Early memories

John Beaumont has lived most of his life within a short distance of the Fartown ground. Much of his youth was spent helping the groundsman and listening to stories of Huddersfield’s golden era in the 1910’s and 1920’s. Hubert Pogson, or ‘Poggy’ as he was known, was a family friend. Pogson played in the 1919-20 Northern Union Cup and Championship finals when Huddersfield attempted to repeat their achievement of 1914-15 by winning all four trophies. Pogson was normally a second team player but had got his opportunity following an injury to winger Stanley Moorhouse. The Yorkshire Cup and Yorkshire League trophies were already at Fartown when Huddersfield met Wigan in the Northern Union final. It was Pogson’s finest hour as he scored two tries in a 21-10 victory. Widnes were defeated in the Championship semi-final and Hull waited at Headingley as Huddersfield strove for a clean sweep of silverware.

However, 1920 was a year when Britain were touring Australia and New Zealand. The trip by sea took around six weeks and Huddersfield were missing their five tourists (Harold Wagstaff, Douglas Clark, Ben Gronow, Johnny Rogers and Gwyn Thomas) for the final game of the season. Huddersfield had finished seven points clear of second placed Hull but this counted for nothing in a largely uninspiring final which was settled by a try from the legendary Billy Batten as Hull won by 3-2. Pogson always claimed that Batten had stepped into touch but the try stood and Huddersfield were left to rue the fact that Batten had turned down a place on the tour when he refused to play in a trial match.

The difficulties of touring can be highlighted by the itinerary for the 1928 tour. April 20 depart from Tilbury, April 25 Algiers, April 27 Marseille, April 30 Port Said, May 3 Port Sudan, May 5 Aden, May 12 Colombo, May 22 Freemantle, May 26 Adelaide, May 28 Melbourne, May 31 Sydney. A far cry from today when Australia is within a day’s air travel.