View from the Balcony - Reg Phillips Take on the Opposition of the Day 2018/19 8 of 9

8. Old Crossleyans - 29 Sept 2018

Selby v Old Crossleyans
Saturday 29th September, Yorkshire Division One

Socialising and looking after the waifs and strays of the Halifax district has long been part of the stated aim of many of the area’s local schools and sports clubs throughout the past hundred and fifty or more years.

Crossley and Porters School was originally founded as an orphanage, public house, and marriage rehabilitation unit, unlikely allies but having many similar interests.

The original founders were Spike Crossley and Ann Griely who were both orphans, liked a drink and a fight on a Saturday night and would spend Sunday after two o clock counselling each other.
The original building was erected upon Skircoat Moor, near Halifax in June 1858, and was adapted to receive about 450 children, 44 firkins of ale and assorted weaponry for providing gentle banter.

On opening the Institution, however, there were a limited number of inmates. These numbers soon increased due to the failure of the marriage guidance and the wrong weapons falling into the wrong hands.

The Rules which were drawn up included the following:

(1) Object: To lodge, board, clothe, educate, apprentice, or otherwise place out in life, orphan children of both sexes, between the ages of two and ten years, and, under special circumstances, up to twelve years of age. The time of remaining in the Orphanage not to exceed fifteen years of age for boys, and seventeen years for girls. A minimum of six sessions of Rugby to be undertaken per week. This shall also apply to the boys

(2) Qualifications: The children admitted upon the foundation of this Institution must be such as have been deprived by death of both parents, or of their fathers, and whose mothers, or other surviving relatives, are unable to provide means of subsistence and education. In addition they shall know the difference between Porter and Stout and Pale Ale and Lager.

(3) Disqualification: No child shall be admitted who is blind, deaf, dumb, helplessly lame, or in any other respect seriously crippled, paralysed, or suffering from any infectious, contagious or incurable disease, and no child who has not been born in wedlock, or has been a resident pauper in a workhouse. Or shows a predilection for lemonade over their beer.

(4) Preference: A preference shall be given to the following cases, but only when all other circumstances shall be equally urgent: 1. To orphans born in the County of York. 2. To children who have lost both father and mother. 3. To the orphans of parents who are in full communion with Nonconformist churches, or regular communicants with the Church of England. 4. To orphans who are addicted to Communion wine.

Despite all the rules and restrictions the school prospered and over many years has produced a string of fine rugby players, gave birth to The Old Crossleyans Association and to todays’ visiting club.

Welcome to all and enjoy your day.