Blasts From The Past

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For many, Lockdown was an opportunity to have a ‘clear out’ and The Hockey Museum (THM) has received a tremendous amount of new material as a result.

Despite being closed for a significant part of the year, we received over 100 new collections. Among these:

  • The collection of late National League umpire Tarsem Chaggar;
  • A gift of master tapes and DVDs of coaching films was received from England international and Olympic coach Gavin Featherstone;
  • The remnants of the Hounslow HC collection arrived;
  • The doctoral thesis of Joanne Halpin: ‘Will You Walk into our Parlour?’: The Rise of Leagues and their Impact on the Governance of Women’s Hockey in England 1895-1939;
  • 23 volumes of Punch managazine containing 23 cartoons of hockey spanning 101 years from 1850 to 1951;
  • We received further material from the career of England’s World Cup-winning captain Anita White;
  • A loan of material relating to GB goalkeeper Harry Haslam, including a framed portrait painting and his Olympic gold medal; and
  • The library that already held nearly 2,000 books has received 40 more during the two lockdowns.

THM’s dedicated band of volunteers have continued to come in whenever we have been allowed to open, cataloguing material and making headway against our backlog.

Anita White jacket low res

Anita White's England blazer from the 1971 International Federation of Women's Hockey

Associations (IFWHA) World Tournament in Auckland, New Zealand, 1971.

We have made great strides to collate all the magazines held by THM across the various collections, working to create full sets and identify gaps in preparation for forthcoming digitisation projects. We will be putting out appeals for those we are missing, so stay tuned.

THM’s commitment to collections and archiving was confirmed at the recent Trustees’ Meeting, held on Zoom of course, when it was agreed to increase Carli’s role as Collections Officer to three days per week from 1 January. Also, with the number of archives held by THM increasing, it was decided to advertise for a two-days-per-week Archivist to assist progress in this vital area. These appointments will need volunteer support, so if you’re interested in hockey heritage, do please make contact.

Tarsem Chaggar 01     Tarsem Chaggar 02
 Objects from the collection of umpire Tarsem Chaggar.

As part of the Hidden Histories Illustrated project, in partnership with Sporting Heritage and Illustrator Jessica Hartshorn, The Hockey Museum is excited to be included in The Christmas Calendar 'Match It' game.

We have 24 unusual objects from sporting museums across the UK and your task is to try and match the image to the clue. Can you match them all? Also, complete the colouring in sheet, which includes the sporting objects on the answer page. Click the image below to download the activities.

Large print version available.


Hidden Histories

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The Hockey Museum (THM) is delighted to announce that it has been successful in securing a £15,000 grant from Arts Council England’s Lottery Fund. The award is for a study to assess the feasibility of a mobile exhibition facility so that the stories and objects from hockey’s rich history can be shared more easily and more widely with the public.

THM have commissioned Tricolor Associates to work with its team on this exciting project, which has the potential to engage audiences with hockey heritage on a national and possibly even European level.

THM Trustee, Philip Kimberley who led the grant application said:

“THM is grateful to Arts Council England and the National Lottery for their support of the initial planning and feasibility work for a mobile hockey exhibition/experience. We are the custodians of a wonderfully vast array of heritage objects and historical stories, but outside of its exhibitions at major international tournaments, THM has lacked the ability to consistently and impactfully share these with the public. This opportunity to ask, listen, learn and get creative with the concept of a mobile facility begins yet another stage of THM’s innovative journey.”

Sarah Dowd, Director of Tricolor said:

“Tricolor is delighted to be working with The Hockey Museum to explore new, innovative options for engaging with players, families and fans in the hockey community and beyond. The museum shows real aspiration and a desire to disrupt how sports heritage is made accessible to different audiences, tapping into the heart of what makes sport playing and spectatorship so enjoyable and for some, a lifelong passion.”

For further information, please use the contact form.

The Hockey Museum (THM) is pleased to announce that one of its latest acquisitions is a set of coaching tapes produced by well-known international hockey coach Gavin Featherstone. Gavin has gifted to the museum the master tapes from 14 videos that he produced from the mid 1980s through to the mid naughties. As part of the gift Gavin has passed to THM the rights for us to use the extensive footage to help promote the activity of THM.

