News 2015

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One of our wonderful volunteers Mark Evans has recently had an article published as a chapter in Playing Pasts, the online magazine for sport and leisure history. “Women’s League Hockey and its Early Development” forms one of several chapters on the history of different sports, so anyone interested in sports history might find the book interesting – and it’s free to read.

Needless to say, we’re delighted for Mark. It is deserved recognition of his dedication to his research and his enthusiasm for volunteering with us.

Click here to access the magazine.

Mark says:

"My research interest in women's leagues arose from an initial enquiry from The Hockey Museum in relation to the 'English Cup'. Two photographs were sent to the museum asking for information about the Cup and I began to look into its history and the teams that played in the competition.

The competition was run by the English Ladies Hockey Leagues Association (ELHLA) which looked after the interests of the women's hockey leagues in the North of England and particularly in the South Lancashire area. I began to look into the history of women's league hockey which was thought to be a small part of the hockey scene because competitive hockey was frowned upon and had been largely banned, especially in the South. However, we now know that league hockey was more important than was initially thought and to date I have found evidence for around 30 leagues in England. Many of the teams in the leagues were church based, works based or school based with past pupils wanting to continue playing hockey.

I am continuing my research into the history of league hockey and am currently looking into the history of the Northern Counties Women's Hockey Tournament. It was created for counties but involved some leagues which had been given county status."


Playing Pasts Fletcher Street Wesleyans 1915 16
Bolton Sunday School Social League Champions: Fletcher Street Wesleyans, 1915-16.

There are several other research projects currently in or around THM sphere that I’d like to highlight:

  • Hockey’s Military Stories is a broad research project investigating hockey players who have died in conflict. We’ve recently welcomed Kathryn Draper aboard to help us with this.
  • Our research into British hockey festivals continues apace and we’ve welcomed Ian Smith, Paul Mitchell and Steve LeMottee following recent appeals for assistance.
  • James Ormandy continues his remote research working on articles such as “Men’s Hockey in Cheshire before 1914” and “Hockey: The Clergymen's Game”.
  • Our PhD student David Lewis-Earley continues to attack his doctoral research with great enthusiasm. “An Oral History Of England And Team GB Women’s International Hockey Representatives, 1951-2016” is taking excellent shape.
  • Nikhilesh Bhattacharya has completed his PhD thesis titled "When We Were Champions: Nation-Building, Hockey and the Anglo-Indian Community of Calcutta". It now resides in the THM library.
  • Judy Smith has been busy editing transcriptions of THM's oral history interviews (an on-going programme of lived history research) so that they can soon be shared online.
  • We recently published two significant obituaries following excellent research into the lives of the late Audrey Appleby and Balbir Singh Senior by Katie Dodd and Nikhilesh Bhattacharya respectively. Former THM Trustee Dil Bahra also penned a personal commemoration of Balbir.


Mike Smith, THM Curator

You’ll likely be aware that THM has been running a campaign to collect material that documents the impact of COVID-19 on hockey. More information and a fantastic, free time capsule activity pack for children can be found here.

One particularly inspirational story that has reached us as a result of this contemporary collecting came from Moss Park HC in Manchester where half of their playing membership are keyworkers.

Lesley Ginsburgh, a Design & Technology teacher at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College, Altrincham, marshalled her students to make much-needed protective visors for her community. A car boot full went with her Moss Park teammate Eilidh, a junior doctor, to a local Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU); some went with Jos, a local GP, to her practice and some went to a local care agency managing very high-risk patients. Together, Lesley and her students made 1,700 visors and distributed them to anyone who wanted them, from funeral directors and hospices to mental health teams and school nurses. All would have been short of personal protective equipment (PPE) without her efforts.

You can hear Lesley’s remarkable story in her own words, now preserved within THM’s collection, by watching the video below.


Lesley G PPE Visor     PPE Visors 03     PPE Visors 01
 Lesley in her "rough" first attempt
as discussed in the video.
   Making part of the visors in the
workshop at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College.

