Alan Walker - A lad at Shaw Lane

I’ve just read in the Barnsley Chronicle about your project to collect memories and recollections of Shaw Lane,  I think it is a brilliant idea and as an old man of 66 years and being brought up in the town centre, Shaw Lane is and always has been an important part of my life with so many fond memories. I cannot believe it that there are tears streaming down my face as I cast my mind back to my childhood days. For us in the 50s Shaw Lane was the mecca of sport . Nearly all of my family and many of my friends have taken part in sport at Shaw Lane at all levels and my dad Gordon Walker (right) played and umpired there. I have so many happy memories right through to recent times of running for Barnsley Harriers who are of course based there.

Grass track cycle racing, playing cricket for Agnes Road Junior school, School athletics, watching and playing in the Rose bowl and Open knock outs ( Percy Dykes XI, Grimethorpe Gents, Ken Green’s XI, Highstone) which included the longest 6 I have ever seen one Friday night hit by Tony Leighton, who played football for Barnsley. I even trained my dogs to fetch the cricket ball from the long grass and he was so good at it that the club secretary, Bill Chapman used to let me in for nothing.  I also have memories as I got older of scoring in the old score box.

I was very apprehensive when the rugby club took over Shaw Lane but how hard they have worked and what a success it has been, I am full of admiration for the marvellous job they have done and I think that without their commitment and hard work Shaw Lane would probably now be a housing estate.

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