1904: Lowerhouse Life in 1904

A great image sent in by Paul Hargreaves

A nice scene of Lowerhouse life in 1904. The picture was taken in Lowerhouse Lane, from close to where the bowling club is now. The marchers are heading in the direction of the Bird in the Hand pub (now the Lane Ends). It seems to be church walking day, (probably Greenbrook Methodist). These were very popular in this era.

An alternative theory is that there was a mass walk out from the cricket club, in protest of a controversial LBW decision against Stan Heaton.

Whatever, these is a good view on the left of the photo of the three Houses that were within the cricket fields ground until their demolition in the 1960s.

A summary of the season from Paul.

This was the thirteenth Lancashire League season and Lowerhouse had never achieved a top half finish. Unfortunately it wasn’t to happen this year either as they tied for eleventh with East Lancs. Only Haslingden and Bacup were below them. It would be 1906 before the team finished in the top half and remarkably they would do it six consecutive times. A fine accomplishment for a village team.

In 1904 the club was well served by pro’ Ernie Vost. He was born in Manchester and played Minor Counties cricket for Staffs. Unlike most of ‘House’s pros’ in this era he was a genuine all rounder rather than primarily a bowler. In the prior season of 1903, he had scored two centuries which wouldn’t be bettered until 1984 by Kirti Azad. Vost’s main ally was Hall of Fame amateur A. Pate who took 60 wickets in ’04. Both Vost and Pate left the club in the middle of the decade but in 1919 had a reunion of sorts as Pate played five games and Vost ‘guested’ in one. Another amateur worthy of mention is Tommy Whittaker who was the leading amateur batsman (389 runs) and second leading amateur wicket taker (26 from just 124 overs)

In 1904 Lowerhouse won 7 games, drew another 7 and lost 12. Home cooking was best as six of the wins were at Liverpool Rd. These were against Haslingden, Nelson, Enfield, Rawtenstall, East Lancs and Ramsbottom. The template for ‘House success was Vost and Pate bowling the opposition out cheaply. The only win on their travels was at Bacup who were having a dreadful year. The Lanehead club won only two games all season, sadly one of them was at Lowerhouse. An interesting game was the local derby at home to Burnley which saw the strange sight of one of ‘House’s greatest players, Tommy Shutt, as a member of the opposition.

At least he had the decency to get a duck! Man of the match that day was another ex-Lowerhouse player, Henry Cudworth, who scored a brilliant 145, as the Turf Moor club produced a crushing 159 run victory. To be fair Cudworth was a Burnley player through and through, who had had one slightly disappointing season cross town in 1898. Cudworth was the leading amateur batsmen in each of Burnley’s hat trick of titles years of 1906-08.

As a footnote, Shutt wasn’t as lenient on his old muckers at Lowerhouse in his only other appearance in opposition ranks. As Rishton pro’ in 1911 he hit 107!

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