Yorkshire is the unofficial home of world cricket. No other county is as passionate about its cricket as Yorkshire. Village cricket is played throughout Yorkshire. Matches are played between rival villages ensuring a healthy level of competition. Many Yorkshire villages and parishes have their own teams that play at varying levels of the English cricket pyramid.
YAPHAM-CUM-MELTONBY represents two hamlets situated at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. Together they form a joint township and chapelry containing 1,830 acres. The village of Yapham is small, and stands on an open green, two-and-a-half miles north-by-west of Pocklington.
Yapham Cricket Club has been playing at the cricket ground on the edge of the village for almost 100 years and is one of only a few clubs to play on through the Second World War. Today the club has a strong junior section as well as three men’s teams. The club has a proud legacy of women’s cricket, as this blog will reveal, and aims to restore a women’s team very soon.
A village cricket team was formed in Yapham in 1918/19 following the end of the First World War. Permission had been granted to play matches in a field adjacent to Feoffee Lane belonging to Manor House Farm, Yapham. Manor House farm had been owned at the time by the English family and tenanted by Mr R. Carr.
A first official committee meeting took place in Yapham School Room on February 17th 1926. It was recorded in the club minute book Mr B. A. Carr (Chair) that Mr W. R. English was elected President. It was resolved that members of the club attend the next Test match at Leeds.
The history of Yapham Cricket Club is the proud history of village cricket in Yorkshire.
The purpose of this blog is to tell the story – unravel the history – the people – the community – the story of village cricket in Yapham.
If you have any information or photos about Yapham Cricket Club please get in contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
This blog is administered by Steve Parry and Les Smith.
Yapham is part of the parish of Yapham cum Meltonby. Meltonby is a tiny settlement about a mile from Yapham, which has nevertheless been home in the past to at least two cricket grounds and a thriving club.
The fixture booklets for 1929 and 1930 provide a tantalising glimpse into cricket in our area half way between the two world wars.
The first thing that jumps out of this small document is the name Pearson. Of the ten committee members, six bear that name, including the president, the treasurer, and the vice-captain. (The captain is a Mr. G. Terry.) Indeed, so dominant was the family that two of the 29 fixtures in the summer of 1929, on 8 May and 3 July, are listed as Pearsons v Rest. There are still Pearsons hereabouts of course. Indeed father and son Barry and Martin have been mainstays of the Yapham first team in recent years.
Meltonby played against ten other clubs that year. At the time Yapham had two sides, Yapham and Yapham Common. There were four local derbies against the latter, and two against the former. The other opponents were Kirby Underdale, Bugthorpe, Bishop Wilton, Full Sutton, Millington, Kilnwick Percy, Burnby, and Barmby Moor.
On 18 May and 6 July, when presumably there were gaps in the fixture list but the players were keen to play, there were matches between Married and Single. There’s a tip for fixture secretaries in 2017!
The owner of this card, presumably a batsman, made pencil notes next to the fixtures of his scores. He started his season badly with a duck against Kirby Underdale, then the following week scored 21 not out against Bugthorpe, which would be the best it got for him in 1929.
It’s interesting to note that Hewitt’s of Goodramgate had a range of cricket bats for sale; the cheapest was 10 shillings and the most expensive a whopping 30 shillings (£1.50 in new money). A set of bails would knock back Mr. W. Pearson, the Meltonby treasurer, to the tune of 1 shilling. And how highly did Mr Pearson rate his wicketkeeper? Did he go for the cheapest gloves at 10/6, or treat him to the deluxe 17/11 pair?
There were changes the following year, 1930. The committee was trimmed to eight members, but the Pearsons retained their vice-like grip on power, holding five of the posts. The aforementioned W. Pearson continued to be treasurer, but was also now the team captain (assuming, which it isn’t safe to do, that the two W. Pearsons are the same person.)
