A SMALL piece of sporting history has been returned to Huddersfield after almost 100 years absence.

A silver crown green bowling jack presented by Lindley Liberal Club to landowner Frederick William Sykes on May 11, 1912, is now proudly displayed in the club on the corner of Occupation Road and Acre Street.

Mr Sykes’s great-grandson, Worcestershire businessman Nicholas Walker, recently returned to Huddersfield to return the previously unknown jack to its original home.

The presentation follows negotiations between Mr Walker and the club’s management committee to buy the bowling green, which has been leased for the last 96 years for a literal “peppercorn rent.”

Club president Geoff Hirst said: “It is a very pleasant reminder of the club’s history.

“It is extremely important that the club has negotiated an amicable agreement guaranteeing its long-term security.

“No-one knew about the presence of the silver jack, but it is really the final piece in the jigsaw and an important part of its heritage.”

Mr Sykes, of Greenlea, Lindley, laid the bowling green behind the club in 1912 and set a rent of one peppercorn, to be paid every Christmas by the committee.

In gratitude the club presented Mr Sykes with the silver jack.

On his return to Huddersfield, Mr Walker was offered the original peppercorn tin, retained by the club since 1912.

But he declined the offer, saying it should remain in the club’s possession.

Coincidentally, the date on the silver jack connects the club with the small port of Wivenhoe, near Colchester, Essex, and the most famous shipping disaster in history, the sinking of the Titanic.

Mr Sykes and his wife spent time in Wivenhoe on his yacht, the SY Venetia, which was crewed by 30 seaman.

Some time after the Titanic disaster on April 15, 1912, the Venetia’s company appeared in two articles in a local newspaper collecting for widows and orphans of their comrades who had perished

A similar charitable collection was possibly going on at the club about the same time.