and it had since grown to three teams.They met at the pub but played their home matches at a football field in Thongsbridge, In 1981 in recognition of their community work he and his wife earned them the village’s nomination for a Brewer’ Society Local Life Award.


Derick & Sylvia Schofield at the Clothier's Arms 1983
Derick & Sylvia Schofield at the Clothier’s Arms 1983

The photograph below shows the Rev.John Capstick outside the Cricketers in disguise.

Rev.John capstick in disguise outside the Cricketers
Rev.John capstick in disguise outside the Cricketers

Apparently the occasion for the above festivities was the Queen’s Jubilee in June 1977. Steven Gledhill, a plumber and a well know local character, dressed up as the vicar and John Capstick reversed roles.

Below are three photographs with an age difference of 119 years all featuring the Clothiers. The first photograph is one of the earliest photos taken in the village and shows a line of villagers ready to celebrate the Jubilee in 1887. The second is titled ” a group of villagers set off in a char-a-banc on a big adventure from The Clothiers”. Date is not confirmed but likely to be the 1930s. The third is dated 15 September 2000 and shows the athletes passing by the Clothiers.

All aboard for an adventure – 1930s


Start of the Netherthong 10k race – 15 September 2000

The following photograph shows the barn adjacent to the Clothier’s Arms which would have been used for a large range of activities.

The barn adjacent to the Clothier's Arms. circa 1930s
The barn adjacent to the Clothier’s Arms. circa 1930s


The following photo is an advert in the Holmfirth Express in May 1986 for the Cricketers Arms.

1986 advert for the
Cricketers Arms

In September 1987, the Clothiers entered a team into the local Pram- Push. Derek Schofield , all 14.5 stone of him, put on his bonnet and climbed into his pram at the Bridge Tavern in Holmbridge. Then the team of pushers took him all the way back to Netherthong, calling in at every single pub on the way. The pram pushers included Susan Kenny, Marion Hird, Pamela Widcock, Robert Gate, Robert Scholfield, Geoffrey Sykes, Graham Porritt and Phillip Morris. The aim was to raise enough money to buy an electric wheelchair for Dougie Greaves, who suffered from a rare ageing condition. Derek squashed the pram about three quarters of the way round the course but, despite the mishap, managed to raise plenty of money. See photo below.


Derek Schofield and
the Pram Push

The Clothiers Arms continued with their fundraising and, by November,  helped to raise a massive £1,575 to buy the electric wheelchair for Douglas. It had held many sponsored events with the help of the Cricketers Arms and, when the final total was totted up, they had raised not just the £1,575 but £2,673. The balance would be donated to village organisations. In the photograph below are Douglas Greave and his wife Maria, Derick and Sylvia Scholfield and the Cricketers landlord and landlady, Stuart and Margaret Whittle along with some of the regulars.

Fund raising group for electric wheelchair

In the Holmfirth Express issue of  17 April 1987, tribute was paid to Derick Scholfield who died suddenly on Monday,13 April at the age of 57. He left a widow, Sylvia, daughters Ann and Jane and grandchildren, Amanda, Ryan, Heidi and Lucy. The Rev. John Capstick said that Derick was not just the landlord of the local inn, but was an involved and very thoughtful and caring member of the community. He grew up in Netherthong and was regularly involved in fund rising for the village senior citizens and the annual schoolchildren’s procession and feast.  A service was held in All Saints on 17 April. 

Below are two interesting comments by inhabitants about the role of the public houses in the village.

The first is by Mrs. DB. “ The Clothiers was the centre of village life. My father spent all his social life there, much to the wraith of my mother who was a strict Methodist. I was brought up to regard it as a den of iniquity and was very nervous when I first crossed the threshold to collect the infant granddaughter of the landlady for the day. Every Autumn a Harvest festival was held in the pub, the fruit and vegetables were sold and the proceeds donated to the annual school feast funds. My mother was only persuaded to play the hymns there when she was told the vicar would be present. However I was not allowed in. “

The second is by ML whose memory is of “ a tradition of hymn singing on Sunday nights at the pub in Deanhouse. I went there in the mid-60s and they had all the words to the hymns written on large oilcloths so that everyone could join in. The atmosphere seemed to be more about singing than having a religious slant and, indeed in my parent’s generation, the churches and chapels were the basis of most of the social activity, in particular the choir. I only went to the pub there to capture something I’d heard about, having been brought up not to go into pubs – they were more the affair of the working man.”

