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Bridgeholme over troubled water

Ask anyone from any cricket club up and down the country and they will use one word to describe last summer – washout – and there’s no club better placed to testify to this than Bridgeholme Cricket Club in West Yorkshire.

Bridgeholme Cricket Club is located near to Hebden Bridge and sits alongside the River Calder. On Friday 22 June 2012 the area saw a month’s rainfall in just a few hours causing the worst flooding known for 30 years.

The River Calder burst its banks and sent water pouring onto Bridgeholme’s ground until it became completely submerged.


Bridgeholme Cricket Club in West Yorkshire was staring at an uncertain future when flooding left their pretty ground close to ruin

Following these shattering events the club was immediately supported by the England and Wales Cricket Trust Emergency Fund in order to repair the flood defences and restore the club’s ability to play cricket on the ground.

With this financial impetus and a lot of hard work by the club and its members – around 50 people spent many hours removing silt from the ground – cricket was played at the ground again within weeks.

With the immediate work completed to repair the cricket pitch, additional effort was needed in the close season to further repair the damage caused by the floods.

Much of the club’s equipment, machinery and storage had been destroyed. With the help of further emergency funding from ECB and Sport England the club was able to address these issues in February and March in time to start the new season ready and raring to go.

Machinery was replaced, an elevated storage facility was installed and the flooding walls were standing tall once again.

Keith Hudson, Head Groundsman at Bridgeholme, is positive about the future: "Without the assistance of the Yorkshire Cricket Board and the ECB, the enormous task of the initial clean up would have been impossible.

"The repairs to our river banking will save our club from direct flooding which is what brought all the sand, silt and debris onto our ground.

"We will suffer flooding again as we do every year but water alone is not a problem now that our new machinery shed is above flood height. We can now relax and enjoy our cricket once again."


There was a happy ending at Bridgeholme where, with ECB and Sport England support, the club was restored to its former glory