Gavin played for and captained England in 42 matches at all levels before becoming a coach. His coaching took him all over the world, including taking the USA and South African teams to the Olympic Games. It was his experience of coaching around the world that forms the basis of these amazing coaching tapes.

The tapes cover a wide-ranging subject list, incorporating Gavin’s very analytical and sometimes unique take on hockey. They are of an exceptionally high quality and include fascinating footage of matches that are not normally available. We will be presenting a full listing, including a few clips, in the new year.

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Left: Gavin directing training exercises for the tapes in Los Angeles, USA.

Right: A selection of covers from Gavin's coaching tapes.

Gavin visited THM recently to deliver the tapes, saying that he hoped they would add to the many treasures already in THM. In addition to his coaching, Gavin has already penned three books on hockey which are available from THM’s shop – please make an enquiry through our website contact form (select "THM Shop"):

  • The Hockey Dynamic: Examining the Forces That Shaped the Modern Game
  • That Ain’t Hockey - More a Way of Life
  • Hockey in the Blood

His new venture is in writing novels, with his first released this month. Titled Rhesus Positive, it is a suspense-fuelled thriller and is available via Amazon Books. A review of his new title appears on the Book Reviews page of our website.

As we arrive at Lockdown 2.0 in England and hockey's league season comes to an abrupt halt, we look back on a few of our favourite pieces of material collected during the first push and hopefully bring a bit of happiness and warmth in doing so.

You can find out more about The Hockey Museum's #CollectingCOVID contemporary collecting initiative here.

All images and video shared here with the permission of the club, school or provider.


Wick Ladies' HC

Wick Ladies' HC wrote a club song that inspired a virtual club music festival.  How's that for teamwork?


Merton HC

Junior players from Merton HC in South London conducted a skills marathon (26 skills in 26 minutes) to fundraise for the NHS and NSPCC Childline. They raised a wonderful £700!


West Bridgford HC

Steve Lemotee of West Bridgford HC enjoyed some socially distanced dribbling around Nottingham without getting tackled.

V1062 Easter 2020 in Nottm Arboretum pigeons Steve LeMottee      V1068 Easter 2020 in Nottm Robin Hood statue Steve LeMottee      V1069 Easter 2020 in Nottm Tram Steve LeMottee
Left to right: Steve Lemottee in Nottingham Arboretum, dribbling around the city's Robin Hood statue, and being closed down by an on-rushing, heavy-set opponent.

10 Touch Challenge

The 10 Touch Challenge went viral complete with loo rolls and hockey got in on the action.


Godolphin & Latymer School

Godolphin & Latymer School's girl's hockey team ran to fundraise for the NHS. They raised nearly £10,000!

V1171 Hockey Squad
V1172 NHS
Godolphin & Latymer School's girl's hockey team who ran 5km and used GPS to spell out a message of support in the process.

Big Night Spin Challenge

The Big Night Spin Challenge brought back memories of festival hockey games.


Footscray HC

And our appeal even reached Australia with Footscray HC in Melbourne delighting us with a re-imagining (ahem) of John Lennon's signature tune.

Mercian House 1988
Mercian House in 1988, adorned with bunting and Union 'Jack' flag following the GB men winning the gold medal at the Seoul Olympic Games. Hundreds of passing motorists sounded their horns in appreciation.


The Curator and founder of The Hockey Museum (THM) Mike Smith was also the founder of the well-known hockey equipment supplier Mercian, back in 1974. The business moved to Woking in 1978 and its home and premises in Maybury Road became a well-known hockey landmark, both for players looking for equipment and the millions that passed by on the train.

Mercian’s home at 151-152 Maybury Road also became the spiritual home/birthplace of THM thanks to Mike’s deep interest in the history and heritage of our sport. He collected anything to do with hockey and with a warehouse at the rear of the premises he was able to store things! He set up a library and archive which many students of hockey visited long before THM became a reality in its own home in 2011, also in Woking.