While the committee shrank, the range of opposition increased from ten in 1929 to twelve. The clubs which appeared on the list in 1930 were Great Givendale, Allerthorpe and Hayton, while Full Sutton, who played against Meltonby twice the previous summer, disappear. I wonder whether there was a falling out between the clubs, cricket bats wielded in a field somewhere around Fangfoss or Bolton? I like the image, but more likely Full Sutton had a player shortage, as small clubs often do even today. The Pearsons played the Rest twice again, while the Married men had two opportunities to pay back the singletons for the defeats inflicted on them a year earlier.
Our anonymous batsman had a poor year, except for his glory day at home against Yapham Common on 14 June when he scored 46, albeit in a losing cause.
There is much more to learn and share about Meltonby cricket, and its links with Yapham, which is why this post is headed The Meltonby Connection (Part 1). If you have any information which could throw more light on the matter, please get in touch.
The Barnes family of Manor Farm Yapham have played a prominent role in the history of Yapham Cricket Club. David Barnes, his wife Diana and son Paul have all played cricket for Yapham. The Barnes family’s association with Yapham CC runs back to the origins of the club.
David’s father Norman Barnes moved to Yapham and Manor House Farm around 1938. Norman married Doris Tinson, The Tinsons being a well-known Pocklington Builders family. Doris’s father Herbert Tinson lived at Yapham Mill. Herbert was a keen sportsman, playing Rugby for Pocklington and cricket for Yapham. In the AGM minutes dated 17, Feb 1926 Herbert Tinson is listed as the Captain of Yapham CC as well as Treasurer to the club. David doesn’t remember much about his grandfather, sadly Herbert died around the time David was born in 1946 – apparently of a heart attack at the home of cricket, Lords. One can only presume such was the occasion and passion for the cricket being played that day his heart couldn’t take the strain! What a glorious way for a cricket lover to go!
The origins of Yapham CC are thought to date back to 1910. Before locating to the current ground on Smylett Lane David believes originally cricket in Yapham took place in the field behind the barns at Manor Farm. Later on David’s uncle Gin Barnes (Ginathon) – bought part of East Green farm, Yapham from English’s of Smylett Hall and rented the field to the club. It appears Mr Barnes wasn’t only compensated financially for the use of his land but during the season 1944 the accounts record a payment made to Barnes – cigars, costing 1 pound & 14 shillings. On another occasion it is thus listed in the minutes that Mr Barnes be given a Christmas present of 100 cigarettes
David very kindly leant me the Yapham CC Minute Book – which begins with the entry written by his Grandfather Herbert Tinson (Treasurer and Captain of Yapham CC) at The AGM held in Yapham Schoolroom on Feb 17 1926. At this meeting the following offices were elected: – It records the President as W.R English Esq, vice Presidents, W.A Carr, W.R Carr and W Rennald – The Committee comprised of Reg A Carr, G Ogle, N Ogle (vice-captain) Mr Pratt Barker, H Skinner. At the meeting Albert Carr proposed the club have a trip to Headingly, Leeds to see the test match. Expenses for 1926 included two cricket bats, one costing one pound eighteen shillings and sixpence, another one pound fourteen shillings and sixpence – two cricket balls (one thirteen shillings and sixpence & nine shillings and sixpence)
Yapham CC Pavilion – The RAF Clubhouse
During the early years the Smylett lane ground was leased to the club for a period of approximately the three months of the cricket season. Throughout the rest of the year the land was used for grazing beasts. It appears facilities for the club were pretty rudimentary and originally there were two small hen hut type buildings – one was used as the score hut – another used to store a lawnmower.
In the minutes of the Annual General meeting in Yapham Schoolroom on the 14th October 1945 it was noted:- To build a Tea Pavilion between and adjoining the present Members and Visitors Pavilions, to provide additional cover for nets, mowers, and other gear, and for other purposes.