April 28 2015 was definitely a Red Letter Day for Netherthong and the Clothiers when The Bengal restaurant opened its doors in the left hand side of the pub where the pool table used to be located. It is very tastefully decorated, creating a good ambience and the menu is extensive covering Bengal Specialities, Tandoori Dishes plus the Old Favourites. The head chef is Taimus Ali , originally from Bangladesh , who is well known and respected in the area and mixes all his own spices to his own secret recipes. The Head Waiter, Maz, is equally well known in the area. My wife and I visited for the first time at the beginning of May 2015- she had a fish Coconut Curry and I had the Tandoori Mix Delight. As Arnie says – ” we will be back” – many times. The Bengal  celebrated its first anniversary in April 2016 and has proved to be a  success.

Advert for the Bengal
October 2015


Advert for the Bengal
October 2015

And now for a piece of trivia : In 1960 there were 500 ‘Indian’ restaurants in the UK and, by 2015, this number had increased to 2015 with some 65% of them owned and run by Bangladeshies. By far and away the most the most popular dish, with 14.2% of the market, is Chicken Tikka Masala which ,on googling, I found was ‘invented ‘ in Glasgow !!. The phrases ” do you want Indian tonight ?” and ” going out for an Indian ” are now part of the vernacular .

In September 2021, the restaurant changed its name to Sweet Chillies with the menu effectively the same, but with a number now under the heading ” Sweet Chillies Specialities” The good news is that Ali is still the head chef but there have been some personnel changes. Maz has left to seek other pursuits. Athig Rahman is now the new Manager and Hasnatul Jannat is the Head waitress and they  make a very efficient and friendly team.

The  first Harvest Home was held in the Clothiers in 1930 and  they were held most years with the monies raised going to support local organisations ( see details earlier in this chapter ). There w as a name change along the line when Harvest Home was re-named Harvest Festival . In 2019, £1,578 was raised and went towards bringing All Saints Church into wider use as a community centre.

2019 Harvest festival at the Clothiers.

Netherthong football history : Part 1 from 1887 to 1923


  The earliest records show that the Netherthong men first played rugby football at a time when the scoring system was in a state of flux. As you carry on reading, you will see that they were able to  score goals, tries and minors. The results and other information were entirely down to whether the weekly local paper , the Express, included them as I have been unable to find any other sources of information.. The majority of matches attracted large attendances and betting on games was not unknown.

  The earliest rugby was as played at Rugby School. The only scores came from goals and there were no points value associated with scoring. In 1871 the first Rugby Football Union stated that “ a match shall be decided by a majority of goals only “. Proposals continued to be made and rejected and, prior to 1886, various clubs assigned their own points system. The practice of touching down the ball behind your own goal ?? was awarded a Point, sometimes referred to as the “ Minor Point “ or “ Rouge “.

 In the 1889s and 1890s matches were decided by a majority of points which were given for goals and tries.

Although no clear records exist, there was a period of time when both rugby and football were being played in the village and there are reports that rugby was being played at an irregular frequency right up to 1905 . After that date the men in the village stopped playing rugby and changed completely over to association football. However there does seem to be some confusion over the dates.

        The very first report  in the paper was on Jan 29 1887, although there would have been a league in place  prior to this date.

Netherthong 2nd. v Holmfirth 2nd. Netherthong won by 4 goals, 2 tries and 8 minors to 1 try. The scorers  were  Ben Shore, A. Wimpenny, J.Woodhead, J .Buckley, T.Woodhouse and it was reported that Ben Shore’s try was the result of a splendid run the whole length of the field. He also dropped a goal.

Mar 12. v Thurstonland.  The team was : Back – H. Beaumont : Three- quarters – S.Wimpenny, B.Shore, R.Buckley ; Half-backs –H.Battye,A.Ricketts. Forwards – E.Dyson ( capt ) , J.Hoyle, J.Sykes, E.Jagger, T.Woodhouse, J. Chappell, W. Woodhead, W.Sykes, H.Hellawell. Netherthong were the winners by 2 goals,4 tries and 11 minor points to nil.

May 14.  Mr.G.F.Dearnley’s team ( comprising all the players from Netherthong ) played Cumberworth & District. The match was for the benefit of a Cumberworth player who had broken his arm some time previously.  Netherthong lost.

