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Craven District Football Association Centenary Exhibition 2009: Display Boards


A few words regarding the origins and production of this centenary exhibition and brochure.

It has been a real effort to compile the details about our Craven District Football Association.

There have been problems collecting information most of the way for, during one period, the Association Executive also became the Executive of the Craven Football League. So for this period it appears that only Craven Football League news was printed. In those days the local Association was also responsible for sorting out local Leagues and this has added to the involvement.

As we go through the history of the Association we have added some references to what was happening in the wider world. These give a useful sense of time and place.

I hope you enjoy the exhibition and the numerous exhibits and I trust that it has raised some thoughts, and brought pleasant memories to your minds.




August 28th 1909. The first meeting of the Craven District Football Association took place in the Midland Hotel, Skipton.


Earby Amateurs
Glusburn Institute Celtic
Union Shed

1909-1910 S.Peacock
1910-1912 W.Peacock
1912-1924 E.Walker
1924-1961 J.O.Fairhurst
1961-1963 A.B.Cawood
1963-1964 G.F.Fairhurst
1964-1069 W.G.Plumbley
1969-1973 H.Walker
1972-1977 K.W.Patchett
1977-1994 A.B.Cawood
1994-2002 R.R.Turner
2002- D.B.Town

1909-1919 H.H.Jackman
1919-1932 B.Bastow
1932-1945 W.Redmayne
1845-1972 N.P.Thornber
1972-1995 R.Jones
1996- A.B.Cawood




The decade was overshadowed by the Great War and all the sacrifices that had to be made. Football took second place to the more important events happening elsewhere.

The first Annual General Meeting took place in July 1910, and Mr Jackman was elected as President. Although the Association only had a small balance it was resolved that we buy Barnoldswick United small silver medals as winners of the Craven District Cup.

The next Annual General Meeting in 1911 showed that the Association had a balance of some £4.00 for the year and that Mr Jackman was again elected as President. The final of the Craven District FA Cup was a memorable affair with Ingleton defeating Skipton Wanderers by a 5-2 margin on Sandylands where approximately 1,000 people turned up to see the game.

In 1911 the Craven Hospital League was to fold, On 21st June, a meeting was held to try and arrange a new League. This was to be known as the Craven District League with the Association having some small influence.

The third AGM was held in the summer of 1912. The Secretary reported a loss in the number of Clubs being affiliated locally - from 28 clubs in 1909 to 18 clubs two years later.




During the Roaring 20s Wembley Stadium was completed, Littlewoods Pools were launched offering working men the chance of a weekly flutter and women's football was banned by the FA.

Mr E Bastow was elected as President at the July 1921 AGM. For the Craven Cup Final that year extra trains were laid on from Barnoldswick to Skipton. Over 3,000 people enjoyed the game which Barnoldswick United won by 5-0.

In November 1921 Settle asked for, and were given permission, to organise a competition for local Clubs with the proceeds going to the local hospital. Later in the season permission was given to start a new league in place of the South Craven League covering teams in the southern area of the Association.

A strong club during this decade was Grassington United who played their home games on the Badger Gate field.

Hellifield had a team playing in the Craven League as early as the 1924-25 season. When they did not have league fixtures they played many friendly games against the navvies constructing Stocks Reservoir.

In the 1928-29 season Ingleton United were reformed. During their first five years they won the Craven Challenge Cup four times, the Gibson Challenge Cup and the North Lancs Senior League Championship.

Another famous club, Skipton Bulldogs, was formed in 1928, originally being known as the 2nd Skipton Bulldogs Scout Troop.




The 30s saw the world hit by the depression, and World War Two.
The BBC broadcast the FA Cup Final live on radio.
In Craven Keighley Police beat Skipton Butchers!

At the 1930 AGM Mr E Bastow was elected as President and "Ossie" Fairhurst as Secretary.

The Final of the Craven Cup saw Ingleton beat Kelbrook on Easter Saturday morning by 3-1 under terrible conditions on the Settle United ground. The Craven District Football League was defunct so Craven FA was trying to gain support for the South Craven League. They had seven members and applications from Langcliffe and a team in Burnley.

Ings School defeated Skipton Christ Church to win the Walls Cup. In the local Tuesday League Keighley Police defeated Skipton Butchers in the League Cup Final.

The final of the Craven Cup was played between Settle United and Waddington at Hellifield. Settle were coasting to a welcome win when, midway through the second half three of the Waddington players walked off. Settle were declared the winners and the local MP presented the trophies.

When Johnson and Johnson took over the Airebank Mill in 1934 new players and enthusiasm saw the emergence of Gargave Village Institute. They entered the Craven League in 1935, finishing third at their first attempt.




