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EnglishCup01I 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 enquiry was in relation to the English Cup. A request had been forwarded to the Museum from Alan Lancaster. He had a photograph (left) of his mother, Doreen Lancaster nee Howles and her two sisters, June Taylor and Vera Simpson holding the 'English Cup'. He also had a picture of the team with an inscription on the back: "English Cup Winners – Newhey". The picture was from the early 1950s. The Museum did not have any knowledge of the English Cup and so asked if I could have a look into it.

Further information from Alan stated the three sisters also played for Bury Ladies Hockey Club and that his mother also played cricket for Littleborough and England.

Newhey is a district in Rochdale and early research with Rochdale Museum did not produce any information. Research on the internet again produced no results in relation to the cup or the Newhey team. However I was speaking to a friend of mine about the enquiry and she invited me to go the Bolton Archives Department with her as she was doing some research in relation to the Bolton Sunday Schools League (later Sport Federation) which is 100 years old in 2016. The department had four minutes books for the league going back to 1929, the earlier books are missing. I began looking in the book covering the period 1941-1953 and, believe it or not, on the second page I came across an entry in relation to the English Cup. Looking further at this book and one covering the period 1929-1941, I came across a number of references to the English Cup including part of the draw for the first round of the 1940 competition, names of the umpires for the 1942 competition, references to how many teams the league should enter in the 1944 competition and an entry requesting that the teams that enter the competition be given a grant by the league towards expenses; a point that the committee ruled against. I also found references to the ELHL Association, who appear to be involved in the organisation of the English Cup.

I am continuing with my research and hope to find out much more but if anyone has any information about the three sisters, the English Cup, Newhey Ladies Hockey Club, Bury Ladies Hockey Club or the ELHL Association, please get in touch with the museum (contact form).


My second enquiry involves a Manchester or Salford team from the 1920s. I have a picture of the team (above) and again they are holding a cup. Strangely the picture only has ten players. I have not been able to find out too much about this team yet but hope to do further research into who they were and what the cup was that they are holding. Could it be the English Cup? It looks strikingly similar to the cup in Alan Lancaster's photograph.

If you are interested in hockey and the history of the sport then I would recommend you volunteer to help the museum. I have really enjoyed looking into the history of the game in the North West and I am sure that I am only scratching at the surface of the information that is out there but may be lost if we don’t help to preserve it and record it.

Mark Evans, 16 August 2015


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