Almanac Rugby League – Cumbria calling: Barrow Rugby League Football Club





Glad you could use some of my ‘rugby league ramblings’!


I’ve just been catching up with the last of the weekend NRL action – some superb games though no doubt the action has been overshadowed by the ‘incident’ during the Sharks v Titans clash.


One thing that I am puzzled by on the NRL front is how fan access to games is decided during the Covid-19 pandemic. I have seen games in the bigger stadia which are sparsely attended and others in the smaller suburban grounds with much bigger numbers in attendance – and not much in the way of social distancing as far as I can see!


Following on from my photos from the Cumbrian RL scene, I’ll try to do a follow up next month, perhaps featuring Workington when, hopefully, local amateur action recommences. Of course here in the UK any rugby league or football being played is strictly behind doors and still no definitive date for when they might be able to return – even at the lower levels.


Tonight I am sending you a few photos from another Cumbrian rugby league ground – Craven Park. This venerable old heap of rusting corrugated iron and crumbling concrete is the home of Barrow Raiders RLFC. Apart from a fairly modern main stand, little has changed there since the 1950s when their greatest ever player, Willie Horne, graced the hallowed turf.




In the 1950s and 1960s Barrow had a great Challenge Cup tradition, lifting the trophy at Wembley in 1955 after defeating North West neighbours Workington Town. These days Barrow, like Workington, languishes in the semi-pro third tier of British rugby league.


Despite that Craven Park is a wonderful place to watch a game and it just oozes with nostalgia and history. Definitely one of my favourite iconic sports grounds and one I will I hope will still be standing for a few years to come!!





Best wishes to you all in Australia.


Read more of Kevin Haney’s Almanac posts by clicking HERE.


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  1. Patrick Skene says

    Thanks Kevin – I’ve always been intrigued by Cumbria as a rugby league outpost with a different flavour from Lancashire and Yorkshire. How many families have been thrilled in that cold rickety ground over the years? Long live Barrow!!

    In answer to your first question. The games where spectators have been packed together are in Queensland which is virtually COVID free. In NSW we have been battling COVID 2.0 so much stronger social distancing rules are in place.

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