Bingley Congs CC Club of the Week
BINGLEY Congregational Cricket Club, known colloquially as Bingley Congs, have just passed one milestone and are just about to celebrate another.
Last year (2019) was the centenary of their current home at Beckfoot Lane.
Meanwhile, in 2022 Congs will clock up 150 years since their formation, with their first ground being at High Hollings on Altar Lane.
They stayed there until 1885, when they moved to the top of Warren Lane in Gilstead at the end of what is now Cavendish Drive.
After five years, Congs were on the move again – to the grounds of Gawthorpe Hall, a Grade Two listed mid-17th century manor house on Gawthorpe Drive (between the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and Lady Lane).
Congs remained there for six years until 1896 before they returned to Gilstead – this time to Royd Nook Field.
They stayed there until 1914, when the First World War caused play to be halted, and in 1919 Congs switched to their current home of Beckfoot Lane.
The first inkling of league cricket was in the Wharfedale & Airedale League – not to be confused with the Airedale & Wharfedale League, which was founded in the winter of 1892 and started the year after – was in 1900.
Congs were in the Wharfe-Aire League until 1915 but when cricket resumed after the Great War, they were in the Bradford Central League until 1940 – when the Second World War intervened.
After that conflict ended in 1945, Congs’ facilities were deemed unsuitable for the Bradford Central League so they decamped to the West Bradford League (1947-67) before resuming life in the Bradford Central League.
Their second stint there ran from 1968-2003, and they joined the Craven & District League in 2004, where they have remained ever since.
Access down the single-track road might not be ideal but the picturesque ground at Beckfoot Lane has not only hosted cup finals in the past but also now is an annual venue for the visit of a junior team from New Delhi.
Nestling next to the River Aire, with the boundary edge on one side of the ground fringing a slight drop-off towards the water’s edge, it is definitely one of the more scenic grounds in the Mewies Solicitors Craven League.