Adapted from the original book The Hawks CC The First Fifty Years written entirely by David Crawford, Honorary Life Member Hawks CC.
The first committee meeting of the HAWKS C.C. took place in a pub in April 1938. present were the founding members: F. Cockcroft, J.C.Leach, D.W Newsholme, G.Newsholme, H.E.Scott, and K.S.Pearson.
Originally they had called themselves "The Keighley Solicitors," a nomadic team that travelled around at weekends playing cricket, enjoying the pubs and wonderful countryside that surrounded this industrial town. The town has a strong cricket history being one of the founder teams that helped to establish the Bradford League in 1903. G. Newsolme was a playing member of Keighley C.C. and had been a Yorkshire Colts wicket keeper before the war.
In 1938, Lord HAWKE died and for some reason that is now obscure, the team that had called itself The Keighley Solicitors quite suddenly changed its name to THE HAWKS CRICKET CLUB. None of the founder members were "ornithology" experts, that is for sure, but one of them must have been a modern marketing guru because the club has managed to blossom ever since and last year, in 2003, the club celebrated its 65th year.
In 1946,at the end of the Second World War, the members met again, this time in a Café, and normal play was resumed for the summer of 1947. Gradually an extensive fixture list was built up with many teams. Already at the second committee meeting in November 1946, they had ambitions to tour Holland but it was decided later that this was rather over ambitious. So instead a tour was arranged to the Oakham area and the first tour took place at the end of May 1947. This was quite remarkable considering the state of the country at that time and it was to prove a pattern of touring for the years ahead.
In 1948, the club celebrated ten years and in the June of that year Mr Brian Sellars, captain of Yorkshire C.C (1933 to 1947) and later a member of the Hawks C.C himself, as well as coming from the town of Keighley where the Hawks had begun, brought a team to play The Hawks at Otley in aid of the Benefit of Frank Smailes.
That team included one Bradford league cricketer, one Nottinghamshire cricketer (George Victor Gunn), three Yorkshire cricketers and six Yorkshire and England cricketers, two of whom (Bowes and Leyland) had gone with Douglas Jardine on the famous bodyline tour to Australia in 1932-1933.
The Hawks team included many local league cricketers who were the strength of the Hawks team at the time such as Jack Greenwood R.N. Jim Charlesworth and Geoff Newsholme.
In 1966 a tour was made to North Wales. This continued up until 1973 when it became increasing difficult for some members to take the time off to tour for longer periods than two days at a time so the North Wales tour was shortened into to a Cheshire Tour (1975 to 1980) although longer tours were tried again to the West Country in 1980/ 1981 and to Devon in 1985/1986. Since then tours have become less of a feature due to the pressures of modern business that has prevented members being able to get the time off together and to tour as often they would have liked. However the infamous Bournemouth tour of 1995 did bring some sensational publicity in both national and regional newspapers. There have been 3 official tours since then and a couple of mini Cheshire tours. By the end of the 1990s the Hawks had built up a large fixture list of some 40 games that were played during the season.
The Hawks Cricket Club has always been a nomadic cricket club and has never had their own ground. It drew its player strength from local talented amateurs who did not want to play every weekend in a league team and regular local cricketers from the surrounding leagues who were interested in not only playing more cricket provided their wives and girl friends let them, but also a different sort of cricket than what they experienced every Saturday afternoon in the local leagues and commonly referred to in Yorkshire as "blood and guts" cricket. A feature over the years has been a Dinner Dance held every year since 1947, an AGM and Anniversary Dinners to which famous personalities were invited to speak and to which two members from each club that the Hawks had played were also invited as guests.
The committee have had to recognise that in recent years the local cricket situation has been changing as more of the teams they play move into the leagues with the resulting problem for nomadic clubs such as the Hawks C.C.
So this year they have decided to partner with another cricket club and use their ground at Weeton and Huby, a very nice village between Leeds and Harrogate and ideally suited for the use of the local hostelry, The Hunters Inn, and the buzzing night life of Harrogate and Leeds. This is just the best place to come touring in Yorkshire!
Adapted from the original book The Hawks CC The First Fifty Years by David Crawford.