News 2013

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We are delighted to announce that The Hockey Museum Life Member, Denys Shortt was recently at Buckingham Palace to receive his OBE for Services to the Economy.

Denys, a former England Under 21 international, is a great supporter of hockey and of The Hockey Museum. He is a serial entrepreneur and has founded several companies including DCS Europe, Enable Software and Deal-Track. He employs over 300 people in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Our congratulations to him and sincere thanks for all his continued support.

Den1

Mike Barford, a well known member of Richmond Hockey Club and long term organiser of the annual Varsity Match, has joined the volunteer team at the Museum.

For the last six years, Mike Barford has been working in the Christ’s Hospital School (CH) Museum, leading a team of volunteers who have been sorting, storing, cataloguing and promoting its extensive collections. These collections include 169 oil paintings which are on display throughout the school’s buildings and which feature on the BBC Your Paintings website. CH also has a complete archive record of pupils who have entered CH since 1563 which is deposited at London Metropolitan Archives and which is an invaluable source of information for family history researchers.

An impressive permanent exhibition was set up in the CH Museum in 1994, displaying all manner of artefacts which tell the story of this remarkable school, which was founded in the City of London in 1552, and which moved to Horsham in 1902. A permanent staff of two had developed the museum throughout the 90s, but financial cutbacks led to the museum being effectively mothballed in 2003.

When, in 2006, Mike visited the school where he had taught from 1971 to 1974 in order to research a book which he was writing about CH engravings, he found a huge backlog of unsorted and uncatalogued material which had continued to be donated. Most of the existing catalogues could no longer be related to the items which they listed and were therefore of little practical value. There were also no computer facilities in the Museum.

Embarking on a limited project to sort and catalogue the collections of books and engravings, other volunteers came forward to help and within 18 months he found himself leading a team of six dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers, working their way through all the collections with the help of six networked computers which were installed.

Six years on, the volunteer team has sorted and catalogued nearly all the collections using basic collection managements systems which they set up, financed and published seven books which feature items from the collections, mounted a major exhibition at Horsham Museum, initiated an extensive programme of digitisation of unique archive material and created a website within CH’s own website.

Eighteen months ago, they were joined by an experienced, qualified museum curator who has added her expertise to the enthusiasm of the volunteers and is reviewing the collections management systems with a view to these becoming compliant with the demands of museum accreditation.

They work closely with the school in promoting CH’s unique heritage as the most charitable school in the UK. They also deal with family history enquiries from all over the world.

More information about CH can be found on its website and in particular on the Museum and Heritage page.

Mike hopes that the experience which he has gained at CH, together with the knowledge gleaned from a lifetime of collecting books and engravings about hockey, will be helpful to the team working at The Hockey Museum.

Katie Dodd, May 2013

oldestThe Museum had a visit recently from two stars from the past, Bill Wyatt and John Peake.

Bill, who has recently celebrated his 100th birthday, had the distinction of playing for England both before and after WW2, whilst the slightly younger John won a silver medal with Great Britain in the 1948 London Olympics.

Bill came to prominence in the early 1930s whilst at Cambridge University and went on to have a distinguished career for England, playing 33 times. John and Bill played together in the 1948 team (see team photo) and ‘youngster’ John recalls that Bill was a much respected and stylish player.

Bill had a fall at home the day before the recent get-together, but was not going to put off coming to the Museum. Bill and John spent some time together going through some of the Museum’s collection of photographs and reminiscing about their experiences, whilst their conversation was recorded by a member of the Dorking Oral History Society.

In view of the recent announcement of a Great Britain training squad for Rio, I asked John about preparations for the 1948 Olympics. John told me, "The hockey season ended at Easter with the great gathering at Folkestone. And of course [the Olympics] was going to be in the summer. We hardly met each other. It wasn’t until six weeks before leaving that we had a gathering. We got together with some local people and played, and this is the first time we saw the people from Scotland and Wales. We were all pretty fit; we were playing tennis or squash or something. Nevertheless, we had nothing like the long build-up that they have now."

Prompted by this I took the opportunity to talk to the two veteran players about fitness. Whilst John believes that players of their era were as fit as modern day players, Bill had a rather surprising take on the subject. "We didn’t go for a five mile run before breakfast," he told me. "I think our Saturday game was enough to keep us fit."

The game has clearly changed since their day, but John is very positive about the changes. "I think some of the rules that have changed are for the better. We used to have a roll in from the side and that used to be a rather tangled thing, and long corners weren’t very special. We used to have a 'sticks' rule (lifting the stick above the shoulder). That’s gone and I think that’s a pity."

