A SHORT HISTORY
CLICK ON PICTURES TO ENLARGE
CLICK ON PICTURES TO ENLARGE
Lindley Bowling Club nestles in a tranquil, beautiful and spacious setting off Daisy Lea Lane, bordered by immaculate gardens and pathways.
On 1st of October 1894 James Neild Sykes bought a plot of land from Mr. Ben Stocks. The land was on Daisy Lea Lane and locally referred to as Far Field. The men then paid J.N. Sykes a peppercorn rent, in turn he paid for the bowling green to be created. J.N. Sykes, a well know local mill owner who lived at Field Head (now The Manor House) supported many good works in the Lindley community.
Initially there was a wooden building on the site, referred to as the ‘tent’.
As the membership grew the tent was too small and a decision was taken to build a brick clubhouse. Members contributed 5% and J.N. Sykes paid the rest. He opened the building on 13 th September 1902.
In 1919 the Trustees of the Sykes family decided to lease the land for a further 10 years or to sell Far Field, the site of the bowling club. On 17 th September the Trustees agreed to sell to Lindley Bowling Club and adjoining ground for £1800. An Extraordinary meeting of members was held on 1 st December 1919. Members decided to buy, the money coming from a loan of £8 from each member. The transaction (deal) took place in March 1920.
With finances stretches, the club were persuaded to sell some of the land to Huddersfield Council in 1955 for use as allotments, which stand to this day.
Joseph Binns, the club's first President was a rope and twine manufacturer of Fern House, Holly Bank Road, Lindley. In 1896 he donated a prize to the Huddersfield & District Amateur Bowling Association. The Binns Challenge Cup competition was first won by the Taylor Hill team, Lindley coming 9th out of tenth in the league.
In 2019, the club's 125th anniversary year, it was fitting that Lindley Bowling Club once again took possession of the trophy when our Saturday B team won the league (see Bowling page for a picture of the Cup).
For most of its history the club it was a private club, used by ‘business men with money’ as a drinking club. The criteria; to becoming a member was an affirmative answer to the question “would the proposed member be someone you would invite to dinner to your house? “
Indeed bowling came a low fourth priority after drinking, dominoes and snooker. The Club had no competitive teams and the only bowling was done by a small number of members who played on Thursday mornings and on Friday evenings for an hour before the Club opened. The nearest to a competitive match was an annual outing to Skipton to play their team.
At the end of the twentieth century the Club was in serious decline with membership reducing from a peak of 249 to nearer 80 and its finances were secured by selling a further piece of land on Daisy Lea Lane.
The reversal of the decline and change to a bowling club with competitive teams was sparked by a decision to enter a 6 man team in the Brighouse Vets League in 2004/5 followed by a second 10 man team in division 5 of the Huddersfield Vets League in 2006. This decision created a competitive interest in bowling and led to a significant increase in membership and the Club subsequently entered further teams in the Brighouse Vets., Elland, Huddersfield Works & Huddersfield leagues.
Perhaps the biggest change of all in the Club's then 120 year history was the decision taken in 2012 to allow ladies to become members and to enter competitive teams. The benefits have been immeasurable and in 2018 the club elected its first lady President.
Today the club boasts 20 bowling and one snooker team amongst its 180-200 members. More recently an after-school club for juniors has been established together with an annual Schools Bowling Competition. The club, which also provides a wide variety of social events, continues to flourish having celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2019. We look forward to a bright future.
A full version of the club's history can be found in the clubhouse, or on request from the Secretary.
James Neild Sykes
The "Tent" was the first clubhouse, pre-1902.
Plot of land sold in the mid-1950s to Huddersfield Council for use as allotments.