UMPIRES whose names have passed into Dales Council League folklore were mentioned at the Dales Council Umpires' Association's diamond anniversary celebrations at Pudsey Congs Cricket Club.

"We miss them even today," said DCUA chairman Steve Wilkes after reeling off the names of "Peter Rafton, Gerry Dove, Mick Price, Dennis Thompson, Cyril Chapman, Alan Wardle, Geoff Tarbatt, Peter Bullock."

Members were then presented with commemorative shirts to emphasise the dedication, loyalty and hard work they have put in over the years – exemplified by someone like Colin White, who has been UA secretary since 2001.

Wilkes said: "The Dales Council was in its third campaign in 1958 when the Dales Council Umpires' Association was really up and running with officers, rules and a motto – nec timore nec favore (without fear or favour).

"In the first two seasons, there had been a simple list of names and addresses – 18 in 1956 and 22 in 1957.

"By 1958, that had developed into a 34-strong list, with Dales Council League president Kenneth Hodgson installed as the umpires' president.

"George Baxter was made chairman, CJE Sladen appointments' secretary and Harry Benson treasurer.

"The committee comprised Messrs Baxter, Benson, Sladen, Toothill, Arthur Howe, C Sedman and J Yeadon, with H Sugden as the vice-president and GW Oddy auditor – a role he kept until 1985.

"The rules stated that the 'objects of the association are to remain an independent body, to create friendship among members and to improve through discussions the efficiency of all umpires'."

The annual subscription was 5s (25p in today's money), rising to 6s the following season, and the Umpires' Association's first annual meeting was at the White Cross Hotel, Guiseley on February 18, 1959.

Mr Baxter spoke glowingly of a "very successful first season as an association". Here's to the next 60 years.