September 17. The Express published  the list of Netherthong  football club fixtures for the forthcoming season.  Netherthong  would play in blue/white.  First team captain – G.F.Dearnley, Second team captain – Tom Beaumont.  Matches would be played home and away and the other teams were : Milnsbridge, Honley, Huddersfield Trinity , Shelley, Longwood, Cumberworth, Netherton, Milton Church, Huddersfield St. Josephs, Deighton Rangers and Armitage Bridge.

Oct 21.  v Huddersfield Trinity. Played at home and Netherthong won by 2 tries and 5 minors to 1 minor.

Nov 26.  v Cumberworth. The captains, after consultation, decided to dispense with tackling owing to the slippery state of the ground. Later on the Netherthong captain realized that Cumberworth were playing 16 men to their 13. Time was called after 20 minutes e/w. with Netherthong the winners. 

Dec 31. Netherthong Rangers v Holmfirth Juniors. The junior clubs played at Netherthong and Netherthong won the toss and the game.  The junior team were : H.Swallow, J.Hoyle, C.Hoyle ( capt ) , H.Hoyle, Beaumont, Reckitts, H.Wood, Gill, Beaumont, Hobson, F.Gill, H.Gill, Mallinson, Sykes & Buckley

Jan 7 1888.  v Golcar . The ground was as hard as flint, the captains consulted and, as there was a large crowd, it was decided to play a short exhibition of 20 minutes e/w with no tackling and to consider the game a draw regardless of the result.

Jan 21.  Many of the local players attended the Holmfirth Football Club Ball with Mr. Fitton’s band from Netherthong supplying the music.

 A game between a team of under 21s and a team of those over 21 from the village resulted in a hollow victory for the juniors.

Jan 28. Win for Netherthong v Thurstonland. Feb 4.  v Lockwood Rangers. As both clubs had the same colours , Netherthong had to tie a broad strip of red round their jerseys. It was a very eventful game with a dubious second try for Lockwood causing a lot of rancour. The Express reported that it was obvious that a lot of money had been staked on the game which Lockwood won.

Feb 11.  v Crosland Moor. A measure of the popularity of local football  was that a large crowd numbering about 1,000 turned up to watch. It was noted that the referee turned up late.  In the evening the team were entertained to supper at the Queen’s Arms and Joe Sykes brought the house down with the Netherthong Football Song which was his own composition. N.B. I have been unable to find a copy of this song.

Mar 10. Netherthong  Rangers v Scholes was a win for Netherthong.

Mar 17.  The village was still playing the occasional  rugby game and Netherthong played Netherton away in front of 500 spectators. Netherton  won by 2 goals, 2 tries and 4 minors to 3 tries and 2 minors. Netherthong Rangers v New Mill – a big crowd saw Netherthong win.

May 12 1888. The Annual supper and general meeting was held in the headquarters of the club, the Queen’s Arms. An excellent supper was supplied by Mrs. Senior.

Netherthong played in the new season 1888-89 and on the first game of the season on September 15 they lost away to Netherton.

Sep 22. They beat Hall Bower in the 2nd. round of the Holliday Charity Cup Competition. Oct 13. Netherthong were away to Deighton Rangers  and won and the Express Newspaper reported that everyone travelled by waggonette,

Oct 27.  played Deighton at home and won. Nov 3. The second teams of Netherthong  and Netherton played at Netherton and the result was a draw.

Dec 1. The Local Rugby Derby v Honley. There was a big crowd but as there was a strong breeze it was agreed that 2 x 15min. play should take place each way. Result was Netherthong 1 try and 6 minors to Honley’s 7 minors.

Dec 8.  More rugby. Netherthong – 1 goal and 3 minors played Longwood – 1 dropped goal and 3 minors.

Dec 15. Netherthong v Netherton. The newspaper reporter got carried away with his own rhetoric and reported . “ Harry Hellawell was brilliant. By Jove Pickering is a champion at the handling –off game. What think you Battye? Did you enjoy it when he tippled you over once?” He was so excited he omitted to give the score.

In the December 24 issue of the Holmfirth Express there was the following large advert .


Grand Football Match To-day

At Netherthong

Lockwood v Netherthong

Kick off at 3 prompt.