Mercian prospered and moved to larger premises a year or so ago, meaning that Mercian House became redundant. Although, after 42 years of faithful service to hockey the building and site are to be redeveloped, a link will continue as the development is to retain the name of Mercian House. The cast nameplate that has adorned it for the past four decades will continue a link with our sport.


Back row: Jennie Braham (England); Joan Horne (Ireland); Maureen Short (E); Helen Weir (Scotland); Bridget Cannel (E); Thelma Hopkins (I); Valerie Sinclair (S).
Sitting: Mary Hyland (Wales); Janice Mitchell (S); Joyce Hunter (S); Mrs Hopkins, Manager (I); Nan Thomas (W); Ellen Toulson (E); Helen O’Neil (I).
Kneeling: Barbara Stacey (W); Janet Morgan (W).

Following hot on the heels of our Great Britain (GB) men’s centenary in the build up to National Sporting Heritage Day 2020, our stats project has revealed another distinguished occasion: the first, newly certified GB women’s matches.

The 55th anniversary was last week (more detail here), but its significance was only realised following new research by The Hockey Museum (THM). Previously, the test matches played by the Great Britain & Ireland Touring Team in the USA in 1965 were not considered official and did not count as GB-capped matches. So, not only did these matches take place before what was previously recognised as the first GB women’s match, but these women have now become the first GB players!

The problem is that we haven’t been able to trace them all – or their families – to give them the good news. We have located six of the squad: Janice Lang (nee Mitchell) and Valerie Crombie (nee Sinclair) from Scotland; Eirianwen (Nan) Thomas and Janet Hopkin (Morgan) from Wales; and Joan Priestman (Horne) of Ireland. They have all contributed to the telling of the story of the tour.

Following recent promotion, we received three more contacts – Helen O'Boyle (nee O'Neill), Ellen Jenkins (nee Toulson) and the son of Jennifer Stokes (nee Braham) who sadly died in 2012  but there are six still to trace. Can you help us?

Bridget Parkes
(nee Cannell; capped for England) – married just before the tour; at that time living in the Manchester area.

Mary Hyland (capped for Wales) – possibly emigrated to Canada.

Thelma Hopkins (capped for Ireland also in athletics) – married (McClernon) at end of the tour before emigrating to Canada.

Joyce Hunter (Tour Captain; capped for Scotland) – deceased, so looking for family connections.

Helen Weir (GK; capped for Scotland) – deceased, so looking for family connections.

Maureen Short (capped for England) – deceased, so looking for family connections.

You can use these links to the Facebook and Twitter social media posts to share and re-tweet. The wider we can reach, the greater our chances of success. Please take a moment to help.


Following the centenary of the first Great Britain (GB) men’s international match (vs Denmark) on 1 September 1920 at the Antwerp Olympic Games comes the 55th anniversary of the GB women’s team’s first international appearance on 9 October 1965.

This game occurred during a 63-day tour of the USA by a British and Irish team, nicknamed the GBITTs, comprising players from all four Home Nations.

The game against the 1964 US team was played on grass at Kent Place School, New Jersey, and resulted in a 5-1 win for the British team. Their highly impressive tour record against all teams was: played 24, with 22 wins, one draw and one defeat, 161 goals for and 13 against.

A further game against the 1965 US team, now designated as Great Britain’s second official women’s international, took place on 28 November 1965 at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, during the annual USFHA Tournament. It ended in a 4-4 draw. The tourists’ only defeat was a 2-1 reverse against Brandywine.


GBITT J Hornes Muckross Blazer Great Britian and Ireland Ladies tour of USA 1965     GBITT J Hornes Muckross cloth badge Great Britian and Ireland Ladies tour of USA 1965
Joan Horne's blazer from the Great Britain and Ireland tour of USA, 1965.
Image credit: Dublin City Library and Irish Hockey Archives.

The tour was sanctioned by the Women’s British & Irish Hockey Board but was self-financed by the players, although the Welsh members received £50 from their governing body. The squad comprised 15 players – four each from England, Scotland and Wales and three from Ireland, one of whom was from Ulster – plus a manager Mrs Hopkins, the mother of the Ulster representative Thelma Hopkins. They had no coach, physio or other support staff.

