The 60s and 70s

The 60s and 70s

The sixties and seventies were an interesting time in the clubs history. It celebrated its centenary in 1964 with the opening of a new extension to the clubhouse, which was supported by the Barnsley Brewery Co., Ltd. Many 2nd XI county cricket matches and county bowls matches took place. The club had a tennis team which played weekend matches and the grounds were managed by a full time groundsman and a club steward and stewardess.

The cricket facilities in particular benefitted from a superb reputation created by the groundsman (pictured right) John Matthewman. John created an excellent playing surface, which was the envy of many grounds, including it was said, Headingley and Scarborough. This resulted in the Yorkshire County Cricket Club playing the first county 1st XI match in the town for some considerable time.

Following the loss of Bramall Lane, Barnsley was tried as a venue for Benson and Hedges Cup games in the mid 1970's; despite limited accommodation the larger playing area and reputation for good wickets were in the grounds favour. To cope with the large crowds anticipated, temporary grandstands, bars, toilets etc. were erected around the ground. Initially the experiment seemed a success as the first game attracted an attendance in excess of 8000 but subsequent games were not as popular.

There was a plan at this time to turn Shaw Lane into a permanent first class venue, subject to finding financial backing, but Yorkshire were unable, or unwilling to commit themselves to giving the ground regular fixtures and the plans fell through. The Benson and Hedges cup game of 1978 was to be the last and by the mid 1980's even Yorkshire 2nd XI visits ceased.

On the development front, several members suggested the formation of a squash section and under the stewardship of David Adams, who was himself a cricket player, the project committee was formed and the courts opened on 26th January 1975. The original intention was to link the building to the changing rooms by a bridge, however eventually dedicated changing rooms were constructed.

The Archery section was established in the 1970's, with several members representing the county and eventually becoming internationals.

Finally, Ladies Hockey moved to Shaw Lane, becoming the 6th sport to make Shaw Lane its home.


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