Blasts From The Past

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DAISYPULLSITOFF TECH16.jpeg

Photo from Daisy Pulls It Off, showing at the Park Theatre, Finsbury Park, London.
Photo courtesy of Tomas Turpie.

One of our eagle-eyed supporters spotted this wonderful image taken by Tomas Turpie in The Times newspaper last week. It was from a review of Daisy Pulls It Off, a play that has just opened on the London stage. Daisy, the star of the show, is a hockey player and she is using an old English head hockey stick – not just any stick, but a Mercian hockey stick and one that has a unique history, rooted in manufacturing tradition, that goes back to the Indian sub-continent.

One hundred and twenty years ago a hockey stick such as this would have been the perfect Christmas present for any hockey player of the era. Hockey was in its infancy and the sticks, the English Head stick, was devised, developed and manufactured in England by English sports equipment manufacturers. In those early decades of hockey, it was mainly played in Britain and the British Army took the game to the Indian sub-continent, thereby greatly expanding the sport’s exposure.

The vast numbers of troops out in India during Empire, in need of sport and recreation, put a great strain on the supply lines from Britain. Consequently, it was not long before the nimble, observant woodwork tradesmen of northern India, the Punjab to be precise, started repairing and soon replicating the sticks, bats, racquets etc. required by the Army. So, it was that the Indian Sports Goods Industry was born some time in the early years of the 20th century, before WW1.

I am very privileged to be the Curator of The Hockey Museum – to me, the most interesting job in the world. Part of my journey here was through a working life spent in the Sports Industry, starting at a time when equipment was still made by hand, by craftsmen and women. I was bold enough to start my own specialist hockey company, Mercian; you may have heard of it. This gave me the opportunity to visit India and Pakistan on a very regular basis because the vast majority of hockey sticks were made there, by hand, by craftsmen, and one needed to know who was making the best.

On one of my trips in the 1980s, one of my suppliers announced that he had someone for me to see. He took me to a workshop where a very old gentleman was waiting to meet me. He looked to be at least a centenarian but was in fact in his mid 80s. He had a smile that engulfed his face and he held on to our handshake as if never to let go. I was told that in the 1920s and ‘30s he used to make English Head hockey sticks. The gentleman proudly showed me his pre-partition identity pass which was issued by the governing British. I was in the presence of history! To his amazement, and that of others present, I sat down with him and we had the most magical morning. They already had some pre-bent stick heads and he proceeded to whittle away, slowly creating the finished shape. I did take part occasionally, trying to copy some of his amazingly skilful craftsmanship. The next morning, he had finished the woodworking side of a batch of sticks, all beautifully reminiscent of sticks that could have been made 50 or even 100 years earlier. They were made from wood from the same forests, with tools that had not changed and many were probably original, in workshops that had been used for carpentry before sports equipment took over.

I spoke to my supplier and suggested that as these sticks had been crafted so traditionally, they should be finished in a traditional manner, not with modern stickers or print. So, off we went into the city and bazaars that I doubted had changed for a long, long time. We arrived at a sort of very old Arkwright’s, where string bindings, old leather grips and all manner of ancient finishing materials were available, albeit covered in decades of dust, and believe me, it can get very dusty during summer in Northern India. My supplier explained to the shopkeeper that we were trying to make authentic sticks from the ‘20s and ‘30s. His face lit up, he disappeared and returned with a drawer full of paper hockey stick labels that had been produced by his father half a century earlier.

We now had blank sticks made by a craftsman in a totally traditional way. We had genuine antique bindings and labels and these would all be affixed using vellum (pigskin) to hold the sticks together, the traditional method used before plastics and modern glues became available. My only concession to the modern was the desire to have these sticks bear my company’s name. Here too we retained some authenticity because the man in the bazaar printed some paper labels bearing the Mercian name – job done!

So, in wishing you all a very happy Christmas I leave you with the conundrum as to whether the stick in the photograph is a potential gift of today or one from yesteryear. Perhaps it is a genuine replica!

 

DAISYPULLSITOFF TECH12.jpeg DAISYPULLSITOFF TECH19.jpeg

Photos from Daisy Pulls It Off, showing at the Park Theatre, Finsbury Park, London. Photos courtesy of Tomas Turpie.

