Industrialisation, Textiles and cricket

History is not simple and linear. Things stop, things continue and new things happen. These different events happen in different regions at different times. In order to make sense of history, it is however sometimes necessary to make generalisations, to which there are always exceptions. I apologise for making the history of cricket appear simple. I am aware it isn’t.

The early Casuals had an intimate relationship with textiles, as the majority of the early members were owners and directors of local textile firms, or supporting industries like dyes and machine making.

It is interesting that gentlemen’s cricket, by which I mean playing purely for the sake of the game itself, whilst originating in the second half of the nineteenth century as part of rational recreation for the elite middle class, was also available to mid-twentieth century captains of Huddersfield industry for fun and relaxation.


Ashton, T.S. (1968), The First Industrial Revolution: 1760-1830, Oxford: Opus

Giddens, A. (1997), Sociology, Cambridge: Polity

Hartley, M. and Ingilby, J. (1976), Life and Tradition in West Yorkshire, London: J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd

Haigh, E.A.H. ed (1992), Huddersfield: A Most Handsome Town, Huddersfield: Kirklees Cultural Services

Brook, R. (1968), The Story of Huddersfield, London: MacGibbon & Kee Ltd

Rob Light. ‘The Other Face of English Cricket: The Origins of League Cricket in the West Riding of Yorkshire during the Nineteenth Century’, MA Dissertation completed June 2002, Centre for Sport History and Culture, De Montfort University.

Simon Rae (1999), WG Grace, Published by Simon Rae

Derek Birley (2003), A Social History of English Cricket, Aurum Press Ltd