Thu 10 Oct 2019 13:34

Baildon Rugby Club was formed in 1912.

The first 50 years: 1912-1962

The Club struggled to survive during the early years, not for lack of finance, or want of willing workers. The problem was that of finding a home. If ever a Club could be said to possess the prime qualities necessary for success and enjoyment of Rugby football Baildon is one of them. The pavilion and clubhouse of today are a memorial to those who worked so hard in those early years.

The first ground was a field adjoining Strawberry Gardens at the edge of the moors (1912-14). Club activity was suspended after the 2nd season with the start of the 1st World War.
Playing commenced again in 1920. This time the ground was near The Shroggs, on what is now the ''Pennithorne Estate" but two years later building developments caused the Club to seek yet another new home.

This time the move was to West Lane. For 10 years Baildon were at West Lane, from 1922-23 to 1931-32. Initially the headquarters were at the Angel Hotel in Town Gate. The team changed in a big room over the pub, and had to come down into an out-house to bathe in some big wooden tubs. The players had to walk from there to the ground and back again after the match, a good half mile at least each way. Later a pavilion was built with all mod cons., electricity, baths, training facilities etc.
In 1932 they were again hit by building developments and had to move on. Surprisingly it is recorded (J Bell 1952) that the West Lane facilities were sold to Bradford Northern when they moved to Odsal and were their first dressing rooms.
At this time they moved ground to Blythwick. Baildon spent the next 19 years at that ground but once again they were on the move. After those 19 years the lease was not renewed at the end of the 1952-53 season and yet another ground hunt began. This time the playing scene shifted to the Coach Road opposite the Salts School Ground. An old army hut was purchased the ground dug and drained but after 2 years the club was on the move again, Shipley Council wanted the land for building.

However fortunes changed and they had the luck to secure tenancy of the current ground at Jenny Lane, by chance only a stones throw away from the original location at Strawberry Gardens. At the start they had to have temporary accommodation at the rear of the Malt Shovel. The current pavilion was built to serve both rugby and cricket in 1955, the clubhouse was built later.

The Later Years

The land was purchased in the late 1960s and the fear of further evictions no longer arises. During the 60s, 70s and 80s Baildon ran 4 senior age group sides and a colts. The pioneering spirit of the early days persisted and Baildon were among the handful of Clubs in Yorkshire to start the Junior / Mini Rugby movement (1972 ) and has had a thriving Junior / Mini section since thenever since. In 2002 the Mini, Junior and Youth Section celebrated its 30th Anniversary along with the three founding members Harry Ormerod and Jonny Skerritt and Dave Farrar.

Today, the section can boast a number of 1st and 2nd team players that have come through the Mini, Junior and Youth Section.