Happy Christmas

Mike Smith – Curator, The Hockey Museum, December 2017

Newport Centrals Hockey Tour 1914 01

Programme (cover) of The Newport Centrals Hockey Club Fourth Annual Tour, Season 1913-14

 

Easter hockey tours and festivals have been very popular for many years, probably more so before the league systems were set up in the 1960s and ‘70s.

A recent find, hidden amongst our postcard collection, gives an intriguing glimpse into one such tour which took place in 1914, six months prior to the First World War.

Newport Centrals Hockey Club commenced their ‘Annual Tour’ to Ilfracombe and Bideford in Devon on 9 April 1914, leaving Newport Station at 11.20pm (!) and finally arriving in Ilfracombe, via Bristol and Taunton, at 5.45am.

pdfThe complete itinerary, including rambles, tasting competitions, Church Parade, "joy car" riding, dances and a "Hairdressing Parade", as well as three matches, are all detailed in the Fourth Annual Tour programme, along with names of participants, results page (sadly not filled in) and numerous other details.

Along with this programme, we do have two postcards from the tour and the previous season with pictures and names of those who appear. A fascinating glimpse into pre-WW1 hockey tours.

Download the full programme by clicking on the PDF icon to the right.

Yesterday one of our volunteers was going through a collection and found this newspaper cutting from Thanet International Hockey Festival, 1964.

Bullets Stop Play

Anyone who has been to Thanet will know that three coats is a mininum and not just because of the flying bullets.

Hockey in Antarctca"First game of Hockey played on ice near Ship", from The Atlantic magazine, 2013.

 

The Hockey Museum recently heard of hockey being played in a most unlikely location: on the sea ice in Antarctica.

We were contacted by an Antarctic history enthusiast who pointed out that the British Film Institute had recently restored footage of renowned polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-1916 expedition to Antarctic. In the DVD extras there is footage that does not appear in the main film clearly showing a few brief seconds of the expedition party playing hockey on the Weddell Sea ice!

Shackleton was involved in three expeditions to the Antarctic. On the first in 1901, led by Robert Falcon Scott, to the South Pole, Scott and Shackleton got closer to the Pole than anyone previously. But Shackleton fell seriously ill and had to return home.

In 1907 a further attempt was ended by brutal conditions, after coming within 97 miles of the Pole.

In the 1914 trans-Antarctic expedition, Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, became trapped in the ice forcing the men to leave the ship and set up camp on the floating ice. When the ship sank in 1916 the crew lived on the sea ice for months before sailing to Elephant Island, off the southern tip of Cape Horn, in three small boats.

As Elephant Island was uninhabited, far out from normal shipping lanes, Shackleton led a five-man crew in a 22-foot lifeboat to South Georgia where he trekked to a whaling station to organise a rescue effort.

In August 1916 the remaining crew members on Elephant Island were rescued. Not a single member of the 28-man team died during the nearly two years they were stranded.

In late 1921 Shackleton set off on a fourth expedition to the South Pole but on 5 January 1922 he suffered a heart attack on his ship and died. He was buried on South Georgia.

Was the hockey game in Antarctica, on Shackleton’s third expedition, the southernmost one ever played?

Mike Smith, 18 April 2017

The Hockey Museum (THM) was very proud to receive a visit recently (28 March 2017) from Juan Calzado, former President of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), European Hockey Federation (EHF) and Real Club de Polo, Barcelona. We were honoured that on a holiday visit to London with family he took time to visit THM in Woking.

Not only did he see the Museum’s expanding collection but gave us an oral history interview that will appear on our website in due course.

From the interview Juan told us that as well as his impressive administrative career he was an international player of some repute having played for Spain in the Rome 1960 and Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games. Having won a bronze medal at the Rome Olympics Juan is the only FIH President to have been an Olympic medallist.

He also mentioned that as a player with Real Club de Polo, Barcelona he visited the Folkestone Festival in the halcyon days of festival hockey. Back then visiting teams would present a club pennant to commemorate the occasion. THM holds the Folkestone Festival Archive and, following a brief interrogation of our collections database, we were delighted to reunite Juan with the pennant he presented to the Folkestone Festival some fifty years previously.

 

Juan Calzado

Juan Calzado and Mike Smith (THM Curator) with the RCPB pennant last held by Juan half a century ago.
In the background are posters from the two Olympic Games (Rome ’60 and Tokyo ’64) that he played in.

