SETTLE Cricket Club have made a huge amount of preparation for their elevation to the top tier of club cricket.

They have had the 1905 pavilion refurbished and bought two new sets of scoreboards to meet the stringent Northern Premier League requirements. And in celebration of their new status, they have erected a flagpole, kindly donated by Harry Mathew in memory of his wife.

However, instead of the club flag, Settle are considering hoisting a distress signal at the moment. The weather has caused cancellation of three friendly matches, and the NPL took the unprecedented step of postponing all last week’s 1st XI fixtures.

The club has also just heard that this Saturday’s match at Longridge is already cancelled, with their ground being much worse hit than most. The prospects for the 2nd XI entertaining Heysham are gloomy with an on/off forecast.

Undaunted, Settle chairman Andrew Davidson has been rummaging in his loft for the 1951 scorebook, when his own dad was playing. This was the last year when Blackpool, Lancaster, Morecambe and Chorley were in the Ribblesdale League, before splitting to join the Northern League.

“It’s back to the future, playing these great clubs again,” commented Davidson. “But we are also looking after senior players who can’t get in the 1st XI or 2nd XI on Saturdays, when competition for places is intense. We have a vast playing membership, so apart from Sunday’s league 3rd XI, we have recently added a Sunday friendly 4th team. The Midweek XI will play the local villages, and the women, girls and junior players have plenty of fixtures to go at.”

Davidson hopes it won’t be too long before they can fly the proud new flag in sunshine.