 Completed visors are laid out ready for
distribution (also below).


PPE Visors 02 

Hers is a story that draws a neat parallel with another recently surfaced story of philanthropy and community spirit, but from WW1 – another time of national crisis.

In November 1915 The Hockey Field magazine, then the mouthpiece of the All England Women’s Hockey Association (AEWHA), issued an appeal for hockey players to make fearnought gauntlets for the Royal Navy. 480 pairs of gauntlets (gloves) were urgently needed for the 3rd and 10th Destroyer Flotillas and over 10,000 pairs required for the whole Navy fleet.

Fearnought was a tough insulating wool or flannel-type fabric which prior to WW1 had been used to line the hulls of Arctic and Antarctic exploration vessels. It was obviously a phenomenal insulator. Thinner material such as shoddy or cotton was not sufficient. When it became cold on the ships, particularly bad at night and during the winter, thinner gloves would stick to metal surfaces, which included things like projectiles and the wheels for working the ships' guns and sights. Not wearing gloves wasn't an option because the sailors’ hands would rapidly go numb.

Through appeals like the one in The Hockey Field – which included purchase information and instructions for creating the gauntlets (see below) – the mass production of fearnought gauntlets was realised by a large number of individual acts. Just as people within hockey – individuals like Lesley of Moss Park HC – have come together in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic to offer selfless acts of charity, so too did individual members of the ‘hockey family’ during WW1.

As one naval officer wrote in the Manchester Evening News when appealing for fearnought gauntlets in 1914 (yes, Manchester again), “Don’t be afraid of clumsiness; that does not matter. I assure you nothing would be appreciated more.” Just as Lesley’s first efforts were in her own words “rough”, like the gauntlets their success lay in their practicality and in a personal determination to help others through a crisis.

If you have any material that could be relevant to THM’s #CollectingCOVID campaign or any questions around it, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Fearnought Gloves MEN article 24101914
"Fearnought Gloves for Sailors", The Manchester Evening News, 24 October 1914.
Click the article to view a more easily readable version (you may need to zoom in).



Fearnought Gauntlets The Hockey Field article 04101915
"Fearnought Gauntlets", The Hockey Field, 4 October 1915.
Click the article to view a more easily readable version (you may need to zoom in).

Following recent government advice regarding COVID-19, The Hockey Museum will be closed from Monday 23 March until further notice.

We are taking this decision to protect the health and welfare of our visitors, volunteers and staff. Museum staff will be working from home, our enquiries service will remain monitored and we intend to continue to engage you with historical hockey content through our social media channels and website.

COVID 19 announcement

On Saturday 29 February, THM took advantage of the extra day of 2020 to leap into Old Cranleighan HC for the day.

It builds on previous club visits to Aton HC and Guildford HC in 2019, which together form part of our work towards a Level-Up grant we received from South East Museums Development Partnership.

We took a small display of historical objects, boards, banners and videos to OCHC designed to promote our important work to preserve and celebrate hockey’s 150-year ‘modern’ history and hopefully drum up interest in helping THM to create a real, tangible legacy for the sport.

We also offered the opportunity for members and matchday visitors to bring along any historical memorabilia to discuss, akin to Antiques Roadshow.

We’d like to extend grateful thanks to David Knapp for facilitating this opportunity.


Sophia Patel (left) and Marcus Wardle (right) work their way through the Pat Rowley Journalistic Archive.

A photograph of two people in front of filing cabinets with a scanner may not appear to be the most riveting of subjects, however they are working on one of the most valuable and important collections that The Hockey Museum (THM) possesses.

Our Archivist Marcus Wardle and Research Assistant Sophia Patel are seen working on the Pat Rowley Journalistic Archive that was acquired by THM in 2017. The archive represents the lifetime work of hockey journalist Patrick Rowley who reported on hockey for more than sixty years. We have more than five filing cabinets with the drawers tightly packed full of all manner of hockey-related material. Patrick was one of the most renowned hockey correspondents working in an era when journalism was the principal means of communication. He also did much work with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) editing their World Hockey magazine.