The squad was largely made up of existing internationals although a Welsh member, Mary Hyland, who replaced the English Jean Mead, was a Wales Reserve player with no previous senior caps and gained none after the tour. Three others – one each from England, Wales and Scotland – were from their nations’ Reserve teams. Four of the party, including the captain Joyce Hunter, a Scot, plus the manager, have now passed away, the whereabouts of four more are unknown and two are believed to have emigrated to Canada.

Back row: Jennie Braham (England); Joan Horne (Ireland); Maureen Short (E); Helen Weir (Scotland); Bridget Cannel (E); Thelma Hopkins (I); Valerie Sinclair (S).
Sitting: Mary Hyland (Wales); Janice Mitchell (S); Joyce Hunter (S); Mrs Hopkins, Manager (I); Nan Thomas (W); Ellen Toulson (E); Helen O’Neil (I).
Kneeling: Barbara Stacey (W); Janet Morgan (W).

The players had not met as a team before the tour; their first game together was in the first match against Long Island which they won 11-0. This was not their biggest win as they later beat Baltimore 12-0.

Despite the one defeat the captain Joyce Hunter said: “We can still claim a record – we never came off the field with a wet uniform, a tribute to US weather and our luck!”
The quality of the pitches they encountered was varied with some described as “like a ploughed field.”

24 games in 63 days, mainly along the East Coast, from Boston in the North to Virginia in the South and Chicago to the West, meant a lot of travel by air and on Greyhound buses. Accommodation was with families, some in very plush homes and in colleges, with roommates rotated to help in team bonding. All five tourists this writer spoke to were full of praise for the hospitality they received and the facilities at the college venues.

The food they enjoyed was also much praised with the generous helpings a great temptation. Fitness was maintained in runs rather than in gyms. Lobster at Hugo’s in Boston proved memorable while beef burgers and the 28 varieties of ice cream at Howard Johnson’s were favourites.

Despite the short down time between matches, the squad managed to visit many famous tourist places en route. At the outset they visited the World’s Fair in New York, a flight to Rochester gave them a view of the Great Lakes, and Niagara Falls was a highlight. In Washington they visited the Capitol, the White House and Arlington Cemetery, which they found very moving. Their final three days after the last game were based in a New York hotel and allowed visits to the Empire State building, the United Nations, Broadway, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Greenwich Village – and the inevitable shopping. Some admitted to having to buy a larger suitcase for the return flight.

Following this highly successful tour, it would be some 13 years before a formal Great Britain structure was put in place to select and prepare a team to compete in the first women’s Olympic tournament in Moscow in 1980. Because of the boycott GB did not compete in Moscow and it was not until the 1988 Seoul Games that GB women made their Olympic debut.


 GBITT and USA captains with Constance Applebee, the British-born
pioneer credited with bringing hockey to the United States.


Sheila Morrow, President of Great Britain Hockey, commenting on the anniversary event, said: “I have enormous pleasure and pride to add my congratulations to the pioneering group of women who represented Great Britain & Ireland on the 1965 tour and are now recognised as playing the first ever women’s GB matches and earning the first ever women’s GB honours caps.

“Those visionary officials who collaborated to ensure the tour went ahead, together with the players selected to represent GB, certainly paved the way for future squads and set a standard that all subsequent GB internationals have striven to emulate. As GB President, I look forward to meeting members of this first team as soon as practicable and giving public acknowledgement of their achievements.”

Scot Janice Lang (nee Mitchell) summed up the reaction of the players, twelve of whom will earn honours caps, saying: “I’m absolutely stunned at the news but delighted to get tangible recognition of our achievement after all this time.”

The importance of this USA tour in the annals of hockey history has been uncovered by the very thorough investigative work carried out by the volunteer statisticians at The Hockey Museum. It is amazing that prior to this study project no definitive playing records existed for the Great Britain teams. It was through the investigations that this 1965 tour became apparent and, as the Americans had advertised the two games as full internationals, it was obvious that GB had to consider including them.

