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First XI exhibition 02

A sneak peek of one particularly colourful corner of the exhibition.

Following our recent move to new and larger premises in central Woking, THM has put on its first, in-house exhibition: The Hockey Museum First XI.

Today, hockey teams can field up of sixteen players (and eighteen in World Events): one goalkeeper, ten outfield players and five substitutes, but when ‘modern hockey’ began in the late 19th century, no substitutes were permitted and teams were only allowed eleven players. Over time, the best team in a club or at international level, became known as the ‘First Eleven’ or ‘1st XI’ – this is where this exhibition takes its name.

Conceived by our curatorial team to introduce visitors to the wealth and variety of material in the Museum’s collections, it comprises eleven objects that offer a brief but tantalising insight into hockey. They represent a truly global sport, covering all eras and levels, from playing to administration, from early club hockey to the modern day international game.

install 01  install 02 
Above: installing the exhibition in 13 High Street, Woking.
Below, right: the 'Wow Wall' that greets visitors to the Museum.

The eleven exhibits are:

  • Early twentieth-century, digitised cine-film of international matches and various coaching videos that show how hockey has evolved.
  • A replica of a bas relief carving depicting what looks to be a stick-and-ball game (possibly an early form of hockey) being played in ancient Greece.
  • The Typhoo Cup awarded to the winner of hockey matches played at Wembley stadium in 1980s.
  • The old FIH flag, which illustrates the story of the development of hockey’s international governing body.
  • First XI exhibition wallSubbuteo table-top hockey game and associated paraphernalia.
  • Technical Delegate’s blazer from the Moscow Olympic Games in 1980.
  • The Mitton Challenge Shield – a trophy from the 1920s awarded to the winners of one of the early ladies’ leagues that existed in the north of England.
  • The Hockey Maker – an oil painting depicting traditional hockey stick manufacturing on the Indian Sub-continent.
  • A piece of the artificial pitch used at the London Olympics in 2012 that tells the story of the evolution from grass playing surfaces.
  • A rare example of Grenville’s Pickering St George metal-edged hockey stick from the early 1900s.
  • A World War 2 water bottle with bullet hole illustrating a story from the Museum’s Hockey’s Military Stories research project.

Each object is accompanied by supporting stories and additional display items that explore the wider narrative of each exhibit. Additionally, there is a range of other display items on the first floor. Visitors can also visit THM Library, which houses the largest collection of hockey books, magazines and associated publications in the world.

The exhibition is not just for adults. Here at THM we are passionate about engaging young people. You can discover hockey’s fascinating history alongside your child(ren) – just look out for the ‘children’s trail’ as you navigate the exhibition. You can have lots of fun and there are interesting questions and activities for you to tackle together.

Come and visit the exhibition at 13 High Street, Woking, Surrey – our new home just 100 yards down from the station. We know it will whet your appetite to discover more about the fascinating history and heritage of hockey.

MoW A1 poster PRESS single 1

The magic of Wembley is the first publication from The Hockey Museum. It tells the story of how a Saturday in March saw thousands of schoolgirls and hockey supporters enjoy an annual day out to the famous stadium, to see England playing regular visitors such as Scotland, Ireland and Wales – as well as countries from all over the world.

For over forty years, the national stadium hosted the annual women's hockey international. It was a sporting event quite unlike any other: from the austere 1950s, with the players in thick skirts and heavy blouses and a St Trinians army of girls on the terraces in full school uniform, through the pop culture of the 1960s and '70s, when the players' skirts got shorter and the girls also sported allegience to Marc Bolan and Donny Osmond – the hot popstars of the time.

It was a cauldron of unforgettable, good-natured screaming loyalty, delivered in that combinaion of high-frequency and ferocious volume which only be produced by 60,000 schoolgirls.

The book shares personal memories from players, umpires and spectators to help give a sense of how special these days were. One section looks back to the day in 1981 when Her Majesty the Queen came and gave a particularly special royal seal to the occassion.

As social history mixes with nostalgia for a bygone era, see how things changed over the four decades in which the matches were played – the rules, the kit, the sticks – and the wonderful songs shared in the community singing before the match.

"Incredible original photography and images alongside extracts from programmes, accounts from players and spectators make this a very special trip down memory lane. For any fan of hockey, Wembley or women's sport, this is a book that simply must be read."
Sally Munday, Chief Executive, England Hockey

 

Buying The Book

The magic of Wembley is on sale in the Museum shop at 13 High Street, Woking as well as available for purchase from the Museum exhibition during the Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup, 21 July-5 August 2018.

The book is also available via PayPal using the email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for £10.00 plus postage and packing (UK £2.50, Europe £5.75, rest of the world £8.00). To send a cheque, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details.

The Hockey Museum (THM) and The University of Wolverhampton are delighted to announce that the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) have approved funding for a collaborative PhD post to be jointly supervised by The University of Wolverhampton and THM. This award is part of the Sporting Heritage consortia initiative led by Sporting Heritage in partnership with the National Football Museum.

The title of the research project is An Oral History of England and Team GB Women’s International Hockey Representatives 1951-2016 and it aims to produce a collective biography of women who have represented England and Great Britain over the last 60 years. The work will specifically look at the women who played in the 41 Wembley international matches between 1951 and 1991, the Women’s Hockey World Cups between 1974 and 2014 and as part of Team GB at the Olympic Games from 1980 to 2016.