 There was no match report or score and there was no more reference to a Netherthong football team from 1888 until 1903. They  were playing in the 1903-4 season but there was very little information in the Express. It did report that, in March 1904, Netherthong  were  5th but omitted to give the final table. However Netherthong entered the league again for the 1904- 5 season and the first report in December said that in the No.2 competition  Netherthong were 12th. out of 14. Their record was :

P 11 W 1 L 8 D 1 Points 5. Goals for 24, against 77 and  by January 1905 they  had climbed up the table to 8th.position with 10 points.

The following are four photographs of various football teams – I’ve been able to date them but haven’t been able to identify the players and officials.


Netherthong A.F.C. 1900s


Netherthong A.F.C. 1911

Netherthong AFC

Netherthon A.F.C.1930s ?

As I mentioned earlier it would appear that in 1905 Netherthong were still playing both football and rugby but reports were few and far between.

In March they played Lightcliffe Road Juniors in the 1st. round of  the Huddersfield & District Cup. There was a very good attendance, the game was reported in detail and Netherthong  scored 26 points made up of 4 goals and 6 tries, Lightcliffe could only respond with 1 goal and 1 try for 5 points.  The  team was : Back – N.Haigh. 3/4s – S.Haworth,W.Marshall, J.Turton, F.Dawson. 1/2s – L.Green and W.Bray. Forwards – J.Eastwood, T.Child, S.Hobson, J. Russell, J.Ashton, A.Battye, W.Brook and C.French. The referee was W.Grange.

 In May 1906 the Netherthong Association Football Club held a well attended AGM in the Working Men’s Clubhouse. The business was to discuss prospects for the next season,  the possibility of securing a more convenient ground and a review of the past season. It was decided to apply for admission to one of the Huddersfield District Leagues. The club had had a successful season both financially and otherwise and had a small balance in hand. They had had three more wins than losses and the prospects looked good. At the AGM of the Huddersfield & District Football League, Netherthong were confirmed as being in Group 2 of the second division along with Holmfirth, Hepworth, New Mill, Brockholes, Parish Church, Scholes Old Boys, Lockwood, Thornton Lodge, Emley and Crossland Hill.

 They had been admitted to the 3rd. Division and by October were in 2nd. place after 6 games with only one loss.

In 1907 Netherthong  had been promoted to the  Huddersfield & District League First Division A group  and the season kicked off in October.. By the end of November, Netherthong  were firmly anchored at the bottom of the league of 12 teams as they had played 9 and lost them all. In December there was a match report of the game against Underbank, played at home , which Netherthong won 4-2. By April 1908 Netherthong were still bottom of the league having played 22 games, winning 3, drawing 1 and losing the rest.

 Presumably, as a result of the previous  season’s results, Netherthong  did not re-join the Huddersfield League but instead opted to join  the Holmfirth & District League Association of 14 local teams. The Association resolved that all clubs must be within a radius of 5 miles from Holmfirth : that all players must reside or work within a 6 mile radius and that no players were allowed to receive any moneys above their travelling expenses. 

 In one of the first games against Underbank, the referee, J.Rowsell, after allowing a goal, stopped the game and refused to restart until an “ undesirable “ Netherthong spectator, who had used some fluent language to him, was removed from the field. By October they were 9th. and had won 2 games out of 7 played but  moved up to 7th. in November. By January 1909 they had played 17 and won 9 and with 20 points were laying 6th. In the same month the West Yorks Commission for reported players, suspended D.Sykes for fighting. The next month they were still 6th. after 22 games and in the report of a game against Scholes which Netherthong  won 3-1  it said that W. Haigh, C.Ramsden, Farrar, Hobson and Child all played well but the best man was H.Cartwright at centre-half. The teams in the league were New Mill Reserves, Hepworth Reserves, Underbank, Hade Edge, Holmbridge, Crow Edge United, Dunford Bridge, Honley Reserves, Holmfirth Wesleyans, Brockhole Reserves, Scholes Reserves, Holmfirth SJ, Thurstonland and Netherthong.

The Football Club held a very successful garden party in September and 240 sat down for an excellent tea served in the United Methodist Church School. Afterwards a gala was held in Mr. Lockwood’s field at Deanhouse. Games were played and the Philharmonic Band  provided the music for dancing.