It was a great experience meeting these two stars from the past. Although the game itself may have changed, it still manages to carry on the great traditions which were established by the likes of Bill and John.

Peter Savage, May 2013

Playing hockey in the streets was an issue for the police in the 1830s. In the minutes of evidence before the select committee on policing on 22 February 1838, Captain Peter Page told the committee: "In the neighbourhood of London there is 'hockey' played, by which serious injury may be committed and there is no punishment for it except the fine of 40s which children cannot pay". He was of the opinion that juveniles convicted of this summary offence be flogged.

In the report of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis for the year 1880, Superintendent C Digby of V Division (Wandsworth area) reported that fourteen summonses were taken out by police for playing hockey in the streets. Hockey has come a long way since then.

Dil Bahra, April 2013

wembley2Nan Williams, a former England international and volunteer at The Hockey Museum, has been researching the history of the Wembley internationals that were played between 1951-1991.

There must be loads of memorabilia, photos and stories that you all have that Nan would be interested in. Does anyone have photos of those famous Wembley teas – the sandwiches were always gone by the time the players arrived! – or images from their school coach or train journeys or examples of the badges and rosettes that were always on sale outside?

Nan would like to interview a number of you that have had Wembley experiences over the years, so I hope you won’t mind if you receive a phone call? Even if you don’t and you have a story to tell, please contact her. Even the story of Lesley Hobley’s unbeaten 8 minutes at Wembley is worth hearing again!

Katie Dodd, April 2013

The Hockey Museum (THM) has acquired two photographs that are thought to be the oldest taken of the modern game.

Three of the Museum’s Trustees attended the annual awards luncheon of the Hockey Writers' Club at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in London’s Knightsbridge on 22 January. One of the guests at the function was John Willmott, the President of Southgate Hockey Club. Surprising everyone, he brought with him a copy of a very old photograph. The picture was labelled "Southgate Second XI" and the date on the photograph is the 1886/87 season. John naturally asked us: "Is this the oldest hockey photograph of the modern game in existence?". We were delighted to see the photograph and it was certainly the oldest any of us had viewed.

However, another surprise was in store for us archivists. The very next day, Mike Smith, our Curator, was back in the Museum at Woking cataloguing a recently acquired collection originally held by Marjorie Pollard, the legendary figure of the women's game in the middle of the last century. He opened a newly arrived box of Pollard’s photographs and immediately discovered one that was very old. It was of an early ladies' team. On the back was written, "East Molesey LHC 1891. Believed to be the oldest photo known of a ladies' team".

Within twenty-four hours the Museum realised it had come across the oldest known photographs of modern hockey for both men and women. East Molesey unfortunately no longer exists but the photograph reveals their 1891 ladies look groomed and immaculate, which could hardly be said of the well-heeled aristocrats of Southgate.

On the back of it, there are the names of the players and the team’s playing record for that season. The player on the left is Sir Ambrose Heal and it was his grandson who unearthed the photograph. The playing record of the Southgate team that year was: played 17, won 14, drew 2, lost 1.

Mike Smith was allowed to speak at that Hockey Writers' luncheon about The Hockey Museum and to encourage the guests to consider donating their old hockey memorabilia. His speech created a lot of interest. Several felt they had potential material for the Museum and contacts were established.

Pat Rowley, February 2013

Audrey Hewes (1932 - 2013)

20 December 2013
Audrey Hewes (1932 - 2013)

2013 closed with the sad news that Audrey Hewes died on 17 December; news that was all the more stunning as just four days before she was her usual chirpy self at our museum Christmas lunch. A larger than life character, Audrey was known and liked throughout the hockey world. Wherever...

Another Milestone For Pat Rowley

02 December 2013
Another Milestone For Pat Rowley

National Hockey Museum Trustee and hockey writer Patrick John Phillip Rowley turns 80 this Sunday (1.12.2013). One of the most senior hockey writers in the world, Pat has been involved in hockey since he first played for Hounslow in 1948 and reported for the Middlesex Chronicle, his local newspaper, on...

Victorian Hockey

03 October 2013
Victorian Hockey

Freddie Martin, a year five hockey player, is doing a School project on Victorian hockey (the School project is Victorians). As part of his research he contacted The Hockey Museum and attended the open day at the Museum on Thursday 3 October 2013. Freddie had the added bonus of meeting...

