The Baines Hall was built and opened in 1977 in the secluded grounds of the Elland Cricket Club with spectacular views of the wonderful Yorkshire countryside.
It was opened by the three times Grand National winning horse Red Rum. It could have become a messy affair but luckily, it seemed that the horse knew he was in a special building! Even so, there were many people following the prestigious animal with buckets and spades for any chance of a special treat for their roses!
The Hall itself has undergone many facelifts and modifications since then and now cater for almost any size and type of function. With a built-in stage and huge dance floor, you will never run out of space for you and your guests to thoroughly enjoy yourself.
Cricket teams were appearing in Elland from 1859, and that included the side that went on to become Elland CC. A cricket XI was formed of teachers and scholars linked to Providence Independent Sunday School in 1860, and it was out of this Side that Elland CC came into being in 1863.
In the late 1870s and 1880s the rising status of Elland CC was reflected in a series of ‘big match’ cricket, against leading touring XIs, had been a common way of attracting prestige for clubs in the area since the 1840s – leading players came together to form teams which could be hired to play matches against local and district sides of varying numbers.
Not surprisingly, these matches were the major events of the season. The most famous of these ‘big matches’ to be staged at Elland was the first one in 1878 – a never-to-be-forgotten fixture between the ’18 of Elland’ and the first Australian tourists (who included Messrs Spofforth, Bannerman, Gregory and Boyle in their ranks).
The club also played against a team of touring Clowns!
In 1886 the Indian Parsees joined the list of prominent touring sides to visit Elland. Apparently, the exotic nature of the Parsee players and their surnames proved memorable to the locals. The pronunciation of names such as D.D. Khambata, S.M. Bhedwar and J.D.P. Pochkhanavalla was particularly challenging for the nineteenth-century Yorkshire tongue, much to the amusement of the spectators!
In 1935 Elland won their first Sykes Cup (this was the Huddersfield League knockout competition), beating Huddersfield by 38 runs.
As the twentieth century came to a close, Elland Cricket Club's proud tradition of staging premier cricket matches was still going strong. In 1978, exactly 100 years after the visit of the most prestigious touring team of all, the Australians, Yorkshire County Cricket Club began to play regular 2nd XI Championship matches at Hullen Edge. In all, 21 matches were played before the last, in 1999.
Elland are now one of the premier clubs in the area, with an impressive ground and plenty of silverware in the trophy cabinet.
1889: First bowling green laid.
1891: Running track built around the perimeter of the ground.
1899: New pavilion built.
1905: Players’ wives were asked to ‘manage the tea and eatables department’.
1907: Arthur Naylor became professional and groundsman.
1914: Committee resigns over its decision to ban professional shooting matches due to the gamblers they were attracting; annual athletics meetings ceased with the outbreak of war.
1915: First tennis courts constructed.
1921: The former wooden chapel at Ripon army camp was bought for use as a tea room and dressing rooms.
1956: Women allowed in the bar for the first time.
1957: Ex-Yorkshire and England bowler Bill Bowes opens games room (now the pool room).
1977: Red Rum opens the Baines Hall (which replaced the 1921 building).
1985: Ealandians FC first use the adjacent football pitch.
In 1951, a representative of the Huddersfield League argued that, ‘the Elland club has probably the finest amenities of any club in the league…delightfully positioned and well conducted.’ Today, these remarks still hold good.
In recent years Hullen Edge has hosted Yorkshire 1st XI and 2nd XI fixtures, and throughout its history, Elland CC have won more than their fair share of silverware.