Miss Huddersfield 1973
Me and my twin sister Patricia started watching at St John Fishers school. The two PE teachers Mr Brown and Mr Merrel were referees in the Batley/Dewsbury area. All the boys played at Shawcross and many of they all turned professional, going to local clubs Doncaster, Wakefield, Huddersfield etc.
We moved to Hunslett because my parents took a pub the Swan with two necks which was later knocked down but a lot the Hunslett players drank there.
In 1970 we moved to Huddersfield, town to The Crown we watched all the games, and then the chairmen of Huddersfield Mr Sellers asked if we would like to be cheerleaders and help selling the programmes, bought us our uniforms, summer one and winter, we knew a lot of the players cause they had originated from Batley. We used to help with the benefit fund (when you played 10 years on a club you received a benefit fund) I raised money for 3 players, Frank Davies, Bob Thomlinson, Dave Eggleston, go round different clubs number draws raising funds for the benefits.
The committee asked if they could look after two new players show them the ropes and generally look after them. It was Wayne Bennett, Maestro of Rugby League and his brother in law Greg Beavers, they stayed for 12 months “Me and mi sister looked after them and we became good friends, best coach in rugby league we used to read about how good a coach he was in Australia, we were sad when they went”
At the Crown and the matches there was always someone talking Rugby League and Pamela learnt a lot about the game from the coaches, referees and players that drank in her fathers pub. In 1973 all that experience paid off and Pam won the title of Miss Rugby League Huddersfield, by showing off her competence and knowledge of the game. ”it was mostly questions you had to know all the general knowledge of rugby league, colours they wore, names of the rugby grounds that the various teams played at. They’d ask you which teams certain players played at, it wasn’t based on your looks! It was different competitions in them days. It was good and it gave you great opportunities. We met players and coaches from all over, national and international”.
Her role was as a Rugby ambassador “My duties varied from picking the number draws on a Friday as well as go to different clubs , Holmfirth Brighouse, Marsden, Honley, far afield… anything else happening in the club they’d ask you to help, Christmas draw or anything just even show your face!”.
“I remember going to Brighouse and Wayne Fontana, the singer and got me up and sang “Pamela, Pamela the song remembers the day” They were great times!”
Not to be outdone Pamela’s identical twin sister Patricia won the title of Miss Batley a year later in 1974
She also met her husband of 45 years, the Batley player Steve, who the minute he saw her photograph in the Rugby League paper rang immediately for a date. They have been married for 45 years.
Steve played for Batley from 1969 when he moved to Halifax, but Pams heart stayed at Batley where she loved the atmosphere, friends, fun and team spirit. Her whole life and family is entrenched in the game, Grandson plays, Son coaches and her daughter in law is club secretary.
“When Steve played at Batley, it was a great club, real team spirit, wives went out together because we were all friends. It’s a great little club, brilliant, he played at Halifax and he played at Bramley, but there was no comparison, not the same atmosphere, you can’t knock this place”.
My sister took over the running of Huddersfield social club as stewardess. Such a sad day when they moved from Fartown to Mc Alpine because it was a good club.
The Queen came to Huddersfield and we all rushed up to my Dads bedroom to watch from the window, we were real Royalists. The George Hotel Huddersfield was the birthplace of Rugby League, it’s all ripped up now… a real shame, you used to be able to go see all the medals and trophies.
When away teams used to play Huddersfield they would stay at The Crown Mum and Dads pub, there was always someone in. Billy Thompson the ref was one I remember but there was always someone in talking about Rugby league. It was my life.