A little history on the Dewsbury & Batley Referees Society …

It is believed that the society was initially formed prior to the 1st World War but unfortunately no records exist to verify this statement. The only references are those made by Mr Howgate, at the 348th meeting and again at the celebration of the 400th meeting, at which he presented a newspaper cutting which confirmed that the Local League was formed in 1910. Whether this coincided with the formation of the Referees’ Society is unknown.

Notwithstanding this, the society was reformed after the 2nd World War but once again the exact date isn’t known because the first Minute Book, containing the first 92 meetings, has been lost.

However, the first recorded meeting is the 93rd, which was held at the Carr Hotel, Batley Carr on Wednesday 11 August 1954.

Dates of other milestone meetings

  • 100th meeting was held at Batley Carr WMC on Wednesday 9 March 1955
  • 200th meeting was held at the Pavilion, Crown Flatt on Wednesday 12 May 1965
  • 300th meeting was held at the Scarborough Hotel, Savile Town, on Wednesday 8 January 1975
  • 400th meeting was held at the Morton House on Wednesday 12 September 1984
  • 500th meeting was held at the Morton House on Wednesday 12 January 1994
  • 600th meeting was held at Shaw Cross ARLFC on Wednesday 14 May 2003

Memory Lane

Lets Take A Look At Some Of The Highlights

100th Meeting highlights – 11 August 1954

  • 25 in attendance
  • H Harrison – Chairman
  • “Members were requested not to write obscene remarks used by players in their reports sent to the Amateur League or Amateur clubs. The secretary was requested to obtain guidance from the Post Office as to how a person stood legally if he sent a report through the post containing obscene remarks.”
  • Following tragic accident to a young referee from the Leeds Society it was resolved “that a grant of 2 guineas be made from the society”.
  • Suggestions were made for improving srummaging but no action was taken.
  • It was agreed that a ruling was obtained from the Rugby League on the question of pushing in the scrum before the ball is put in. There is no law, which forbids this practice.
  • It was brought up about the question of signals. A number of members said they had never seen an official signal list. It was decided that these would be provided if possible by the next meeting.

200th Meeting highlights – 12 May 1965

  • 27 in attendance
  • It was requested that fees should be raised. The fees suggested were 15/= and 10/=.
  • Congratulations were offered to Mr J Hainsworth on being elected Sportsman of the Year by the Yorkshire Federation of Supporters Clubs.
  • The question of ties and badges was raised but members decided not to proceed.
  • It was agreed that he RFL should be asked to “consider reinstating some official caution system with automatic action by the disciplinary committee after a specified number of cautions.”

300th Meeting highlights – 8 January 1975

  • 20 in attendance
  • The society accepted an offer to become an Associate Member of BARLA.
  • Guest speaker – Secretary of the RFL – Mr David Oxley MA
  • Mr Oxley was in favour of time keepers for all professional games
  • He forecast that the very near future a schoolboy curtain raiser game would be held at Wembley
  • He said that television had much to offer to the advancement of the game.

400th Meeting highlights – 12 September 1984

  • 22 in attendance
  • New RFL fees: 1st Team - Referee £35, -TJ £17.50
  • Mr Howgate supplied a very important piece of factual information. The 400th anniversary was actually the anniversary of the “Re-founding of the society following the 1939- 45 war. The society had been founded originally many years before, possibly pre 1st World War”
  • Guest speaker – Mr Jim Breaks – a champion wrestler.

500th Meeting highlights – 12 January 1994

  • 19 in attendance
  • Guest speaker – John Kear – Academy Coach and Development Officer
  • Mr Barker reported that Richard Silverwood had a good game at Leigh for the BARLA County game
  • P Morgan had been appointed to BARLA U18s Final at Hull.
  • Problem with non-attendees. Proposal to inform the RFL.

600th Meeting highlights – 14 May 2003

  • 74 in attendance
  • Guest speakers – Eric Clay (former top class referee), Ian Smith (current Super League referee), Paul Storey (Batley Bulldogs Head Coach) and Barry Eaton (Batley Bulldogs Development Officer and senior player)
  • Lively and entertaining Rugby League forum was held with the guest speakers
  • Joshua Boyce (aged 12) and Danny Naughton (aged 13) were elected as new members.