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1936 - A Reight Neet Aht
A 'Reight Neet Aht' (Right Night Out) ran from 1936 to 1958. The first one was held at the Co-operative Ballroom on April 21st. 1936 and was an attempt to raise £50 for the Leeds Infirmary Appeal Fund. It was a 'neet' (night) of "Games, Competitions and Dancing to the Cess Bowen Band". Admission cost one shilling and six pence. The main event being a 'taws' (marbles) competition that was won by 90-year-old Billy Furniss.


This was billed as "A Taws Tournament with Dancing and Drinking" but the price had shot up to "Ye Sum of Three Shillings". Taws started at 7:30 p.m. followed by "Battledore and Shuttlecock" at 9 and Dancing at 9:30.


Took the form of "Games and Dancing" at the Co-operative Hall for a modest two shillings and six pence.


Despite the war this year saw a 'Stars' team led by George Formby and his wife Beryl playing against the local team once again at the Co-operative Hall. Although George was one of Britain's top stars at this time the cost had been reduced once again this time to two shillings.


This year saw the revival of the 'neet' in a more modest affair with a Castleford team playing a Wakefield team.


The event was held at the Wakefield Town Hall due to the fact that Wakefield had won the previous match and taken the cup home with them. The Wakefield team was made up of local Town Mayors and Dignitaries but despite this, or maybe because of this, the Castleford team were victorious and the cup returned to its rightful home.


The competition went international when an American team played a Yorkshire team in the Festival Hall. For a mere three shillings and six pence you could have watched Yorkshire beat America 5 to 2. The two American wins have got to be applauded in the light of the fact that the team, mainly servicemen, did not know how to play when the competition started.
Click Here To Go To British Pathe


In March of this year the competition reached a new height when Lady Docker, wife of Sir Bernard Docker (Chairman of B.S.A.) turned up in her zebra lined, gold plated Daimler with a team from B.S.A. to play a Castleford Factory Girls team. The venue was once again the Festival Hall but admission had now risen to an unbelievable six shillings.
In October of the same year the two teams met again this time at the B.S.A. factory in Birmingham.


Saw the return of Lady Docker but this time her big guns team consisted of some of the most famous British sports personalities of the day. They included cricketers Len Hutton and John Wardle and footballer John Charles.
Click Here To Go To British Pathe
To View A REETT NIGHT AHT (1956) Clip


This was a more modest affair with a match between 'Yorkshire' and 'The Rest of the World' for the "Taws World Championship".
My father Sid Colclough, a Castleford Photographer, was the originator and organiser of the 'Castleford Reight Neet Aht'. He ran several of these functions over many years which generated a great deal of money for various charities, as well as putting Cas' on the map in quite a big way.
The first of these functions was in the 1930s when he persuaded George Formby to attend. This was held in the old Cooperative Hall in Carlton Street. The whole proceeedings were based on a marbles competition, but there were also darts and other competitions together with dancing. The Cooperative ovens were the biggest in the area and a huge pie was cooked by them for the event, the sale of portions of which helped to boost funds. The Pontefract and Castleford Express presented Dad with a marvelous silver trophy for the marbles events which consisted of a 6" diameter silver marble sitting on a circle of smaller silver marbles on a ebony plinth.
Many similar events followed this over the years and prizes were given by many famous people including Gracie Fields and Lady Docker as well as local and national businesses.
Supporters of these events included Yorkshire celebreties Len Hutton, Johny Wardle, (Yorkshire Cricketers) Barney Colehan of 'The Good Old Days' fame. One event was a game against Girls from the BSA factory and a return match was played at the Castleford. Sir Bernard Docker was the then Managing Director of BSA. His wife Lady Nora Docker was a keen supporter of the event and actually won the final marbles competition at Castleford and was presented with the trophy to keep.
Dad was even persuaded to allow two of these events to be loaned out to the City Of Wakefield and Pontefract.
Most, if not all the 'Right neet Ahts' were covered by British Movietone News, Pathe News, and the national press. Dad was presented with a copy of one Newsreel by Pathe at the Albion Cinema. I donated this and many other items from the events to Castleford Library together with many photographs and objects.
It is very sad, that for all that Dad did in raising so much for charity through these events, that the Wakefield Councils website barely gives my Father a mention. The copy of the newsreel has never been put onto a DVD (which is a simple matter) but remains as far as I know deteriorating in a filing cabinet at the library. I had asked Castlefords librarian about this but was told that it would be too expensive to do.
Should you wish to find out more about this, then just put 'Castleford Reight Neet Aht' in your browser.
George Roy Colclough
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