Mike Smith, 30 April 2016

In 2015 The Hockey Museum received an enquiry from Alan Lancaster. He sent two photographs, one a team photograph, which Alan thought was Newhey Ladies’ Hockey team. One of the photographs featured his mother Doreen Howles and her two sisters, Vera and June holding a cup which was believed to be the English Cup. Alan wanted to know more about the English Cup and when the Newhey team won the cup.

I contacted Dr David Day a Reader in Sports History at Manchester Metropolitan University. He passed my enquiry onto Margaret Roberts who sent me a number of articles from The Lancashire Daily Post. The articles contained information about women’s hockey in the Lancashire area in the 1930s and the early 1940s and I was able to find some information about the English Cup and hockey in the North West. The results of my early research were published on THM in 2015 here.

So, what has been unearthed since then? In the Wednesday 20 October 1937 edition of the paper I found the following: “The draw for the first round of the English Hockey Cup to be played on November 6th takes place tonight. The competition is played under the auspices of the English Ladies’ Hockey League Association to whom the cup was presented in 1934 by Mr Frederick Johnson of Liverpool. Leyland Motors were the first winners beating Liverpool Olympic in the final as they did the following year. The present holders are Stockport.”

So we had confirmed the English Cup existed. It was organised by the English Ladies’ Hockey League Association (ELHLA) and appears to have involved teams from the Lancashire and Cheshire area, who were affiliated to the ELHLA. Lancashire and Cheshire ladies’ leagues nominated two or three teams to play in the cup each year, usually the best teams in their leagues, a bit like the Champions League in football.

Further research is required to find out the full role the ELHLA played in the history of hockey but it appears they were the body who organised league hockey which at the time seems to have been played mainly in the north of the country. Many of its officials were men compared to the All England Women’s Hockey Association (AEWHA), where the top officials were all women. It would be interesting to find out what relationship they had with the AEWHA. The Lancashire Daily Post hints at it in a report dated 11 July 1932 which contains information about the adjourned general meeting of the ELHLA which was held in Milton Hall, Manchester on Saturday 9 July 1932.

The article states, “Mr C Rogers was in the chair, representatives from the Manchester, Liverpool, Middleton, Stockport and Lancashire Central leagues were present. Miss Caley, the President, in a short address urged that the Association's attitude towards alternative bodies working with a similar ultimate object in view, namely the better organisation of women’s hockey, should be of a friendly nature and that cooperation should be attempted whenever possible”.

Was the President perhaps referring to the AEWHA? The report continues: “The honorary secretary Mr John Lishman reported that negotiations were going forward to arrange an international match between this association and Ireland during the season 1932-33. The Chairman said that this meeting was directly representative of 250 ladies’ hockey clubs in Lancashire and Cheshire. The honorary secretary reported about 5000 players under its control.”

England vs Scotland 01England vs Scotland match programme, 15 April 1939

The ELHLA did go on and play ‘international matches’ and its first was against the Scottish Leagues on Saturday 4 March 1933 and again The Lancashire Daily Post provides us with valuable information. In its edition dated 23 February 1933 it reports: “Mr John Lishman the hon. Sec of the Ass. then approached the Scottish leagues and an international has been arranged to be played in Glasgow on March 4th. The English team is as follows; F. Honoun (Liverpool League), D. Brayshaw (Liverpool), M. Hegg (Manchester), A. Herbert (Manchester), M. Hyde (Stockport), E Rowcroft (Lancashire Central), M. Mason (Liverpool), E. Hawkins (Manchester), Reserves; E. Schofield (Liverpool), M. Cavanagh (Middleton).”

England vs Scotland 02England and Scotland team sheets, 15 April 1939

These ‘international’ matches continued and the Museum has received a donation from Mr Knight from Reddish whose mother Eliza Knight played in two of these international matches in 1939. The collection includes a number of newspaper cuttings from the local papers about the two matches. The first game was against Northern Ireland on Easter Monday 10 April 1939 in Belfast. The English team won 7-0. England played Scotland in the second game at Cheadle Heath Sports’ Ground, Cheltham Road, Stockport on Saturday 15 April 1939. The English team won 4-1 and Eliza scored the fourth goal – “England kept up the attack and A Roberts placed to E Knight, who tricked P Couper and working her way into the circle the Stockport right winger beat J Couston with a brilliant shot”.