The league re-started the same month with 14 teams and some new faces including Wooldale United and Holmfirth Territorials..   Early results were : Netherthong 0 v Crow Edge 3  : Wooldale 2 v Netherthong 4 ; Hepworth United 3 Netherthong 0.  After 8 games they  were 6th.  with 4 wins and by February 1910  had moved to 5th. but suffered a major defeat against Dunford Bridge by 7goals to nil. Unfortunately once again there were no further football reports for the season and no final table.

If you are interested in a detailed football history of a local village team , you should try to get hold of a book titled ” Bonnie Oodle “. It celebrated 75 years of Wooldale Wanderers A.F.C. from 1919 to 1994 and for many years the team played in the same leagues as Netherthong. It was researched, compiled and written by Simon Paul Berry and is a magnificent piece of work. It includes lots of team photographs, league tables, sketches and other ephemera. I have taken details of some final league tables from it which were not reported by the Express.

 The season restarted again in September 1910  and the fixture lists for the season 1910-1911 were given in the paper. Their  first game gave the village  a 1-0 win against Wooldale United and by the middle of November Netherthong had played 9, won 5 and had 10 points. At the end of the year they had climbed to the dizzy heights of  3rd. with 20 points and by the end of January had moved into second place  with 13 wins out of 17 games played. They drew with Honley 0-0 and beat Upper Cumberworth 3-0 with two goals for J.Harrison and one for J.Batley. At the end of February a large crowd watched  the much awaited top of the table clash between Netherthong  and New Mill . The result was a draw but the game was spoilt by strong winds. The top of the table was very close , Netherthong were on 31 points just 1 point behind New Mill but level with Honley and Hepworth Wesleyans. Unfortunately once again for reasons only known to the editor, the Express did not carry any further reports so the final results were  not published  but at the club presentation, see later, it was announced that Netherthong had come second to New Mill. The Wooldale book confirmed that Netherthong had come 2nd. to New Mill having played 26 games, winning 17, losing 5 and drawing 4.

 The Express did however report that Netherthong  AFC had won medals in the Meltham AFC medal competition and that the team had received a big reception in the village when they returned.

 The presentation of medals for the 1910/11 season was held in the National School in May. Mr.G. Ricketts presided and the medals were presented by Cllr. J.Jackson who had been the president of the club since it was formed 9 years ago. Jackson said that he thought it the first time that any Netherthong team, football or cricket, had covered themselves with glory. Along with their gold medals at Meltham  they had also been runners – up in the Holmfirth League Championships. Medals were presented to : A. Heeley ; L. Haigh ; W. Haigh ; A. Bray ; H. Taylor ; S. Scholfield ; W. Charlesworth ; J. Batley ; J. Harrison ; P. Hobson ; A. Wrathall;  H. Sykes ; T. Eastwood  and N.Moorhouse. The evening continued with music and dancing.

September 9 1911 saw the start of the new football season. The first game was at home to Holmfirth Territorials and Netherthong drew 1-1  but they lost their next game 0-4 to Hepworth United. In the third game against Shepley Corinthians the match was not finished due to a dispute with the Shepley players which resulted in them leaving the field before the end of the game.

Other results were New Mill 3 – Netherthong 2 : Netherthong 3 – Hinchliffe Mill Territorials 1:They drew 0-0 with Honley, beat Victoria United 3-2 and also beat Hepworth Wesleyans  by 3-1 and by the end of November they  were 4th. in the league.

In the Cup game they beat Lockwood Wesleyans by 3 to 1. However in the league they lost again to New Mill, the League leaders, by 2 goals to 1. Unfortunately due to space pressure in the local paper, it did not always carry the weekly results.

In December they played in the 1st. round of the Medal Competition and drew with Hepworth 1-1. In January 1912, they  were still 4th. in the league having played 11 games, won 5, lost 3 and drawn 5. Their goal difference was 18-17. The results from the next few matches were a 2-0 win against Holmfirth Territorials. a good 5-0 win over Upper Cumberworth . a loss by  0-2 to Shepley Corinthians before rebounding to beat Hinchliffe Mill 2-1.

Once again  there were no more match reports or the final league table.

As there were no reports in the Express  at the start of the new season it  appeared that the league had been disbanded and this was somewhat confirmed in June 1913. The Holmfirth & District Association Football league held a meeting with Mr.W. Haigh in the chair to discuss re-organising and it was decided that the League be re-constructed and that the Secretary advertise for clubs ( within a radius of 6 miles ) and players ( within a radius of 7 miles ) to join. However I cannot find any report that this league actually started up.

