about the site

The idea

This site was an attempt to build a Casuals community with the purpose of recording a history of Almondbury Casuals Cricket Club: interactive and multi-author.

(1) The tools used to collect material include questionnaires, a selection of the minutes and interviews. Thank you to all of you who contributed.

(2) The history. There are drafts for the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

(3) Other chapters will deal with fixtures, the administration, tours and so on, rather than repeat themes within eras.

(4) Pen portraits. The Hall of Fame. Written by anyone who wants to have a go. Written about themselves or about others.

The photograph is from 2005.

What happened (written July 2013 about events during October 2010 and the subsequent – no connection – demise of the Casuals)

Two things:

(1) The Casuals gradually stopped playing, mainly as a result of difficulty finding players. Other factors were at work: the weather was very unkind and management gradually lost interest and this inevitably fed back to the players. Whilst the Casuals have always struggled to get a full side, the current culture is a far cry from the 1950s and 60s. Travelling some distance to a country house is not valued and the sense of Casuals history has gone, except amongst Will Carling’s favourites who are sadly gradually leaving us. Nevertheless there is a small cohort of Gentlemen’s cricket devotees remaining in the Holme Valley. It remains to be seen whether their efforts will bear fruit (see almondburycasuals.org.uk).

(2) Your correspondent received few if any articles. In fact the silence was deafening. Some people say this is the Casuals we are talking about so get over it. Certainly the internet is not the total solution to creating a community. However there were other forces at work, revealed to me one Saturday afternoon at the local rugby club; an appropriate venue to receive the wisdom of Will Carling’s favourites. Following a couple of contacts I apparently came across as anti public school. Those who were offended didn’t speak to me personally. The word went round and the plug was pulled; the rattle of the black ball and a sinking feeling in the gut. For the record, their assertion is untrue. Any education is valuable. It is true however that, when discussing life chances, I abhor privilege over talent. On the other hand my opponents probably had no say in their good fortune and hopefully took full advantage. Even today, there is a perception of a society in which values and language are not necessarily shared, with little overlap and common ground, physically and intellectually, between the various groups. It’s not something you can do anything about.

There was pain at the time, but the Casuals have now gone. Will Carling’s favourites hail from an era when money was not discussed and business was a private club (listen to Clare Balding’s Sport and the British). It doesn’t stop those who are left from honouring what they achieved.

What has been produced

(1) We have already presented information as to how the Casuals were formed at the annual Pennine Cricket Conference, held at The University of Huddersfield, organised by Peter Davies. Please look at the website – http://www.ckcricketheritage.org.uk/. It is a comprehensive collection of all things cricket in W Yorkshire.

(2) Draft chapters on various topics.

(3) Various publications – see match reports and other cricket writing

  • Journal of The Cricket Society – I met Derek Barnard when he came up to Huddersfield. Did he want some copy? “Send it me.” After the Pennine Cricket Conference 2009, I submitted a piece on friendly cricket and the journal accepted it. (2009)

Why Play Friendly Cricket?

  • Huddersfield Examiner – This was part of a series, illustrating the funnier side of getting older. I did one on cricket, based on the odd moments from Almondbury Casuals.  (2008)

Senior Cricket Moments

  • Cricket in Perspective 2 This covers the history from 1981 to 2005, a follow up to Jim Netherwood’s ‘Cricket in Perspective 1′.  (2005)

Cricket in Perspective 2

  • Gentlemen, Gypsies and Jesters – A collection of chapters on wandering cricket clubs published by Fairfield Books. (2013)

Almondbury Casuals

What next?

It’s not clear where gentlemen’s cricket in the Holme Valley is going and similarly this history has an uncertain future. Just enjoy what it is.

August 2019

See the latest blog from York – Clifton sports – where Yorkshire CC recently turned out. The older casuals are still in touch and enjoyed the day’s fellowship. It doesn’t mean a resurgence in Casuals’ fortunes as a social cricket team.

The website is still available for contributions – I just need to get my head around marketing it. This is the Casuals so I’m not optimistic, just a tad romantic.

Enjoy the interview with Derek Bamforth, an early Casual and part of the Holmfirth postcard family. Rupe’s pieces on coaching and ‘famous incidents’. Pen portraits of Jim Netherwood, Ralph Sutcliffe and others. And much more.


  • Duncan Cleave  On December 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Fantastic start, lets get everyone involved – could do with some notes for how to use and what to do, especially for player profiles etc.

    • DA Walker  On December 10, 2010 at 11:43 am

      In the new post today, Getting to know you, I’ve hopefully explained how people can contribute once they have signed up.
      You can write a pen portrait by choosing new post and clicking the category captain.

      A template of what to include is in the menu to the left.
      There are a few examples to go on.

      Have a go.

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