The report also notes, “The matches were a triangle competition between the three countries for a handsome new trophy presented by Mrs Arthur Moores, President of the English Association.”

How these international matches were viewed by the AEWHA is not known. How did the two organisations run the game? Was there a split between the two like in rugby? What happened to the ELHLA? It would be interesting to find out and much more research needs to be done in relation to this.

However, back to the English Cup, could we find out when Newhey won the cup? Newhey is an area in Rochdale, Greater Manchester and so I looked in The Rochdale Observer, the local paper. The paper contained a weekly article about ladies’ hockey and I was able to find information about Newhey’s English Cup run. The paper contained two detailed reports on their semi-final game and the final. The year was 1951.

On 3 March 1951 they played and defeated their local rivals CSOS in the semi-final. CSOS had lost in the semi-final to Bellshaws the previous season. In the final, which took place on Saturday 7 April 1951, they beat Poynton Ladies 1-0 on the Clifton Choride (Exide) ground at Pendlebury, Salford.

Newhey's run to the final:

2 December 1950 – Round 1 – Newhey 3-1 Eagley Mills (Bolton)
13 January 1951 – Round 2 – unknown opponent or result
Unknown date – Round 3 – Newhey 2-1 Christ Church (Bolton) played at Firgrove, Rochdale
3 March 1951 – Semi-final – Newhey 3-1 CSOS (Rochdale)
7 April 1951 – Final – Newhey 1-0 Poynton played at Clifton Choride (Exide), Pendlebury

Newhey did not achieve the cup double as they lost 2-1 to CSOS in the Turner Cup final (this was the Rochdale Ladies’ Hockey League Cup). However they did win the Rochdale and District Ladies’ Hockey League that year, so not a bad season.

We had managed to answer Alan's questions and are now trying to find out more about the English Cup. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you can help with any further information about the English Cup, Newhey Ladies’ Hockey Team or the ELHLA.

Mark Evans, 13 December 2016

Does the existence of three antique silver cups with the Royal Navy HA have a ‘black lining’?

The Royal Navy Hockey Association is the proud owner of three silver cups that date back to the 1900 period. They were used for different competitions between ships and units that made up the Royal Navy. Bear in mind that the Royal Navy at that time was much bigger than the whole of our armed forces today.

One of the cups was for an inter ship competition for the Mediterranean Fleet based in Malta.

Another cup, dated 1902, was for the United Services Hockey League. This was a league between ships and units in the Portsmouth area and in season 1901/02 it was won by the Royal Navy College Portsmouth. We know this because the trophy is engraved as such and also records the record of the winning team, together with their names.

Now, why should all this information possibly have a ‘black lining’? The answer is because this period, only fifteen years after the formation of the Hockey Association in 1886, was one when competition in hockey was severely frowned upon. Indeed, as far as club hockey was concerned it was completely banned. Would these strict non-competition rules apply to the armed forces? Perhaps the answer to that question would be, only if the Royal Navy and Army Hockey Associations were affiliated to the Hockey Association. Well, they were not affiliated so presumably that solves the problem. However, it is an oddity that such disciplined and well organised bodies such as our armed forces associations did not affiliate to the national governing body. Indeed, they did not affiliate until the season 1908/9 – the London Olympic season.

So, did the two associations deliberately decide not to affiliate so as not to fall foul of the stringent non-competition rules used by the Hockey Association? Will we ever know? If you are able to shed light on this peculiarity please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

During the First World War, the War Office often used sporting references to try to persuade sportsmen to enlist and an amusing notice in the book Ireland’s Call (by Stephen Walker) recently caught our eye.

Grand International Match

The Liberty BodiceWe recently came across an interesting advertisement in The Hockey Field magazine from 6 January 1916:

"Physical Instructors and Games Mistresses are recommended to try the Liberty Bodice. It obviates the necessity for corsets and gives absolute freedom of movement to growing girls. It is ideal wear for all kinds of games, and should be included in all playground uniforms. A sample bodice will be sent to any school or college on application to The Manager, Liberty Bodice Factory, Market Harborough."

An illustration of the garment (above) was shown in the same publication of 13 November 1915.