The study is now complete with 415 women’s matches in addition to the 615 men’s matches. The records give full results of all matches, with goal scorers, match number and, most interestingly, the player numbers. The numbers for the tourists to the USA are easy to determine as they were the very first GB women’s internationals. The remainder, together with all the other fascinating information, will be announced in May 2021 when the GB teams preparing to go to the Tokyo Olympics will receive their international honours caps.

This will be followed over the next few years by definitive details of England players, hopefully in time for the World Cups, then a listing of all international matches ever played, some 29,000 of them. The Hockey Museum also has volunteers working on a listing of Umpires and Officials, the unsung heroes of our sport. Then we will turn our attention to the English National and Regional Leagues for which virtually no complete records exist.


If you fancy getting involved with this fascinating and rewarding work, please get in touch. Don’t be frightened off because you have no experience in statistics.

The writer is indebted to the five tourists who contributed to the composition of the story of the USA tour: Janice Lang (nee Mitchell) and Valerie Crombie (Sinclair) from Scotland; Eirianwen (Nan) Thomas and Janet Hopkin (Morgan) from Wales; and Joan Priestman (Horne) of Ireland. Their memories in recalling events 55 years ago were remarkable.

To continue our good work and to achieve our ambitions we really need your help. You can support our charitable museum financially by donating or becoming a Friend.

Please contribute to the creation of a world-class museum for hockey and help us to give hockey's history a future.

Click here to find out more.


To celebrate this year's National Sporting Heritage Day, Sporting Heritage have created a family treasure hunt showcasing the amazing sporting heritage collections available around the UK, including that of The Hockey Museum.

Click the map below to visit the Sporting Heritage website and begin your treasure hunt.


NSHD Treasure Map Final

The Hockey Museum in Woking has had a first sight of a 1920 Olympic gold medal. It was won by Harry Haslam OBE, the Great Britain (GB) hockey goalkeeper at the Antwerp Games, and is on loan to the Museum from the Haslam family, together with memorabilia, including an oil painting of Haslam, his Antwerp participation medal and civilian medals.


Harry Haslam display 04     Harry Haslam display 05
Harry Haslam display 06      Harry Haslam display 08 
The Harry Haslam display at The Hockey Museum.   

The medal and memorabilia was on display at a private presentation at the Museum on 5 September, the centenary of the close of the 1920 hockey tournament, attended by ten of Haslam’s descendants - socially distanced, of course. They received a personalised tour of the Museum and Haslam's GB honours cap from triple Olympic hockey goalkeeper Simon Mason. It was a wonderful event with three generations of Haslam's descendents present and the children clearly delighting in the experience.


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 Harry Haslam’s honours cap is presented to his great grandson Richard Ottaway by triple Olympian Simon Mason.   Christopher Ottaway, descendent of Harry Haslam, wearing the honours cap commemorating his relative’s hockey appearances (caps) for Great Britain.   Francesca Ottaway wearing her great, great grandfather's honours cap. 


Richard Ottaway, great grandson of Harry, said:

"The day was truly memorable for all of us; the cap really is a thing of beauty, significance and status. My daughter Francesca was really taken in by everything. I never want to force anything on her so when sporting and family heritage is able to be passed on in this way it is very pleasing. You captured some wonderful photos – infinite thanks for everything."

Harry Haslam has been designated as GB men’s player number one. The official launch of honours caps to current and past GB international hockey players will be held at an FIH Pro League weekend in London next May.


Gold medal Antwerp 1920 front     Gold medal Antwerp 1920 reverse

Harry Haslam’s gold medal from the Antwerp Olympic Games of 1920.

Font: left / Obverse: right


The Antwerp medal is of gold gilt, unlike the 1908 London Olympic gold medal also held on loan by the Museum and looks more like silver. It is believed this less expensive metal was used be-cause money was scarce so soon after World War One.

On the obverse of the medal, a tall, naked athlete, holding in his left hand a palm leaf and a laurel crown, symbols of victory. On the reverse, the Antwerp monument, commemorating the legend of Brabo, hero of the city, throwing into the river the hand of a giant who had been terrorizing shipping.

