or the 41st Hunslet Re-union report

On a Splendidly Sunny Sunday Morning our 41st
re-union got underway when Fred Marriot was the first to arrive at the new look
check in desk manned by our very own Dave Mawson & Bob Bingham, Fred had
come all the way from Inverness.

Ray Abbey, Allen Simpson and Peter Jarvis had been there since
the crack of dawn laying all the menu’s out and the new website tabs for the

Also on display in the bar foyer were an exhibition of some of
Alf Burnells master paintings.

Time flew by as all the old players came from far &
wide-Tony Hurford came over from Jersey, and one of the three first time
attendee’s Colin Larkin came all the way from Australia- Well done Colin let’s
hope we see you again in the near future.

The organising board had asked the Hilton to put a special
welcome for the Welsh lad’s, but communications went astray, When we went into
the dining room we found the wrong kind of “LEEK” apparently there was a burst
pipe on the 12th floor and it was a gusher right in the middle of
the room. The Staff at the Hilton did a great job in clearing it up- and only a
small part of the room was cordoned off, it looked like a boxing ring in the centre
of the room- Although there was a few close calls nobody stepped into the ring!

Before the meal was served our MC Peter Jarvis called upon
our Honorary Chairman Harry Jepson O.B.E.to say Grace.

We then had a minutes silence for the ten players who had
passed away since our last re-union.

Peter Welcomed the three first time Attendees of Ronnie
Scott, Colin Larkin and 86 year old Ernst Lundy, who was made up reminiscing with
his old friend Frank Watson- he was even more surprised when all the “Nonantagenarins”
of Harry Jepson, Shanks , Jimmy Brogden and Ernest Ruston were announced ,
Ernest Lundy had been under the impression that Ernest Ruston had died years
ago- so he had a good chat with him also.

Peter thanked all the people who had sent letters of apologies
for not attending, one was so good and long
he called him a “Grovelling So and so” ( Ala Spike Milligan to Prince

He read out a very nice note from Margaret Preece and he
mentioned the rest of the Players names of Cliff Williams, Colin Williams, Tommy
Thompson, and Brian Hunt.Terry Robins and John Griffiths who all have health

He thanked South Leeds Taxis for their continued support in picking up some of our older players. He also
mentioned that 90 year old Jimmy Brogden
had walked all the way to the Hilton from near the “Junky” in Dewsbury
Road- It was good to see Mick Chamberailn
had made the dinner after he suffered a stroke not long ago Well done Mick keep it
up, you looked Great.

Now by this time Peter was getting some good natured
Heckling- . Peter “Swearcroft” came up with a few funny one’s (To Be honest
Peter I only here’d him swore once the whole day which must be a record) anyway
Our MC came back and told us that as a youth Peter Rycroft had often been compared
with the great Alex Murphy- and compared to Alex, he was Rubbish. I think that
was when he swore.

Peter then thanked all the Honorary members of Ron Hill,
Paul Daley, Gary Hetherington, Harry Jepson, David Oxley, Alan Simpson and
David Ward for their continued attendance.

Looking at the top table all laid out facing the rest of the
tables one could not help notice during the many toilet breaks the restiveness
of our V.I.P. Guest speaker Paul Jepson all twitching and shuffling his notes about- well he had had two years to prepare
his speech- some said unfairly that he faked
a heart attack to get out of speaking at last year’s reunion. But now
his time was near, he clearly did not seem to be looking forward to the

But he rose to make a speech of sincerity recalling how his
dad used to take him down to Parkside from been 3years old and they were their always
4 hours before kick off, He learnt to drive at Parkside driving round the
cricket field, he had happy memories seeing all the star players including
Harry Poole Showing him films of his playing days. Well done Paul you are now
an honorary member.

It was now Phil Horrocks time to respond- he said he had not
made any notes and would just speak from the heart.

Speak from the heart he did- he had everyone rocking in the aisles
with laughter recalling many funny stories, one in particular was playing
against Leeds at Headingly and getting thrashed 68-nil. He recalled that if
Hunslet won a scrum the crowd gave them a standing ovation.

Things got so bad in the last few games at Parkside that the
announcer used to name the crowd changes over the loud speakers before a game.
Phil got a standing ovation as he sat down. A Great Sincere speech.