It is 1946 before the League programme restarts, with players such as Matthews, Lawton and Carey. Wooden rattles, used by air raid wardens during the blitz, find a new use in the hands of football fans.

After the war Grassington United reformed, playing at Skirethornes on a field with a very decided slope. The first game was an evening friendly match which was drawn. An unmemorable game but the food afterwards was excellent! Their assets at this time were £1 and training took place in the Old Mill amongst the livestock. Particularly annoying was the goat who had a liking for players' socks.

Horton were one of the clubs who helped reform the Craven League in 1946. They entered a team in Division 2, and were also members of the Craven Junior League. The club's "hour of glory" was in 1949 when the club won the Division League Cup. The team members were all, except one, born and brought up in Horton.

Long Preston formed in 1946 and entered the Craven League in 1947. In 1948 they won the Division 2 League Title, winning 15 out of 20 games and drawing three.

In 1948 the Sports and Social Section of Rolls Royce, Barnoldswick, started a football team and they entered the Nelson and Colne Football League. The one condition was that all players had to work at Rolls Royce.




English football is rocked by Hungary at Wembley,
Bert Trautmann breaks his neck and Roy Race turns out for Melchester Rovers.
The Munich Air Disaster destroys the Busby Babes.

The AGM in July 1950 elected Mr Redmayne as President with "Ossie" Fairhurst as Secretary. There was no mention of the members present at the meeting but all officers were elected "en bloc". There was an increase in the number of affiliated clubs. This was now 34, five more than the previous year.

Barnoldswick United reached the final of the West Riding County Cup where they played Yorkshire Amateurs, losing 4-0. The Annual Dinner was re-started with most Clubs attending. Salterforth had run a football team for a season in the 1950s when they joined the West Craven Junior League. This League was made up of teams from Earby - Riley Street Methodists, George Street Methodists and Earby Baptists - together with a number of teams from Barnoldswick. It was a very strong junior league at the time.

In 1950 Ossie Fairhurst, the League Secretary, kicked off for Bradley in their opening League game against Settle United. The Club won 4-3 but, as the years went by, the lack of players caused problems. In one fixture against Cononley they could only raise seven players and went down 25-0.




Every football fan remembers where they were that wonderful day in 1966 when England won the Jules Rimet Trophy at Wembley.
Apparently some people were on the pitch...

The 1960 Association AGM elected Mr W Redmayne as President but members were surprised by the news that " Ossie" Fairhurst, the Secretary, was resigning. It was a sad blow to Craven Football as " Ossie" had been Secretary since 1924 and his work for local football would be greatly missed. It was also mentioned that Mr Peter Marsden was elected to be the Referees' representative on the Association Committee. It was agreed that Association Handbooks should be printed, at a cost of £6.50 for 200.

In 1963 Carleton stepped up to the County Amateur League. In the four seasons they were members of this league the highest position they finished was 3rd - quite remarkable for a small village team.

During their history Carleton have reached the final of the Craven Challenge Cup on six occasions, their last success being in 1963.

Skipton Bulldogs continued in the Craven League but had no trophies to show until the mid-1960's. However one bright spot was when, in front of the largest crowd seen in local Craven football, they defeated Lancashire Combination side Barnoldswick Town by a 3-0 margin, Gordon Kent scoring all three goals.




After fifty years the FA lifts its ban on women's football, but on the terraces football hooligans are beginning to make their presence felt, driving away the genuine fans.

The 70s seems to be a time when many clubs were moving or improving their pitches, with mixed results...

In 1972 Barnoldswick Utd's Secretary, and long time player Bill Bowditch, wrote to the Council asking if the club could lease some vacant land to create their own pitch. All the effort and dedication was rewarded when United won their first game on the new field.

During the 1972/73 season Bradley rebuilt and refurbished their changing rooms. In a friendly against Bradford City. Bradley lost 9-2. The Bradley goalscorers were Paul Sadler and an "own goal" from Bradford's Ces Podd.

In 1974 Hellifield moved to their present ground on Haw Grove and a £1,000 new changing hut. The same year saw them have their worst record, losing every one of their games - the heaviest defeat by 24-0!

Extract from Rimington FC's AGM minutes for1977: "Bill Butler agreed that the old stone store could be used as first team changing accommodation. Dennis Seed asked if home nets could be moved when not being used as his sheep got caught up in them".

In 1975 Skipton Bulldogs were informed that they would lose their Ings Lane ground to the Skipton by-pass. They were offered a field adjacent to the Skipton Cemetery and in 1975/76 they won the Craven Association District Cup, after 45 years of trying.




