Post War Austerity

Post War Austerity

After the Second World War sport in Britain generally went through a renaissance as interest in both playing and watching sport mushroomed. The average household didn’t possess a TV and attendances in the post war period were massive at both national and local level.

Life at Shaw Lane was no different and the air of positivity was apparent in the speech given by Clifford Hesketh, (pictured right) the chairman of Barnsley Cricket and Athletic Club at the first Annual General Meeting after the war.

A utopian picture of life at Shaw Lane was painted where a badminton and squash would be played in a purpose built indoor hall, together with an "indoor wicket". This, alongside a third bowling green,  could be added to the existing cricket tennis and bowls facilities to give the returning servicemen and women a sporting facility that Barnsley could be proud of.

The costs of such an enterprise were enormous and adding to the difficulty was obtaining a building licence. The lack of building materials in a post war Britain meant that reconstruction had to be carefully controlled and prioritised. members had raised almost £1000 in a reconstruction fund; however generous benefactors were being sought.

Progress was being made, however and in 1949 the club provided 2 asphalt tennis courts and commenced construction of a new building adjacent to the bowling green, which would house winter cricket practice facilities, tea room and changing for tennis matches. For the 1950 season, Ernest Steele was appointed as professional, who also became coach and groundsman for many years

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