We currently do not have this garment in the Museum and would be pleased to obtain one. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. the Curator, Mike Smith if you have any knowledge of one.

We recently acquired copies of a rare early sports magazine dating from 1906 – The Cricketer, The Hockey and Football Player. It was only published for just over a year taking in two cricket and one winter season.

pdfThe magazines contain a number of interesting articles that make comment on the state of the different sports being reported on, including one written by a JA Lambie (downloadable as a PDF on the right) that makes some great observations on the differences between club football and club hockey. A former 'soccer' player, Mr Lambie comments on, as of 1906, the negative effect that cup and league fixtures have on football and how much more enjoyable hockey was as it was played "purely for the sport of the game". Indeed, his contention that the lack of cup and league fixtures in hockey were the key to its success was a position that hockey retained for over half a century. The popular success of hockey that he champions in the article ultimately never materialised and today the game is played within a league format at both amateur and professional levels much like football; but, at a time when hockey might be on the cusp of greater things, perhaps we should be mindful of his statement that "The time may come … when the popularity of hockey will bring about its own undoing, as was the case with soccer football from the amateur point of view."

It is a shame that this magazine did not survive as it might have provided a lot of useful information that we could have used at The Hockey Museum in our various studies.

Mike Smith, July 2016

pdfNew collections are, thankfully, arriving weekly and many of them create great interest when received. The hockey stick illustrated in the below images was a real example of this. It came complete with a copy of an advertisement from Hockey Magazine of 4 September 1908 extolling the virtues of the “patent edge-protected” stick. Hopefully, (from the PDF of the advert downloadable to the right and from the images below) you can see that the complete edge of the head of the stick has a metal tape running round which is fixed to the stick by small nails. My first reaction when I saw it was “How could this stick be legal?” but then the rules and interpretations were very different over a century ago.

We did not think very much more about this until we received another item of great interest. This was a photocopy of the Hockey Association (HA) Minute Book from the period. The minute for the meeting of 15 November 1909 does indeed mention “the Pickering St George” hockey stick, this being the model of stick in question. Clearly some complaint had been received about this stick because the Council of the Hockey Association had considered the matter and this was their deliberation:

“The Hon. Secretary reported correspondence he had had with Messrs Grenville, Gamage and with the Army & Navy Stores with reference to the illegal hockey sticks which they were said to be supplying and the arrangements he had made with them, viz: that no more sticks should be made after the present stock had in each case been sold out, was approved”.

Clearly these sticks must have been very popular at the time as apparently they were being counterfeited! In the advert by Grenvilles for the original design by Mr WH Pickering he made the following statement:

“Dear Sir or Madam – As the designer with Mrs Pickering of the ‘Pickering’ hockey stick, I shall be glad if you will allow me the opportunity of explaining that Mr WG Grenville, Birmingham, who manufacture the ‘Pickering St George’ hockey stick, is the only maker authorised to use the name, and we can only guarantee his make as being true to design and of proper quality. Another firm is using the name without acknowledgement and without authority from us. This has caused misunderstanding and we have been annoyed by complaints from people who have bought these sticks on the assumption that they were guaranteed by the name.”

The annotation in the HA Minute Book goes on to say: “Mr Grenville’s objection to a stick manufactured by Messrs Ayres, named ‘The Connaught’, was upheld and the Hon. Secretary was instructed to write to Messrs Ayres on the subject.”

Looking back on this 107 years later, it does seem a little pointless for the HA to uphold a complaint on a product that they had deemed illegal. Additionally, the Grenville advertisement describes the stick as “patented”. Surely, therefore, Grenville could have challenged Ayres on a question of patent infringement.

 Grenville Illegal Hockey Stick 01    Grenville Illegal Hockey Stick 03
 Grenville Illegal Hockey Stick 04    Grenville Illegal Hockey Stick 05


Greville's Pickering St George hockey stick (c.1908)

Blasts From The Past: An Introduction

This features page includes articles from hockey's rich history. With the ever increasing activity of The Hockey Museum, our research is constantly coming across fascinating stories from throughout the sport's history and across the hockey world. These are not current news stories although some may have been when they occurred....