If you are a former GB player, we are interested in talking to you about our plans to make available honours caps to you and your peers. Please get in touch via the website contact form.

Are you tech savvy and understand the power of social media?

Are you plugged into hockey’s diverse community?

Do you have a marketing/fundraising background?

The Hockey Museum (THM) needs you!

THM’s Board of Trustees is currently looking to bring new skills onboard. THM is the world’s only museum dedicated to the sport of hockey and we want to build a Board that better represents the diversity of the hockey family as well as expanding our skill set.

The physical museum that houses our collections is located in Woking, Surrey; however, we are now developing our online collection and resources to become digital by default within five years. We are building strong online partnerships with both England Hockey and The International Hockey Federation.

The museum is run by a small permanent staff team who are supported by over forty regular volunteers and a Board of Trustees. We are seeking to recruit one or two new trustees who would wish to be part of our exciting project as we continue to grow and promote THM.

Being a trustee of THM is a voluntary role and trustees are expected to attend four board meetings per year. As THM is a very small museum, trustees are necessarily required to be more involved in the museum’s operations and most trustees carry out a specific role based on their skills and experience. This will require some extra work outside of general trustee duties as carried out for board meetings; this work may be undertaken remotely.

You do not need to be a hockey player to be a trustee. We are seeking enthusiastic people who can add value to our museum by applying their skills and experience to help us lead THM into the future. We are committed to progressing towards achieving gender parity and greater diversity on our Board and we are particularly keen to receive applications from BAME communities. We have noted that the age profile of the Board is another element of diversity we wish to address.

If you have the relevant skills or experience in the areas identified above, we would love to hear from you. For more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or email your CV and a one page letter detailing why you are interested. The closing date for applications is Monday 26 October 2020.

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....

Louis Charles Baillon: The Only Falkland Islander Olympic Champion

Louis Charles Baillon: The Only Falkland Islander Olympic Champion

  The England hockey team from the 1908 Olympic Final. Louis Baillon is seated furthest left.   Louis Charles Baillon is the only Falkland islander to have won an Olympic gold medal. He achieved this feat as a member of the England hockey team that won gold at the 1908...

Alan Turing: WW2 hockey-playing hero features on £50 note

Alan Turing: WW2 hockey-playing hero features on £50 note

After the 2014 feature film The Imitation Game and other publicity most people are now aware of the amazing contribution made by Alan Turing and the remarkable team at Bletchley Park during World War 2. It is often said that their efforts helped the Allies to win the war and...

Christ’s Hospital's Jovial WW1 Charity Match

Christ’s Hospital's Jovial WW1 Charity Match

    These photographs tell the story of a convivial charity match involving Christ's Hospital school (CH) during World War One (WW1). They were unearthed by staff at Christ’s Hospital Museum and shared with The Hockey Museum.             Photographs of the hockey match fundraiser, 1917....

Kenya Hockey Olympians Conference

Kenya Hockey Olympians Conference

I was delighted and honoured to be invited as one of the Guests of Honour at a virtual conference for Kenyan hockey Olympians on Sunday 30 May 2021. The invitation was extended by Hilary Fernandes, Kenya’s triple Olympian, and Raphael Fernandes, a Kenyan Los Angeles 1984 Olympian. Raphael co-ordinated the...

The ‘Hockey Girl’ And The Pursuit of Love

The ‘Hockey Girl’ And The Pursuit of Love

  Cartoon from the Punch Almanack, 1903. The caption reads:"We had a scratch game with the 'Black and Blue' Club yesterday, but had an awful job to get any men. Enid's brother and a friend of his turned up at the last moment; but they didn't do much except call 'offside'...

A Biography of Janet Macklin (née Smallwood)

A Biography of Janet Macklin (née Smallwood)

When Janet Smallwood (later Mrs Macklin) was awarded her first international cap for Scotland in 1951 she was not the first member of her family to have an international sporting honour – her father, Alistair Smallwood, was selected to play for England Rugby in the 1920s. Alistair was born in...