Being a professional museum, we are duty-bound to protect the integrity of this amazing collection. This means that whilst recording and conserving these tens of thousands of documents, photographs, programmes etc. we must retain the original method of its assemblage. It is fair to say that the logic of this is not always apparent, but when all the material is digitised and recorded the collection will be able to be fully interrogated. We don’t believe that any other such archive exists in hockey so hopefully it can be appreciated how important this work is.

Mike Smith, THM Curator

Avtar BhurjiThis week the Museum had a unique visit by Olympian Avtar Bhurji, a member of the Ugandan hockey team that took part in the 1972 Games in Munich which saw the terrorist attack on the Israeli athletes in the Olympic Village. The Ugandans were housed on a level just above the Israelis but only once caught a glimpse of a balaclava-clad terrorist on the higher balcony. They were unaware of the drama unfolding so close to them until the following morning.

It was Uganda’s first and only Olympics and, although they finished 15th of 16, they earned draws in their pool games with Argentina (0-0), West Germany (1-1) and Spain (2-2) before beating Mexico 4-1 for 15th place.

After being taken on a museum visit by the Curator, Mr Bhurji gave an Oral History interview with volunteer Evelyn Somerville which will be posted on the THM website in due course. Particularly welcome gifts to the Museum were a number of memorabilia items from the Games, including a booklet with images and signatures of Uganda’s athletes in a range of sports.

Avtar was born in Punjab in 1944 and lived in Uganda and Kenya, where he sat his GCEs, before continuing his schooling in England at Kingston College, then taking A Levels at Wolfram College, Wolverhampton. He returned briefly to Uganda where he played for Sikh Union club in Kampala (which supplied nine of the 18-man Olympic squad) and was selected for the Munich Olympics.

He returned to the UK soon after those Games, to live in Croydon and play for Blackheath and London Indians. It was back to Kenya in 1984 while his wife, son and daughter stayed in UK, but he came back to England three years later and has lived here ever since, apart from a brief return to Uganda to help a younger brother set up a construction business. He played social hockey with the Llamas before ending his playing career in 1991 and has been an active coach since then. He now lives in Worcester Park, Surrey.

Mike Haymonds, 29.1.2020

Betty ShellenbergerBetty (Shelly) Shellenberger, USA, 8 August 1921 - 30 December 2019.

The Hockey Museum (THM), along with the sporting world, is mourning the passing of Betty Shellenberger, 98. Betty was a legend in American field hockey and lacrosse through much of the 1900s. Known to friends as ‘Shelly’, she first picked up a hockey stick at the age of ten and by eighteen was selected for the national team as their youngest ever player. Betty went on to represent the USA for twenty-one years from 1939 to 1955 with one further appearance in 1960. It is a record for USA Field Hockey that stands to this day.

To read the full obituary on Betty, please visit the Obituaries page of THM website, here.

Hockey’s Five-a-side Future?

14 December 2015
Hockey’s Five-a-side Future?

Is this the beginning of the end of hockey as we know it? The introduction of Hockey 5s for the first time at a senior international tournament in the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea this summer was a potentially ground-breaking moment in the history of hockey. It is a...

THM Appoints A Collections Management Officer

16 November 2015

The Hockey Museum (THM) is delighted to announce that Karen Clarke will be joining us early in the new year to become our Collections Management Officer. Karen has a superb pedigree in the field of museum accreditation and collections management. She comes to us from the Hampshire Cultural Trust where...

Call For Tenders: To Lead A Study To Scope Hockey’s Worldwide Heritage

03 November 2015
Call For Tenders: To Lead A Study To Scope Hockey’s Worldwide Heritage

Organisation: The Hockey MuseumLocation: UK, Surrey, WokingClosing date: 27 November 2015Job type: contractSalary: budget in the region of £10,000 The Hockey Museum (THM), supported by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), plans to carry out a scoping study that will define an approach to the task of developing a worldwide network...

