Romany Cricket Club

Early Years – Founder Members

To 1919.

Just as the exact date of the founding of the club is uncertain, we cannot be sure who the founder members were. The archives do however contain several clues.

The 1911 fixture card lists twelve officers of the Club.It is reasonable to assume that some (if not all) would have been founder members a few years earlier. They include the President, C F Tetley, and three Vice Presidents, A Copson Peake, J Stenson Webb and Major Hepworth. A little research gives some idea as to the background of the Club.

A Copson Peake (later Sir Arthur Copson Peake) seems to have had a varied and distinguished career. In 1885 he played in the Yorkshire Tennis championships (losing in the first round) and in 1903 he appears as a member of the Council of the English Lawn Tennis Association. In 1913 he is to be found in Leeds, as a director of John Waddington Limited (of Monopoly fame, but that came many years later). By 1920 he was working at the Home Office, being then a member of the Swift Committee on County Court Procedure (set up in 1920) and Chairman of the Croydon Hippodrome Limited (wound up in 1928). He was President of the Law Society of England and Wales in 1922-23.

J Stenson Webb was an auctioneer with Messrs Hollis and Webb of Leeds. He auctioned the effects of Col HO Trench Gascoigne of Parlington Park, Aberford, in 1905. A man of the same name (and there surely can’t have been two men named J Stenson Webb, can there?) wrote “The Shakespeare Reference Book” in or around 1898.

“Major Hepworth” (as he is listed in the fixture card) gives little away – an initial or two would have been useful. Although we still have the scorebook from 1912, there is no Hepworth there, so his playing days may by then have ended.

The 1911 fixture card also lists (as a Committee member) G G S Grundy. The 1936 minutes refer to him as a “Foundation Member of the Club”. George Grundy was educated at Harrow School from 1874 to 1876 and played twice for Sussex in 1880. He was also a member of the Gentlemen of Sussex CC. The 1901 census lists him as a “pig iron agent” (whatever one of those is or was), living in Headingley.

The Treasurer in 1911 was H D Bousfield (by then a solicitor, whose address is listed as 6 Butt’s Court, Leeds, the home of Dibb Lupton & Co). Colonel Hugh Delabere Bousfield CMG DSO TD DL JP (1872-1951) commanded a West Yorkshire Regiment battalion during the Great War. Included among his decorations were the French and Belgian Croix de Guerre.

The Secretary was C C Frank (Charles Clark Frank), another solicitor, practising at Gordon Chambers in Bond Street, Leeds.

Early years – fixtures

The 1911 season started at Briar Court, Huddersfield (a house built in the 1890s by Edgar Wood, one of England’s most innovative architects, for his newlywed sister). Romany played just nine matches that season, including two against each of Ryburn Valley (in the Ripponden/Barkisland area) and Menston Asylum. Other games were against Old Leodiensians, Bramham Park, Escrick Park and Yorkshire Gentlemen (who played at Wigginton Road in York at the time). The archives include a copy of the rather ornate fixture list of the Escrick Park Cricket Club for 1911,which shows some of the other teams on the circuit at the time.

The 1912 scorebook starts with a fixture against St Peter’s School in York. In addition to similar fixtures to those of 1911, Romany also played at Arthington and Malton.