Call For Goalkeeping Equipment

20 August 2013

Whilst the collections within The Hockey Museum continue to grow every week, we are lacking in the goalkeeping department. In the main, we are looking for equipment from the 'leather' era. We do not have a single example of gloves or chest protectors. We would be very interested in anything...

Hockey In The Wars

14 August 2013

2014 marks the centenary of the start of the First World War and is the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings. Whilst the playing of organised hockey was largely suspended during both World Wars, many, if not most, hockey players of these periods were involved in the conflicts in one...

Argentinian Hockey Writer Visits THM

01 August 2013
Argentinian Hockey Writer Visits THM

Today’s visitor to the Museum was Eric Weil, the senior hockey correspondent in Argentina. British-born Weil emigrated to Argentina in 1951 and immediately wrote for The Standard, an English language paper, and from 1957 for the Buenos Aires Herald and Associated Press. In the past seven decades he has covered...

FIH Endorsement For The Hockey Museum

09 July 2013
FIH Endorsement For The Hockey Museum

At the recent Hockey World League event at Chiswick the International Hockey Ferderation (FIH) CEO, Kelly Fairweather, visited the The Hockey Museum (THM) stand and was clearly impressed with what he saw. In brief discussions, at a very busy event, Kelly said he would like to visit the Museum as soon...

The Polytechnic Sports Ground In Chiswick

30 June 2013
The Polytechnic Sports Ground In Chiswick

The Polytechnic Sports Ground in Chiswick, where the Investec World Womens League Semi-Finals are being played this week, was one of three venues used for the preliminery matches during the 1948 London Olympic Games. The famous pavilion, as seen in these two photographs is still there, although extended in 1960....

Sports Minister Visit

23 June 2013
Sports Minister Visit

The Hockey Museum stand at the Investec World Women's League Semi-Final played host to an important visitor yesterday evening when the Sports Minister, Hugh Robertson, found time in his very busy schedule to have a look around. Escorted by Philip Kimberley, the England Hockey Board Chairman, he asked to visit...

Generous Donation By Former International

17 June 2013

Joan Wall, a former England women’s international, has made a generous donation to The Hockey Museum. She visited the Investec World League Semi-Final at Chiswick today and on arriving at the Museum’s display stand there, handed over a cheque for £1000. Joan, who represented England 14 times in the late...

Luciana Aymar Visit

17 June 2013
Luciana Aymar Visit

Luciana Aymar visited The Hockey Museum (THM) stand at Chiswick yesterday, following Argentina's 4-0 win over Italy in their final Pool A match at the Investec World League Semi-Final. Luciana is the only player in history to receive the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Player of the Year Award seven times and...

Denys Shortt OBE

03 June 2013
Denys Shortt OBE

We are delighted to announce that The Hockey Museum Life Member, Denys Shortt was recently at Buckingham Palace to receive his OBE for Services to the Economy. Denys, a former England Under 21 international, is a great supporter of hockey and of The Hockey Museum. He is a serial entrepreneur and...

Mike Barford Of Christ's Hospital Joins The Museum

21 May 2013

Mike Barford, a well known member of Richmond Hockey Club and long term organiser of the annual Varsity Match, has joined the volunteer team at the Museum. For the last six years, Mike Barford has been working in the Christ’s Hospital School (CH) Museum, leading a team of volunteers who...

England's Oldest International Player?

06 May 2013
England's Oldest International Player?

The Museum had a visit recently from two stars from the past, Bill Wyatt and John Peake. Bill, who has recently celebrated his 100th birthday, had the distinction of playing for England both before and after WW2, whilst the slightly younger John won a silver medal with Great Britain in...

Hockey And Crime

23 April 2013

Playing hockey in the streets was an issue for the police in the 1830s. In the minutes of evidence before the select committee on policing on 22 February 1838, Captain Peter Page told the committee: "In the neighbourhood of London there is 'hockey' played, by which serious injury may be committed...

Wembley

16 April 2013
Wembley

Nan Williams, a former England international and volunteer at The Hockey Museum, has been researching the history of the Wembley internationals that were played between 1951-1991. There must be loads of memorabilia, photos and stories that you all have that Nan would be interested in. Does anyone have photos of...

Oldest Hockey Photo?

18 February 2013

The Hockey Museum (THM) has acquired two photographs that are thought to be the oldest taken of the modern game. Three of the Museum’s Trustees attended the annual awards luncheon of the Hockey Writers' Club at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in London’s Knightsbridge on 22 January. One of the guests...

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