In March 1918 there was a large attendance at a dance in the Church schoolrooms promoted by the football club. During the interval a portrait of the 1917-18 team was presented to the WMC  and Mr. Jackson accepted the portrait and congratulated the club on its record for the season  to date of 11 wins and 2 draws out of 21 matches played. It was reported that over £6 had been given to the Patriotic Fund and credit to the club’s success was given to Harold Wimpenny, the secretary. What is most puzzling about this report is that the Express did not carry any reports on any of the local football matches.!

  It was not until September 1919 that the Express reported that , after its suspension because of the war, the League would re-start on October 4 and gave the complete fixture list right through to March 27 1920. The teams were Scholes, Hepworth United, Hade Edge, Wooldale, Brockholes, Hepworth Wesleyans, St. John’s Inst. , New Mill, Holme Bridge and Holmfirth Sec. Schools OBs and Netherthong.

 In the first game of the season Netherthong  beat Wooldale 3-0 with Norman Bailey and C.Gill prominent. To celebrate the return to league football, the club held a dance in the National School. A large number attended and C.R.Wood and W. Marsden were MCs. The music was provided by C.A.Wood ( piano ) and F.Walker ( violin ).

More results were : A loss to Brockholes by 1-2, followed by another loss this time to St. Johns by 2-3 with S.Bailey and F.Beardsell scoring for Netherthong.

Netherthong   ( N.Bailey, Sykes, Turner and Harrison scoring ) beat Holmfirth SB 1 but lost a closely fought game against Scholes by 3 – 4 with Sykes 2 and Bailey scoring. The next game they were thrashed 7-0 by Hade Edge and at the start of 1920 Netherthong  were 8th. having played 10 and won 3.

Their first game of 1920 was a win 4-1 against Wooldale and they followed this with a good 5-2 defeat of Hepworth Wesleyans with C.Wood 2, E.Sykes,F.Beardsell and W.Shore scoring the goals. 

The next game was  a very thrilling Cup game against Honley in January and at full time the teams were drawn 4-4. Unfortuntely Honley scored in extra time. F.Beardsell, V. Messenger, E.Sykes and J.Messenger scored.

Netherthong  1 Brockholes 0 was the last game reported by the Express and the  final table showed Netherthong came 10th out of 12 teams, winning 5 but losing 12.

A very successful whist drive and dance promoted by members of the club was held in the Church schoolroom in November 1920. There were 26 tables and Norman Bayley, captain of the club, presented the prizes to the winning players. At the dance a programme of twenty dances, all up to -date, were rendered by C.A.Wood on piano and F.Walker on violin.

 In August 1921 the Holmfirth & District Association Football League agreed to 16 teams for the new season and the season kicked off on September 4 with  six new clubs having  joined. The sports writer said that Netherthong seemed to be relying on their own players for the season and that the loss of Rollinson , between the sticks, would be a great loss

 Early results were :  A win against  Scholes by 4-3 was followed by a loss to Burnlee by 1-3 ( C.Gill scorer )  . Netherthong lost again to Burnlee by 1-2 ( H.Wade scored) but they got back to their winning ways by defeating Hepworth Wesleyans 2-0.

 The Express started to give more coverage to local  football and there was a five line report on each of the Saturday games of all the teams in the league. The style of  writing was rather archaic – “ Netherthong have made a decent show lately. Lets hope they keep it up.”

 The fixtures had been arranged that in general the same teams would meet  each other home and away on consecutive weeks.  Netherthong drew away to Victoria United 1-1 ( scorer J.Harker ) and won the return at home  by 5-1. The match report went ” Football is on fete at Netherthong just now and is just the ticket for encouraging their supporters “

Netherthong  beat Millhouse 3-2 at home  ( J.Healey, N.Kaye, W.Shore ) but got thrashed 6-0 away to the same team.

 The rules of the league were explicit about the maximum distance players had to live from their club and was normally about 6 miles. However transfers between clubs were permitted and two  that were approved  were G. Renshaw from Brockholes to Netherthong  and J.Rollinson from Wooldale to Netherthong.

Netherthong beat New Mill at home by 1-0 ( scorer G.Harrison ) but lost the return by 2-4 with J.Shore scoring both goals. C.P.Gill was transferred to New Mill.