This is a unique opportunity to undertake a post-graduate project under the supervision of Professor Jean Williams, an acknowledged sports historian and heritage consultant now based at the University of Wolverhampton as well having full access to the expertise and extensive hockey archives held at The Hockey Museum, the world’s only hockey museum based in Woking. More details of the project can be found in an earlier THM news article promoting the award of the funding. Click here for that.

Anyone interested in applying should read the full advert on The University of Wolverhampton website here.

Closing date for applications is Friday 3 August 2018.

 

Sporting Heritage Logo      CMYK Portrait      National Football Museum Logo
 accredited museum logo 772px Arts Council England Logo svg 

The Hockey Museum (THM) is celebrating after the announcement that Arts Council England has awarded it Full Museum Accreditation.

Accreditation is granted by the Arts Council England (ACE) to museums that meet the stringent requirements imposed by their Accreditation Standard. It enables museums to assess their current performance, and it supports them in planning and developing their services. The scheme is regarded as one of the most innovative and effective developments in the museum sector; it has led the way in raising museum standards in the UK and has been used as a model and source of inspiration for similar schemes overseas. THM joins 1,800 other museums participating in the scheme, working to manage its collections effectively for the enjoyment and benefit of its supporters and the wider public.

THM Chair of Trustees, Katie Dodd says, “The Trustees and volunteers were delighted to hear the great news that the THM had been awarded this status and it is a public recognition of all the work that has been put in by our curatorial team and volunteers to improve. The Museum has changed significantly since we embarked on this journey as we have undergone a major redevelopment project that has included the recent move to new premises in Woking and the opening of our first in-house exhibition from June. We are thrilled that the Arts Council has made this award and we look forward to using the Accreditation scheme as a tool for developing the Museum further in the coming years”.

For THM this is not the end of our ambitions. The award of Full Accreditation acknowledges that THM is on the right path but we must continue to improve and evolve in order to maintain our new status. We are continuing the work to catalogue and photograph our collections and make them more accessible to the community. We are currently open to the public on Wednesdays but will open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from June. There are plans for a series of Open Days over the coming months and, if there is sufficient demand following our relocation, the Museum may look to open on additional days in the future too.

Of course, none of this would be possible without our dedicated volunteers and supporters, who give their time and enthusiasm to make the THM what it is. A huge thank you goes out to them for helping to make this success happen. The generous support of England Hockey and the International Hockey Federation should also be acknowledged as we work with them to promote and celebrate the fascinating heritage of our sport. We are grateful, too, to Woking Borough Council for their continued support, to Liz May our Museum Mentor, the team at South East Museum Development Programme and to our many other partners who work with us in a range of ways.

If you would like to learn any more about what we do, visiting times, membership or volunteer opportunities, please continue to explore our website or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., THM Curatorial Assistant.

It has recently been brought to our attention that the latest edition (January 2018) of Bluebell News, the publication documenting the happenings on the Bluebell Railway, featured an interesting hockey story.

On 27 August 2017, the Railway's Sheffield Park station was taken over for filming by the cast and crew of "Bollywood extravaganza" Gold. Gold tells the story of the India men's hockey team who won gold medals at the 1948 Olympics, the first time India won an Olympic gold medal as an independent nation. For one night only Sheffield Park in East Sussex became the Amritsar Junction in Lahore. You can read the report from the Bluebell News by clicking the PDF icon below.

The Hockey Museum (THM) has long been aware of the film in question and was consulted by the film's production team prior to shooting. THM's curatorial team offered advice on historical accuracy, specifically with regard to the hockey-playing scenes reflecting the game during that era (rules, equipment etc.). Given the Bluebell News's assertion that "it appears atmosphere is more important than tedious geographical and historical accuracy", in this instance refering to the type of train used in the shoot, we await the film's release to see how much of our advice was taken on board (no train pun intended). Whatever the level of historicity, we're sure that it will be a great film.

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 Shane Smith, 5 February 2018

"The Hockey Museum First XI" Exhibition

18 July 2018
"The Hockey Museum First XI" Exhibition

A sneak peek of one particularly colourful corner of the exhibition. Following our recent move to new and larger premises in central Woking, THM has put on its first, in-house exhibition: The Hockey Museum First XI. Today, hockey teams can field up of sixteen players (and eighteen in World Events): one...

The Magic Of Wembley: The Hockey Museum Launches Its First Book

16 July 2018
The Magic Of Wembley: The Hockey Museum Launches Its First Book

The magic of Wembley is the first publication from The Hockey Museum. It tells the story of how a Saturday in March saw thousands of schoolgirls and hockey supporters enjoy an annual day out to the famous stadium, to see England playing regular visitors such as Scotland, Ireland and Wales...

Apply Now For Hockey PhD

12 July 2018
Apply Now For Hockey PhD

The Hockey Museum (THM) and The University of Wolverhampton are delighted to announce that the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) have approved funding for a collaborative PhD post to be jointly supervised by The University of Wolverhampton and THM. This award is part of the Sporting Heritage consortia initiative led...

THM Is Officially ACE

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THM Is Officially ACE

    The Hockey Museum (THM) is celebrating after the announcement that Arts Council England has awarded it Full Museum Accreditation. Accreditation is granted by the Arts Council England (ACE) to museums that meet the stringent requirements imposed by their Accreditation Standard. It enables museums to assess their current performance,...

Indian Summer For Bluebell Railway

05 February 2018
Indian Summer For Bluebell Railway

It has recently been brought to our attention that the latest edition (January 2018) of Bluebell News, the publication documenting the happenings on the Bluebell Railway, featured an interesting hockey story. On 27 August 2017, the Railway's Sheffield Park station was taken over for filming by the cast and crew of "Bollywood...

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