The minutes also record: – with matches taking place with neighbouring RAF forces units during the War at the end of the War a redundant Forces building located at Full Sutton airfield is offered to Yapham as a Cricket Pavilion.
At the AGM on 31st October 1947 a Mr Brown reported that he was negotiating for the purchase of an Army hut for a pavilion and hoped to provide a water piping. Apparently a local bricklayer Billy Pearson, who also played for the club, helped re-erect the hut with the help of local joiner Herbert Loft.
The War Years
1940 AGM on 8th April 1940 with Mr F.J Cooper in the Chair: The meeting considered whether an attempt should be made to carry on the Club in 1940 having regard to the War. It was unanimously resolved that the Club attempt to carry on and that the secretary be instructed to arrange a fixture list.
1942 – Meeting 13th April 1942 – It was unanimously resolved that the club try to carry out a programme of matches during the summer of 1942 The Secretary’s report states that matches were played with neighbouring Service Units. 21 matches were played – the majority won by the club
It was recorded in the minutes held at Mr F.J.Coopers house, Beechwood, Pocklington on 27th March 1943 – The secretary reported that the number of playing members of the club was now reduced to fifteen or sixteen, and that in view of the extra work and other duties of wartime it would be impractical to rely on such a number for a regular team. He further submitted that in the interests of the club and its post-war members, it should be the first concern of the club to maintain the ground and particularly the wickets in playing condition. In the 1943 report the Secretary Mr Cooper states that fourteen matches played, all with neighbouring Army and RAF units.
!944 – The minutes of the AGM held at FJ Coopers house, Beechwood, Pocklington thus state:- In order to provide facilities for sport for neighbouring Forces Units and to keep the Club and the ground in commission for the benefit of members in the Forces or other War Work it was decided to ‘carry on’ during 1944.
As a boy David remembers being called upon to play when they were short of players; it wasn’t easy to get into the team as Yapham had many talented players and the success of the club meant they were able to field two teams. Early success meant Yapham were seen as the leading club in the area – players came from miles around to play for Yapham, with many of the players travelling by bike. Success bred further success and Yapham CC prospered. All sorts of people from diverse professions played for Yapham, farmers, doctors, lawyers, and a surgeon, many travelling from as far afield as Hull and Beverley. David developed into a decent bowler and became a regular in the team during the 1980’s. In more recent years David and Diana’s son Paul has played for Yapham CC. David has also been head groundsman and takes great pride in preparing the ground for match day. As author and resident of Yapham for many, many years I often witness David painstakingly tending the greens during the summer months and delight at the effort and commitment to the cause. David’s hard work has for many years contributed to the ongoing success of the Yapham wicket.
Diana Barnes – Yapham Ladies CC
In 1933 Yapham ladies cricket club was formed. The ladies team being granted the use of the playing field by the then owner Mr Carr on Tuesday and Saturday evenings. Diana’s father Jeff Hodgson during the early years had been both the secretary and groundsman for the club. Diana has played for Yapham Ladies and has many happy memories.
Yapham CC – Characters – Over the years
Sid Fountain was known as a very good cricketer – when keeping the score in the little hut, young lads would throw cow muck at him. After Sid left, a local farmer called John Hardwick took over both scoring and playing duties. Furthermore, John’s wife Joan Hardwick made the teas then went home to milk the cows while John was playing.
Michael Shepherdson – an excellent cricketer and a true gentleman was extraordinarily generous. When the team played away games Michael would shout “find the nearest Fish & Chip shop and I will pay”. During another occasion Michael was playing cricket when the ice-cream van turned up. Michael shouted “I’ll treat everyone to an ice-cream” however they wouldn’t stop play! Michael attempted to stop play three times but his pleas fell on deaf ears. The ice-cream man became so sick and tired of waiting for the custom he angrily revved-up the van gave the V sign and drove off!