It was now time for Geoff Gunney as captain and last Player
to leave the field of the team of the final game at Parkside to give a very
nice speech- recalling how he could not remember much about the game itself,
but that he had also made the speech in 1973 the other speakers been Fred
Bartlet and Ted Carrol- He then Thanked everyone for inviting him to speak. And
thanked Alf “Ginger “ Burnell for looking after him when he first started
playing for Hunslet and also on the 1954 British Lions Tour of Australia.

Lets not forget It
was Geoff who after the last game at Parkside approached Gordon Murray to start
New Hunslet

Well done Geoff.

Our MC had kept the proceedings’ going along well with a
great sense of humour and wit.

After the raffle he asked Gary Hetherington to Auction a limited
edition print (Limited to four prints and signed on the back by all the Ex
Hunslet Parkside Players present at the 41st Re-Union) of the
Hunslet & Rugby League Legend Frank “Dolly”
Dawson –
Frank had been a Star forward in the Hunslet teams of the 1930’s
playing and winning in the 1934 Challenge Cup final at Wembley He was a take no
prisoner type player who never took a step backwards.

After retiring he coached Leeds when they went to Wembley in
1947. He then was the coach at Halifax when they played Warrington in 1954 at
Wembley. That game was drawn and the replay at Odsel Stadium
, Bradford attracted an official crowd of over 102,000 and it was estimated
30.000 climbed over the turnstiles. (I was one of them)

This is still the record crowd for a Rugby League Game to
this day.

The following week he coached Halifax in the Championship

Those three games attracted a total of over 250,000 Rugby
League fans- a record that sadly will not be beaten today.

The Bidding quickly reached the estimated price of £100 –
before finally reaching £350

A former Hunslet Scrum Half beat off a strong and determined
challenge from a former Top Rugby League official. We won’t reveal their names
just in case their wife’s ask “where did they get their money from?”

Gary Hetherington did a fab job as an Auctioneer, he also
said a few words about the Leeds Heritage Trust and it was decided that The
Hunslet R.L. ex Parkside Players Association would donate a likewise Limited edition2/4 Print of Frank”Dolly”Dawson to the Heritage trust of Rugby League in

All in all it was a fabulous event Mc’d magnificently by Peter Jarvis- who as part of
his “Staged Presentation” kept dropping his H’s and then pronouncing them in
other places-

He got his own back on Phil Evens who had previously ribbed
Peter about the Menu- asking Peter “
Could we not have Beluga Caviar and
Royal Venison from the Balmoral Estate? In future”

Peter went one better and arraigned for a special dish of “Hunslet Caviar” to be brought to Phil
in a Silver Platter – The whole place irrupted with laughter when it was revealed
to one and all that as we all know in Hunslet
that “Hunslet Caviar” is slices

Phil took it in good part and proceeded to eat it all up with the help of his pals on the table.

I wouldn’t be so egotistic to think that in helping organising
a unique occasion like ours that We Could Please All of The People All of the Time
or Even Some of the People Some of the Time- But we all worked hard and did our
very best.

But I was accused of been a Philistine – I would like to let it be know that I am not; I am a
full blooded heterosexual.

In finalising the event Peter asked if it was the Players
wish to hold another Re-Union next year –

YES came the rip-roaring replay- so it will be held on
Sunday the 1st of June 2014 11.30 Sharpe

Who will be the first to Check in next year?

Since last Sunday Peter has had several e-mails letters and
phone calls from ex Players thanking him for putting on such a splendid event-
Gordon Tindale sent one enquiring how things went from Spain- you could almost
feel the tint of jealousy in his enquiry, there he was stuck in the Sun drowning
his sorrows being unable to attend because someone booked a two month holiday
without consulting him?

This often happens , when we send letters out for the
players to confirm they will be attending- they say that they have booked a
holiday? As if they have forgot that we
never change the day of the Reunion, It is always the first Sunday in June.

So for future convenience use we have decided to Publish

June Follows May

June is Followed
by July – (Is it clear so far?)

So it makes sense that June
is in the middle of May and July

May-JUNE-July – I’m
sure you’ve all got it now?

We were stumped for a name for this – but have decided to
call it a Calendar– We do hope this
helps with your future holiday bookings.

Many a player retired to the “Prossie” for late afternoon
Tea & Scones and of course the traditional game of V & 111s

I had such a great
time all day and also at the Prossie that I have forgotten who won the Dom’s

It is a privilege to be a member with such fine men,

See you all next year.

Old Mother Benson with a thick head.

Click on pictures below to enlarge