In 1986 Argentina won the World Cup thanks to Maradona's "Hand of God".
England's FA introduces 3 points for a win.
Meanwhile, in Craven, there are problems in the showers...

Gargrave's new Committee saw a change of fortune and in 1982 the 1st Team won promotion to the Premier Division. In 1983 they won the League Championship. In 1984 both teams won their League Championships and League Cups. The senior side were "Premier League Runners Up". In 1985 they joined the East Lancashire League and were the "Premier League Runners Up" in their first season.

Extract from Rimington FC's AGM minutes: 16th May 1983: Showers in changing room had not been working for some time - arrangements made for repairs.

13th June 1984: Decided to have one team plus friendlies so all could take part. Showers still not working properly."

The 1980s was a particularly successful period for Settle United, who won four trophies in 1986-87: Craven League Division 1 Champions, League Cup Winners, Tap Trophy Winners with the second team Division 3 Champions. The Club were Craven Cup Winners in 1989.

This was the start of a dark period in the history of the Skipton Bulldogs. In the 1981 season they were relegated to Division One. A shortage of players meant that they were only able to raise one team and a further relegation followed soon after.

Skipton LMS' greatest triumph was in winning the Craven Challenge Cup in season 1984-85.




Gazza cries on the pitch and the Sun labels the England team "turnips", but there is hope, and David Beckham, in sight.
The English Premier League is formed by the top clubs.

Gargrave won the Craven Cup in 1990 defeating Rolls Royce 2-1 in a dramatic final.

In 1993 and 1994 Gargrave won the Premier League and the Northern Plant Hire Trophy, defeating Keighley Lifts 4-1. 1997 saw another Craven Cup Final at Rolls Royce against their old rivals Barnoldswick United. This time the match was called off before our unbelieving eyes due to a heavy snowstorm just prior to kick off. Barnoldswick United eventually won 5-2 in the replay.

Settle has been most fortunate in the loyalty of its members over the years. Norman Pratt was - for over 50 years - a Settle United player, team manager, grounds man, chairman and president. In recognition of this dedication the Craven FA introduced the Norman Pratt Trophy, a competition between Reserve Teams within the Craven area. Settle United won the trophy in 1995-96.

Skipton Bulldogs created a league record in their third winning season. They were unbeaten for sixty games, a Craven League record, which still holds today.




Sven Goran Eriksson takes over the England team and full time professional referees are introduced in the Football League.
In Barnoldswick - let there be light...

Barnoldswick Town were always wanting to improve and always thinking about the next project. Following the improvements to the refreshment room and catering facilities I can recommend the pie and peas. Their biggest project, however, must be the installation of floodlights which were switched on earlier this year.

Bradley's 2002/03 season was a memorable one, with both teams being promoted. For the first time in their history the first team played in Division One whilst the second team bounced straight back to play in Division Two.

In 2002 a historical booklet was produced as a memento for those attending the 30th AGM and Celebratory Anniversary Dinner of Rimington Football Club.

In 2008 many members took part in a successful Centenary Fundraising Cycle Ride, visiting every club in the Association.




Referees within the Craven District Football Area have played an important part in our history.

We have a number of referees who have dedicated their life to Craven Football and younger referees who are just starting on "the up grade".

Three who made the grade to senior football include Bob Wilson of Farnhill, Bob Turner of Skipton (who now lives in Spain) and Ron Maxfield of Skipton.

Generally referees just started and carried on officiating locally until the time came to stop. Herbert Spencer took up refereeing when he had an ankle injury preventing him playing more football. Bob Evans came from a footballing family. Colin Beck played with Skipton Bulldogs from 1959 until 1965 before becoming a referee. He officiated at the Craven Cup Final in 1982 between Skipton Town and Waddington. Peter Marsden, whose career began in 1958/59, was an avid referee doing well for Craven both locally and beyond.

David Fryer started in the 1982/83 season and was appointed as a Grade 1 official in 1986. Alongside Richard Akrigg he was appointed as linesman for the FA Cup Final game between Accrington Stanley and Billingham Synfonia.




Where would we be without the eccentric, the football mad and the incredibly hard working people who make up the Association?

Allan B Cawood

Allan first became involved in grass roots football in September 1945. He helped Mr Dick Hodgson of Earby to organise friendly matches in an attempt to get football back on its feet after the War. Allan is a remarkable man and a true volunteer for football. Without his support, hard work and commitment, this Centenary exhibition would not have happened.

J.O. "Ossie" Fairhurst

One of the main figures in Craven District Football was Mr Fairhurst. "Ossie" as he was widely known came from Cononley and played for their football team. He was also the stumper for the village cricket team. He was Assistant Secretary of the Craven District Football Association for a year before he became Secretary in 1929, a position he held until ill health forced his retirement in the 1960s.