A Vintage Christmas Present? From India To The London Stage

A Vintage Christmas Present? From India To The London Stage

Photo from Daisy Pulls It Off, showing at the Park Theatre, Finsbury Park, London.Photo courtesy of Tomas Turpie. One of our eagle-eyed supporters spotted this wonderful image taken by Tomas Turpie in The Times newspaper last week. It was from a review of Daisy Pulls It Off, a play that...

An Early Easter Hockey Tour

An Early Easter Hockey Tour

Programme (cover) of The Newport Centrals Hockey Club Fourth Annual Tour, Season 1913-14   Easter hockey tours and festivals have been very popular for many years, probably more so before the league systems were set up in the 1960s and ‘70s. A recent find, hidden amongst our postcard collection, gives...

Bullets Stopped Play

Bullets Stopped Play

Yesterday one of our volunteers was going through a collection and found this newspaper cutting from Thanet International Hockey Festival, 1964. Anyone who has been to Thanet will know that three coats is a mininum and not just because of the flying bullets.

Hockey Played In Antarctica

Hockey Played In Antarctica

"First game of Hockey played on ice near Ship", from The Atlantic magazine, 2013.   The Hockey Museum recently heard of hockey being played in a most unlikely location: on the sea ice in Antarctica. We were contacted by an Antarctic history enthusiast who pointed out that the British Film...

Bringing History To Life With Juan Calzado

Bringing History To Life With Juan Calzado

The Hockey Museum (THM) was very proud to receive a visit recently (28 March 2017) from Juan Calzado, former President of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), European Hockey Federation (EHF) and Real Club de Polo, Barcelona. We were honoured that on a holiday visit to London with family he took...

An Update On The English Cup

An Update On The English Cup

In 2015 The Hockey Museum received an enquiry from Alan Lancaster. He sent two photographs, one a team photograph, which Alan thought was Newhey Ladies’ Hockey team. One of the photographs featured his mother Doreen Howles and her two sisters, Vera and June holding a cup which was believed to...

Three Antique Silver Cups From The Royal Navy HA

Does the existence of three antique silver cups with the Royal Navy HA have a ‘black lining’? The Royal Navy Hockey Association is the proud owner of three silver cups that date back to the 1900 period. They were used for different competitions between ships and units that made up...

The Grand International Match

The Grand International Match

During the First World War, the War Office often used sporting references to try to persuade sportsmen to enlist and an amusing notice in the book Ireland’s Call (by Stephen Walker) recently caught our eye.

The Liberty Bodice

The Liberty Bodice

We recently came across an interesting advertisement in The Hockey Field magazine from 6 January 1916: "Physical Instructors and Games Mistresses are recommended to try the Liberty Bodice. It obviates the necessity for corsets and gives absolute freedom of movement to growing girls. It is ideal wear for all kinds...

Hockey And Football: A Comparison

Hockey And Football: A Comparison

We recently acquired copies of a rare early sports magazine dating from 1906 – The Cricketer, The Hockey and Football Player. It was only published for just over a year taking in two cricket and one winter season. The magazines contain a number of interesting articles that make comment on...

An Illegal Hockey Stick

An Illegal Hockey Stick

New collections are, thankfully, arriving weekly and many of them create great interest when received. The hockey stick illustrated in the below images was a real example of this. It came complete with a copy of an advertisement from Hockey Magazine of 4 September 1908 extolling the virtues of the...

The Jet-propelled Hockey Stick That Didn't Take Off!

The Jet-propelled Hockey Stick That Didn't Take Off!

In response to the many enquiries that we receive at The Hockey Museum our volunteers are constantly trawling through hockey publications in search of information. These searches often take twice as long as expected because we find unrelated pieces that are very interesting. One such piece was discovered recently in...

Hockey On The Sand At Minehead

Hockey On The Sand At Minehead

Hockey players on the beach at Minehead with North Hill behind. Photograph by Alfred Vowles.  Unlike most of today's youngsters who learn to play on artificial pitches, Nan Williams, a former England international and volunteer at The Hockey Museum (THM), started her playing career on the sands of Minehead on the...

Have You Heard Of The English Cup?

Have You Heard Of The English Cup?

I have recently joined the many volunteers working with the The Hockey Museum. As I live in the Manchester area I am quite away from all the action, however I have recently been forwarded a couple of enquires from the Museum in relation to matters from the North! My first...

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