Netherthong beat  Wooldale 3-1  but the next match at home to Brockholes was a very significant result as they lost 0-2 making it  Netherthong’s first home defeat of the season.

By the end of 1921 Netherthong were in 9th. position having played 15, winning 7 and drawing 1 for a total of 15 points. The first game of the new year was a 2-2 draw at Hade Edge. The return  fixture at Netherthong  saw another home loss   by 2-1. Netherthong did the double over St. Johns Institute winning 1-0 away and 2-0 at home.

8 of the team’s  players were also members of Netherthong  WMC and they were : J.Hobson, H.Swallow, L.Scholfield, A.Preston, F.Harper, J.Shore, W.Mallinson and C.Gill.

 A loss to Hepworth United away by 3-0 was followed by a 2-2 draw at home ( R.Wood and N.Kaye scorers ). Netherthong 2 ( R.Hoyle) drew with HolmeBridge but lost the return at Holme bridge by 0-3. They put 6 away against Farnley Tyas with  J.Harrison, G.Henshaw, A.Wimpenny  and A. Charlesworth scoring..

 Netherthong 3 ( N.Bailey, G.Harrison, W.Harker ) beat Dunford Bridge who only played with 8 men as the rest didn’t turn up. In the return match with Dunford fielding a full team they avenged their defeat winning 3-1.

The last two games of the season were against Birdsedge. Netherthong drew the first game at home 2-2 with N.Kaye and G.Renshaw scoring but lost the return at Birdsedge by 2-1 , L.Harrison being the scorer.

In the final table Netherthong finished 11th. out of 16 teams  having played 30 games, winning 11, losing 13 and drawing 6 for a total of 28 points. 

In August 1922, the Holmfirth & District AFC confirmed that there would be 15 teams in the league with each club playing 28 games and the season would start on September 3rd. and finish on March 4th. 1923. The general format was that the teams would play each other twice home and away on consecutive weeks. The Express had many column inches devoted to the start of the football season and its reporter gave his forecasts on the results of the opening games. He had Netherthong to beat Dunford Bridge which they duly did by winning 3 goals to 1, Goldthorpe, Kaye and Mills were the scorers. They drew the return at Dunford 2-2 with N.Kaye and A.Mills again scoring.

Netherthong 4 ( Hinchliffe, F.Hunter, N.Kaye and A.Mills ) beat Birdsedge YMCA and also won the return game 2-1 with Hunter and Kaye scoring. In the two games against Farnley Tyas, Netherthong did the double  by winning the first 2-0 with N.Kaye and A.Mills scoring and the return 3-0 with J.Renshaw ( 2) and F.Hinchliffe making their mark.

   At this stage of the season after 6 games, Netherthong were unbeaten and in 2nd. place unfortunately this run did not continue as they lost both their games against New Mill by 3-2 and 2-0.

 In October the Netherthong  AFC held a successful whist drive and dance in the National School. The prizes for the whist were presented by C.S.Floyd, the president of the Club. Supper followed and then dancing until 11.30pm.

 At the meeting of the Holmfirth & District League of club representatives, many of the items on the agenda concerned the quality etc of the referees. The  Netherthong club wrote complaining about the inefficiency of a referee in a recent game but as the official concerned was not present, the committee agreed it was not fair to deal with the matter. The punishment  of players who had committed various offenses  in the  field was dealt with at the monthly meetings of the West Riding Reported Players’ Commission. M.Kaye of Netherthong was suspended for 4 weeks and fined 2s 6d for kicking.

 Scholes beat Netherthong 1 – 0 and  also won the away game 3-2 with R.Hodgson and J.Coldwell scoring. J.Hinchliffe was transferred  to Meltham United. 

Netherthong 3 ( F.Hunter, N. Bailey , A.Mills) Burnlee 0 . Next was a 2-2 draw against Hade Edge ( F.Hunter, A.Wimpenny )  followed by a 3-0 victory over St.Johns Institute .

The intrepid reporter commented “ Netherthong are showing fine form just now. Others beware”

Much to the concern of the Holmfirth League, the local clubs had little option but to be in the Huddersfield Groom Cup which played havoc with the fixtures. In the first round  of this cup, Netherthong beat SSOB by 3-0 with Hunter, Kayes and Mills scoring and also beat Buxton Road 4-0 in another cup match.

Back in the league Netherthong had a goal less draw with Holme Bridge. W.Green transferred  from Wooldale Wanderers.