Basil (Bas) Oliver

Born in Settle, Basil started playing for Settle Reserves when he was fourteen years old. There were several young players about his age at that time who played for the Reserves - several players who, like Basil, played many years for the Club.

Fred Dolphin

One of his recent remarks, with which most people will agree is that "Football in those days was a sporting affair and not as today, an all out clash".

Billy Redmayne

He was a quiet individual who got on with the work he was given. An intensely loyal person, he was elected President of the Craven District FA in 1932. He remained President until he passed away in the late 1940s. His standards were exemplary and a credit to all.




Football runs in the blood and also down the generations.

Samuel Harry Lord was born in Burnley and it is there where he played his first football. He was an avid footballer and was an efficient and noteworthy full back. Unfortunately, in the middle 1920' s he was found himself out of work and came over to Cononley where he eventually found work in the cotton trade.

His son William played his football for Cononley and was a member of the Craven District Cup winning team in 1933. Football was abandoned at the onset of the Second World War and William, although he played several friendly and charity games never played League football again after the war.

His other son Malcolm, or Matt as he is generally known locally, was born in Keighley in 1938. He remembers playing friendly matches for the village team - made up of players of all ages - and usually the goals consisted of a couple of coats.

Matt joined the Craven District Football Association in 1981 and was appointed their representative on the West Riding County FA. Matt is also a Life member and Vice President of the Craven District FA as well as the President and a Life Member of the Craven League.

Peter Marsden first came into football when he joined the Skipton Bulldogs in 1948 and spent his time taking down the coffee and helping with the nets until he joined the RAF in 1953.

Bryan Rudden is a Skipton Bulldogs fan and has been since he was a teenager joining as a young lad playing for the Reserves and then finally for the first team. Whatever the task Bryan was the man to call in - whether it was a job, repair work on the ground, organising match arrangements or just arranging for things to run smoothly on match days




Referees and Executive Officials who have applied for, and been granted, the Football Association Fifty Year Award for Long Service to Football.

LONG SERVICE AWARDS: Local football cannot function without the many volunteers who take on the role of secretaries, treasurers, chairman etc - indeed any job which is required within grass roots game. These people are the lifeblood of the game and give up not only their time but sometimes their own finances to ensure that the organisation they are working for continues to exist.
G.R. Carter JP Chief Executive
P. Marsden President

Peter Marsden
Bryan Rudden
Allan B Cawood.

Jack Varley - Skipton LMS.
Roger Worthington - Settle United
Keith Walker - Settle United

David Buckle - Rimington FC
John Hartley - Rimington FC
Derek Knowles - Rimington FC

David Spencer - Bradley FC
Malcolm Watson - Cononley FC
Graham Smith - Skipton LMS
Kate Worthington - Settle United

CRAVEN DISTRICT FA MEDALS: In June 1984 our Association presented medals to a number of people who had worked for over forty years for their Clubs or for the Association.
Ronnie Jones (Skipton Bulldogs)
Dick Keighley (Skipton Town)
Mr Norman Pratt (Settle United)
Tom Proctor (Grassington United)
Fred Richards (Bentham Wanderers)
Bill Tatham and Bill Vickers (Burton in Lonsdale)
Fred Vickers (Waddington).




On behalf of the Craven District Football Association I would like to acknowledge the support I have received from the following organisations.

Craven District Council ( I have been pleased with the contribution I received from Craven District Council, and their assistance with my project. The generous advice and enthusiastic response I received from Catherine Johnson is what has driven this project forward. Without her comments and assistance there would not have been an exhibition. My great thanks to her, Suzanne Callaghan and Dorothy Walker.

North Yorkshire County Council ( With the support of Robert Heseletine I approached our County Council for financial support to assist with the idea. They came up with a substantial amount of money which has greatly assisted me.

Skipton Building Society ( Grateful thanks for their financial support of this project.

The National Football Museum ( Many thanks to Wiebke Cullen at the NFM in Preston for giving us access and permission to use images of various museum exhibits.

The Folly, Settle ( Anne Read has been of immense help in getting the exhibition up and open to the public. I would like to express my great thanks to her and all the volunteers at the Folly who help to keep this wonderful building open.

Colin Clifford Design ( No plan would be complete without a "governor" and thanks to Colin at Colin Clifford Design, Settle. His knowledge, drive and enthusiasm has ensured that the exhibition will be a success.

Finally...: Many thanks to Christine, Margaret and everyone involved behind the scenes for all their hard work.

There are two additional boards in the exhibition which are not transcribed here, showing winners of:


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