Mar 112017

CAT1 The Heywood CC race trip has always been one of the highlights of the season, thanks to Mark Wright’s exceptional organisation.

It’s a far bigger affair than it was back when we made our first trip to Bangor in, roughly 1993. The more intimate affairs of the early days are the trips I remember and enjoyed best, and I recently took a ‘trip down memory lane’ to maybe the most famed of breakfast pubs.

Someone had recently mentioned to me that, within walking distance of where I now live in Hebden Bridge, was the Cat I’th Well. The Cat I’th Well, at Wainstalls, was, even by Mark’s ability to sniff out good but remote boozers, in an obscure location. Until that mention of the pub, I would have believed it was in the Yorkshire Dales, but in fact, it’s just through Booth in Halifax.

Anyway, my memories of that pub are part of the best memories I have of being a player at HCC. The race trips consisted mainly of players and committed members, led by the ‘Pied Piper’, Ken Leigh. In those days, we all more or less stuck together and we all knew what each other did, there was no hiding. From Vinny Ball falling asleep after four pints in the morning on the back of the coach, to Ken being a shambles after the trip to Doncaster, there were many great moments.

My favourite year was, I think, 1996, after the seconds had won the Burton Cup. With my pal Allister Bold and captain Andy Greenwood among the group, alongside the usual motley crew and pro Alan Badenhorst, we had one of the great days out. The Cat ‘ith Well was almost impossible to reach in a coach, prompting one bemused local to ask, quite innocently, where we were going. I’m not sure he expected John Kaye’s response: “What the f@@k has it got to do with you?”

Breakfast in the beautiful surrounds of the Cat followed, with Tim Taylor’s Landlord flowing like cream. For me, the rest of the day, at Thirsk, I believe, followed indoors drinking with Chris Kaye, Allister leading the singing of ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ from the back of the coach, GOD claiming he had the hardest head in Rochdale to a bunch of rugby players at the evening meal in a superb bar/ nightclub in Huddersfield full of young sorts who just couldn’t get enough of 30 or so aled-up lads from Heywood …

Anyway, that all happened, but I may have my year’s mixed up. But back to the point.

In a bid to wallow in nostalgia, myself and a local pal walked from Hebden to Wainstalls. We took the long route over the moors, past Churn Milk Joan waymarker, over the grouse fields, down hills, over rivers, through valleys and, eventually, to the Cat. The pub was warm and oak-panelled, a fire in the grate, Tim Taylor’s still on cask, and a great end to a three hour stroll.

CAT2Little did I know, it was far easier to get to the pub than I thought, going through the beautiful village of Luddenden, down the side of the River Ludd, through other small but enigmatic little hamlets, to the Cat. This is the way we came back, stopping at the Lord Nelson for a couple of pints of Pendle Witches and then back to Hebden for a couple more.

I have included a map from where I work to the Cat and a couple of pictures of the pub. I think I will take the easy route next time, and this is really worth it for anyone who fancies hopping on the train and seeing a lovely part of the world. The best route, following Cow Lane, takes you by the side of the river, but this route doesn’t show on the map. Cow Lane can be accessed by crossing from the Lord Nelson, through the church, and then following the path by the river. It takes a bit of care at the end to find the Cat, but, really, when near, just follow your gut!

Should any member fancy a trip down memory lane, or to join me on my other favourite walk that is  littered with pit stops, you know where I am. I’m free on a Friday afternoon. Or, maybe, close-season we could organise a walk for those who feel up to it.

Cheers for indulging me!

 March 11, 2017  4 Responses »
Feb 182014

Just been given a copy of the Centenary Year book produced for the CLL marking its 100th anniversary in  1992. On very first glance through, I found this snippet from the 1980s. Oldham, happily, were back in the fold having satisfied the league committee that their ground was to the required standard again. However the Click here for more ….

 February 18, 2014  Tagged with:  No Responses »
Jul 012013

Click on pic for readable sizeFound this while having a brief look through some old files today. One of my reports from 1997. As was usual from that time, it was a shabby performance, but it’s worth noting several things from my report of that game, when I used to get abuse for “writing that b#@@@ks in the Advertiser.” My Click here for more ….

 July 1, 2013  Tagged with:  1 Response »
Jan 182013

Crictour0239Anthony Lepere joined Heywood’s misfits for the 2010 tour of Worcester. Here, the Australian – from the Midland Guildford Club with which we have such great links – recalls a great few days away with the lads. I was first asked to write about my memories of Crimble an embarrassingly long time ago. I hesitated Click here for more ….

 January 18, 2013  Tagged with: , , ,  7 Responses »
Aug 232012

Nearly 20 years ago, Andy Greenwood moved from Norden to Heywood and started a revival in the club’s second team’s fortunes. Greenwood – nicknamed GOD for his love of a ‘Game Of Darts’ – brought some much-needed pride back to second team cricket at a time when both the club’s first and second teams were Click here for more ….

Aug 172012

Many thanks to Bob Dearden and Mike Law for organising what turned out to be a first-class day at Crimble last Saturday. The ground had a feeling reminiscent of my days of youth thanks to a great turn-out for the Former Players Reunion day. The event sadly came two days after the death of one Click here for more ….

Apr 132012

“You could really hear the ball fizzle when Duncan Carter bowled.” It was just the sort of thing I wanted to hear when I spoke to one of Heywood’s best amateur batsmen and my current neighbour Jimmy Porter recently. A left-handed opening bat and one-time wicket-keeper Jimmy, 68, played in some of Heywood’s greatest teams Click here for more ….

Mar 192012

To coincide with one of the biggest years in the club’s history, Heywood CC are organising a very special ‘Former Players Day’. A date has been pencilled in for Saturday 11 August, and it’s an event we really want to be something special to honour and remember the players who have made the club what Click here for more ….

Mar 162012

With the season fast approaching – and after a talk with one of Heywood’s best amateurs – I thought I would share a memory from Vernon Connolly’s archives. I approached Jimmy Porter – who lives over the road – about setting up an interview with him, and he recalled the day Ralph Farmer played possibly Click here for more ….

Feb 212012

Found these old pages from the 1993 Wood Cup final between Heywood and Middleton at Crimble and thought I would scan them in. They’re a bit rough and ready but good nostalgia. Great originality on the back page lead, but good stuff! Enjoy. Click on the pages and they will enlarge to normal size.  

Jan 232012

John Kaye played for Heywood from 1982 to 1996 and was a member of the most successful youth sides in the club’s history. Here, he tells of why – despite forging a new career down south – Heywood CC is his first and biggest love. Reading the ramblings of the likes of the likes of Click here for more ….

Jan 192012

I haven’t seen Olly Slawson for a while, but I bet he hasn’t changed from this picture from 1997! Also, football fans, remember the stories when Heywood was pushing for a proper town team? You can see the beginning of a back page lead from Simon Crawford. Why did it come to nothing?

 January 19, 2012  Tagged with:  6 Responses »