The Festival of Britain’s Grand International Hockey Tournament 1951

The Festival of Britain’s Grand International Hockey Tournament 1951

    Cover of the programme for the Grand International Hockey Tournament during the Festival of Britain, 1951.Click the image to download the full programme as a PDF.Credit: the AEWHA Collection at the University of Bath Library.   Seventy years ago in May 1951, a very unusual sporting event was staged...

Harvey Wood: England’s Mysterious Giant Goalkeeper

Harvey Wood: England’s Mysterious Giant Goalkeeper

A recent piece of research on the 1908 Olympic Games together with a study on hockey in the East Riding of Yorkshire by museum volunteer researcher James Ormandy, has unearthed a mystery that spans both hockey and social history. James’s research on hockey in the East Riding has revealed an...

Bandy In Shakespeare

Bandy In Shakespeare

   Portrait of William Shakespeare, 1610. Possibly painted by John Taylor. There are several references to the word ‘bandy’ in the works of English playwright William Shakespeare, including one in Romeo and Juliet when Romeo, trying to stop a fight between Tybalt and Mercutio, declares: “The Prince expressly hath forbidden...

Hockey-Playing Thespians Of The Edwardian Era

Hockey-Playing Thespians Of The Edwardian Era

  Frank Benson, actor and hockey players, inWilliam Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. The Edwardian era would witness the peak of theatre going and its watershed moment as cinema arrived. It also witnessed a sporting boom – especially in hockey – and one club, Benson’s Hockey Club, had done...

It's A Date: Celebrating the First Scotland Women's International Match

It's A Date: Celebrating the First Scotland Women's International Match

By Katie Dodd      The first Scotland women's team, 1901. The 13 April 2001 is the 120th anniversary of Scotland women’s very first international match, played against Ireland in Dublin. I was first made aware of this special date during a conversation with Evlyn Raistrick, former Scottish and International...

Easter Festivals in Years Gone By

Easter Festivals in Years Gone By

Not that many years ago Easter festivals were the much-anticipated climax to the hockey season. Many hundreds of teams, certainly well into four figures, would travel to play in one of over fifty festivals that took place around Britain. The most popular venues were seaside ones, from Bournemouth to Bridlington...

An Amazing Find As The Hockey Museum Links Up With The British Museum

An Amazing Find As The Hockey Museum Links Up With The British Museum

It’s not often that small, independent museums like The Hockey Museum (THM) have an opportunity to change the narrative of national history, but today we share some very exciting news concerning a highly significant archaeological collection – the Anglo-Saxon burial ship at Sutton Hoo. Sutton Hoo gained a lot of...

Welsh Honours Caps: A Tale of Interrelated Research

Welsh Honours Caps: A Tale of Interrelated Research

By Elton Riches I was researching in The Hockey Museum (THM) library reviewing the early hockey periodicals for photographs or illustrations of player-issued caps. I located a black-and-white photograph in an 1898 publication showing the Welsh men’s hockey team wearing honours caps. Clear evidence that the Welsh national teams were...

Remembering Wembley

Remembering Wembley

On 3 March 2021 The Hockey Museum (THM) celebrated the 70th anniversary of the first England women’s hockey match at Wembley Stadium in 1951. In partnership with Talk Hockey Radio, we produced a podcast (The Special One - Epsiode 6) and video of the personal memories of Maggie Souyave, Anita White...

Wembley Was A Family Affair

Wembley Was A Family Affair

By Christabel Russell Vick I grew up knowing that the Wembley hockey international was the biggest fixture in the women’s hockey calendar. When I talked to my mother (Mary Russell Vick) about her hockey career, I was amazed to discover that these matches at the iconic Wembley Stadium were entirely...

The First Ever Women's International Hockey Match in 1896

The First Ever Women's International Hockey Match in 1896

   Action photo of Ireland vs England women, the first ever women's international hockey match in 1896.   2 March 2021 is the 125th anniversary of the first ever women’s international hockey match in 1896, between Ireland and England. Ireland beat England 2-0. The game took place on the Alexandra...

