About Spen Victoria
Spen Victoria Cricket Bowls & Athletic Club has an extremely long and successful History, but far from resting on its laurels, Spen Victoria cricket and bowling teams continue to win trophies in both cricket and bowling competitions. Spen Victoria also provides some of the best facilities of any club of its type in the area.
With its high banking and grandstand views across to its excellent clubhouse, Spen Victoria’s ground gives its spectators the feel of a large auditorium. The club has had the pleasure of hosting many prestigious finals, including the Heavy Woollen Cup, Blacksheep Yorkshire Champions and most recently, the Priestley Cup Final.
In fact Spen Victoria is well known for staging major finals in both cricket and bowling, and in March 2022, the club will crown its reputation with the hosting of the World Club Bowling Championship.
Spen Victoria Cricket Bowls & Athletic Club
Spen Lane, Gomersal, Cleckheaton BD19 4PJ
The clubhouse has undergone a complete renovation over the past couple of years, with the whole of the interior being fully redecorated. As well as decorative refurbishment, structural changes have also been undertaken in order to provide a much wider open space, enabling better accessibility for both members and visitors. Furthermore, the environment is exceptionally warm and comfortable, including during the winter months, thanks to the new heating system and new double-glazed windows. The large and tastefully decorated lounge has seating for groups or individuals as required.
HIRE OF FACILITIES
It is not just Spen Victoria’s members who are able to use all these superb facilities. As long as the grounds are not booked for fixtures or practice sessions, non-members can hire both the cricket field and the bowling green, plus the tearoom which overlooks both grounds. The large tearoom seats up to 50 people and has a catering-style gas cooker together, with a large food preparation area.
As well as the grounds, the excellent facilities at Spen Victoria’s clubhouse can also be hired by community groups or individuals, day or evening, and there is more than ample adjacent parking for visitors. See the Social page for more information about the available facilities.
As its name suggests, Spen Victoria’s history goes back to the days of Queen Victoria in the 19th century. In fact the club was formed as long ago as 1862 - beating by one year the Yorkshire County Cricket Club which was not founded until 1863! Originally the club was based at Whitcliffe Road, Cleckheaton, and was associated with the Cleckheaton Wesleyan Chapel. The Chapel’s strict rules decreed that all the members of the inaugural team could only play if they regularly attended chapel, which unfortunately meant that the club often struggled to field a side.
1865 was a pivotal year in the club’s history as it marked the official formalising of the club by six forward-thinking members, namely George Wright, George Hardwick, Sam Haley, Alfred Starkey, James Strafford and Robert Corry. It was also the year that the club moved out of town to its current home on Spen Lane, Gomersal, and at the same time changed its name to Cleckheaton Victoria.
Record breaker Grant Lambert
Spen Victoria celebrates winning the Priestley Cup
In the following year, the club consolidated its ambitions with the appointment of its first professional, Mr B Doughty.
The club continued to forge ahead for the rest of the century, and its future was secured when it purchased the Spen Lane ground in 1902. Around the same time, the club took another major step when it decided to build a pavilion and clubroom, which was officially opened in 1909. The same clubhouse and pavilion are still in use over 110 years later, albeit with several renovations!