Tony Potter turned up to play but heavy rain started – abandoning play – Tony had already fallen asleep in his pick-up truck before the decision to abandon play was taken. The weather worsened, into a heavy storm with thunder and lightning. Tony slept through it all and unknowingly everyone had left for home! A few hours later someone passing the ground noticed the lone van parked at the ground and an open gate, the general rule being who ever leaves the ground last closes the gate. The person went up to the van to find Tony obliviously fast asleep. A few bangs on the window aroused him! Who knows how long he would have been there without this kindly gesture. The fact remains without this intervention Tony could still be fast asleep in his van to this day!
A stoat / weasel ran madly around the playing field after a rabbit/hare, stopping play! As the stoat chased the hare several cricketers chased the stoat – causing much amusement among the players and crowd!
An amusing episode arose as the direct result of the poor condition of the roof of the old green pavilion. During heavy rain Margaret Clarke could be seen inside the building with a brolly up – making the teas! It wasn’t long after this the club decided to erect a new pavilion.
The author would like to thank David and Diana for sharing their memories and supplying historical documents in relation to Yapham cricket.
Last November I visited Mike Beal (holding the trophy) at his home in Holme-on-Spalding Moor. He entertained me for over two hours with recollections of his times with Yapham CC. You can read about that below in the blog.
Mike passed away in March. My neighbour Maurice Pickering, another Yapham veteran, attended the memorial service at Sutton upon Derwent, where Mike grew up in a farming family. It was standing room only in the church.
Lavinia was a girl from Barmby Moor. Trevor was born and grew up in North Cliffe.
Like so many Yapham cricketers, Trevor came from a farming background. When Trevor was a boy North Cliffe had its own cricket ground and club. It’s one of many that have disappeared as has time has passed. A good young cricketer today in the Market Weighton area would probably go to Londesborough Park, Pocklington, or Woodhouse Grange.
Trevor’s father had Manor Farm on Long Lane, near North Cliffe, and was a senior figure in the local cricket club. That’s where young Trevor learned to play the game. These days he doesn’t look like a quick bowler, but he was one back in the day. He says that when Yapham fielded first he would sometimes be taken off after a few overs to allow the opposition to get a total to bowl at. Perhaps Trevor’s imagination exaggerates how good he was, but don’t all of us prefer to recall the days when we were brilliant?
In 1958 Trevor moved to Fangfoss to fulfil two aspirations: to run his own farm and to marry Lavinia. It’s now less than two years since they left the farm and moved into their bungalow just a couple of hundred yards away. A player with a good arm could put a cricket ball on the the roof of the Carpenters Arms from their front door.
Fangfoss used to have its own cricket team and Trevor and Lavinia’s kitchen window looks onto the old cricket field. The square was approximately where the cows were this morning.
Trevor and Lavinia met by being members of Young Farmers. Lavinia’s cricket career was relatively brief. She played for Yapham between 1958 and 1960. She stopped playing when she was expecting the first of their three children. Their two daughters have gone on to have illustrious careers in playing and coaching hockey, one in Wales and the other in Reading.
Trevor has memories of many old Yapham players, of course, several of whom have already been mentioned on this blog. Here are just a very few.
Peter Waite was a farm manager on the Warter estate, an excellent wicketkeeper and batsman, and a very nice man.
Mike Stevenson taught sport at Pocklington School. He played for Cambridge in the varsity match at Lord’s. He was a prolific batsman. Trevor once found himself, batting down the order, at the opposite end to Mike in a run chase. The varsity blue’s instruction was that Trevor should block while Mike scored runs. That’s what Trevor did and Yapham won the match.
One of the many farmers in the Yapham history was Norman Featherby, whose uncle Billy played two first class games for Yorkshire.
Trevor spoke at length about John Hardwick, “Mr Yapham”. There is a whole story to be told about John Hardwick and all that he did for Yapham cricket. That’s for another day, when it can be done justice.
Many thanks to Martin Eede for establishing contact with Trevor and Lavinia Craven.