Unearthing Further Hockey Connections At Sutton Hoo

Unearthing Further Hockey Connections At Sutton Hoo

  Sutton Hoo excavation, 1939. Still from film made by Harold John Phillips.Public domain. In a recent article (click here) we covered the links that exist between the Netflix blockbuster film The Dig and our sport of hockey. Following that piece, we received news of a further hockey connection. If...

Digging Hockey: An Excavation of Edith Pretty's Links to Hockey

Digging Hockey: An Excavation of Edith Pretty's Links to Hockey

by Dr Jo Halpin.     Portrait of Edith Pretty by Dutch artist Cor Visser.© National Trust / Robin Pattinson   Edith Pretty is famous for unearthing an Anglo-Saxon burial ship on her land at Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, in 1939 – an event that has now been made...

In Search of The Hull & District Hockey Register

In 1900 there were just twenty clubs from the North affiliated to the Hockey Association (HA) causing some historians have been misled as to the game’s popularity outside of the home counties. In most northern towns and cities at this time hockey playing was increasingly popular. For example: in Hull...

Never Defeated By Wine Or In A Game: A Secret Edwardian Gentlemen's Hockey Club

Never Defeated By Wine Or In A Game: A Secret Edwardian Gentlemen's Hockey Club

   Cover of the Sticks Club Handbook, 1910   A fascinating item recently came into The Hockey Museum’s possession which threw an amusing light on a social activity in London hockey circles in the early years of the last century. It was the history of an exclusive gentlemen’s hockey club...

The Jean Arnold Collection: The Lord Mayor's Cup

The Jean Arnold Collection: The Lord Mayor's Cup

The Jean Arnold collection was donated to The Hockey Museum (THM) during lockdown and is now helping to uncover more of the once-hidden history of women’s league hockey.   Jean Arnold  Jean Arnold, a well-known figure in Liverpool hockey circles, has donated a large number of items relating to the...

Baffling Brass Buttons

Baffling Brass Buttons

  The Hockey Museum (THM) has recently acquired a set of blazer buttons that once adorned the England blazer of George Hardy. These buttons, emblazoned (ahem) with the HA logo of the Hockey Association, presumably made their way to Hardy’s fellow England player, Captain John Yate Robinson who passed them...

A Tale Of Principled Pilley

On 14 April 1935 (not 1938 as stated on this British Pathé YouTube clip), Germany women played England women in Berlin. The result was 6-4 victory for England. An unexpected tour given the precarious political situation in Europe. The England team line up: Eileen Arnold (GK), Mary Knott (Cptn), Marjorie...

A Rare Item In The Modern Hockey World

A Rare Item In The Modern Hockey World

The Hockey Museum recently received a Winchester HC fixture card for the 2017-2018 season. This came as a bit of a surprise as we knew that many (most?) clubs no longer produce such a publication. With the availability of information on the internet and social media they have become virtually...

Old Creightonians Archive Arrives With A Suprise

Old Creightonians Archive Arrives With A Suprise

Mike Smith, Curator of THM (left) discusses theOld Creightonians HC archive with Simon Lawton-Smith (right). At The Hockey Museum (THM) we receive at least one collection each week, but not many have a twist in the story like this one. A recent visit by Simon Lawton-Smith brought us the club records...

Terrific Trophies

Terrific Trophies

Over the past couple of years, a considerable amount of material, including a large collection of trophies, has come to THM from Cannock HC. It was rescued from the former National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes by Laurie Alcock, affectionately known as 'Mr Cannock'. Had Laurie not saved it, the cabinets and artefacts...

The Work Of Preserving Hockey Heritage: Saving The AEWHA Scrapbook

The Work Of Preserving Hockey Heritage: Saving The AEWHA Scrapbook

The All England Women’s Hockey Association (AEWHA) Collection is looked after at the University of Bath by their Archivist, Lizzie Richmond. The collection contains many unique and irreplaceable items documenting the evolution of women’s hockey in the UK. Two items, the Hockey Jottings scrapbook and the very first minute book...

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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