Funding boost for one of Harrogate district's oldest and friendliest sporting clubs which began in Victorian era

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Two funding groups have come to the aid of one of the oldest sports clubs in the Harrogate district whose roots go back to the 1840s.

The first reference to a cricket club in Pateley Bridge dates from 1847.

It then moved from its original ground, which it is thought was located where the town’s petrol station now stands, when Low Wath Road was constructed in the early 1860s, and, with the permission of Squire Yorke, the then owner, settled in the lovely setting of Bewerley Park.

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To ensure Pateley Bridge Cricket Club continues to have a secure future, it has received grants from The Greenhow Conservation Fund and Nidderdale Moorland Group.

Origins in 19th century - The first reference to a cricket club in Pateley Bridge dates from 1847. This match photo is believed to date from the 1910s or 1920s. (Picture  contributed)Origins in 19th century - The first reference to a cricket club in Pateley Bridge dates from 1847. This match photo is believed to date from the 1910s or 1920s. (Picture  contributed)
Origins in 19th century - The first reference to a cricket club in Pateley Bridge dates from 1847. This match photo is believed to date from the 1910s or 1920s. (Picture contributed)

As a result of their financial support, the club has been able to replace the boundary fence at its Bewerley Park ground, affectionately known in cricketing circles as ‘Badger Park’.

Rob Light, Honorary Secretary of Pateley Bridge Cricket Club, said: "As one of the oldest surviving institutions in the town, we feel it is vital to preserve its ground.

“The old boundary fence was erected about 30 years ago and, although it had undergone a few ad hoc repairs, it was almost falling down.

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"For a volunteer-run, community-focused club like ourselves, raising funds for capital projects such as this can be very difficult.

A sociable and friendly atmosphere for all the family - Pateley Bridge Cricket Club's ground in the lovely setting of Bewerley Park. (Picture contributed)A sociable and friendly atmosphere for all the family - Pateley Bridge Cricket Club's ground in the lovely setting of Bewerley Park. (Picture contributed)
A sociable and friendly atmosphere for all the family - Pateley Bridge Cricket Club's ground in the lovely setting of Bewerley Park. (Picture contributed)

"We are extremely grateful that these two local organisations have recognized the work we do in the community.

“As well as grant aid for the fence, the club is also grateful to have received more than £2,500 in sponsorship from local businesses and other organisations in the lead up to the current season.”

Norman Wheat, Chair of the Greenhow Conservation fund, said: “The Greenhow Fund was set up in 2006 by Hanson Quarry following the granting of planning permission at their Pateley Bridge Quarry.

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"Anyone can apply for a grant for projects that help to look after Nidderdale AONBs natural beauty, wildlife or cultural heritage; promotes opportunities to enjoy and understand the landscape or provide community or economic benefit.”

Will Watson of the Nidderdale Moorland Group said: “We’re delighted to support the project.

"It’s lovely to see the fence renewed at such an important Nidderdale cricket venue and to ensure the ground will look its best for events such as the Nidderdale Show in September when locals and people from afar gather in this beautiful valley we call home.”

A friendly, sociable and inclusive organisation, Pateley Bridge Cricket Club prides itself on the benefit it provides for the community, fielding two senior and three junior Teams as well as running the ECB All Stars and Dynamos programs for children aged from six to 13.

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It boasts a licensed bar and is popular with a number of junior parents who come down to the ground for the All Stars and Dynamos sessions on Friday nights to unwind, enjoy a drink and socialize with each other.

If anyone would like to sponsor Pateley Bridge Cricket Club or get involved in any other way please email: [email protected]