Spring Forward, Fall Back

03 November 2015

As the clocks go back The Hockey Museum continues to move forward. Grab a cuppa and enjoy the read... What an exciting and successful summer for The Hockey Museum! In early July we went into partnership with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to support them in one of their stated...

Ireland’s Call: Hockey Players Who Fell In WW1

23 October 2015
Ireland’s Call: Hockey Players Who Fell In WW1

One of The Hockey Museum’s (THM) volunteers, Peter Jackson, has been involved in the hockey research that supported the recent publication of the book Ireland’s Call: Irish Sporting Heroes Who Fell in the Great War, (published by Merrion Press) written by BBC journalist, Stephen Walker. The book follows the fascinating...

THM Talk: Australian Women's Hockey 05.11.2015

22 October 2015
THM Talk: Australian Women's Hockey 05.11.2015

Photo: Australian touring team 1970. Janet Beverly is in the back row, third from the right. On Thursday 5 November 2015 Australian international hockey player Janet Beverly will be presenting a talk entitled Australian Women's Hockey: From England With Love at The Hockey Museum, Woking. For more details visit the Upcoming Events page or...

THM Job Vacancy: Collections Management Officer

14 September 2015
THM Job Vacancy: Collections Management Officer

The Hockey Museum, Woking, Surrey.Collections Management OfficerAverage 3 days a week - flexibleExpected remuneration: c. £20k - 23k pro rataFixed term 1 year, with potential to extend. Freelancers welcome to apply. The Hockey Museum (THM) opened in late 2011, achieved charitable status later that year and is working toward Museum...

Ric Charlesworth And The Queen’s Reign

11 September 2015

Wednesday 9 September 2015, the day that our Queen Elizabeth II became the longest serving monarch in British history. Very significant coverage has been given to this event in all forms of the media. On the morning, BBC Radio Five Live had a wide ranging feature that included an interview with...

The EuroHockey Championships 2015: What Glorious Moments

07 September 2015
The EuroHockey Championships 2015: What Glorious Moments

As the Champions of Europe were triumphantly crowned on the field, we celebrated (off the field!) our largest ever exhibition. We hope you enjoyed watching the Unibet EuroHockey Championships 2015 either on TV, through the various website channels, or live at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. If you visited The...

Get Your Hands On Newsletter Vol.6

19 August 2015

Our latest newsletter is now available to download. Catch up on all the latest going ons at The Hockey Museum by following this link. Shane Smith, 20 August 2015

Irish Match Statistics

18 August 2015
Irish Match Statistics

The Irish have done some great research work to pull together a full record of all the men’s international matches since the first game in 1895. The task has been completed by Steve Hines who admitted that it had been a labour of love to develop the database since he...

The Barry Middleton Collection

17 August 2015
The Barry Middleton Collection

In boxes, suit carriers and a suitcase came a collection commemorating the hockey history of Barry Middleton, England and Great Britain international and Olympic competitor. It showed just how diverse are the collections which we are given to preserve for posterity at The Hockey Museum. Sorting through the many and...

Another 'Wow Moment': A British Team In Europe In 1935

04 August 2015
Another 'Wow Moment': A British Team In Europe In 1935

It is not often that we learn of international matches that we are unaware of. We recently received an enquiry from a regular contact in Dublin, asking if we had any information on the British teams that visited Europe in 1935 and 1937. We certainly had not as, in our...

The Hockey Museum Gains International Recognition

15 July 2015
The Hockey Museum Gains International Recognition

The Hockey Museum (THM) Trustees are delighted to announce that the FIH Foundation for the Promotion & Development of Hockey (the FIH Foundation) and THM have signed an agreement (a Memorandum of Understanding) that formalises the collaboration between them to work together to preserve hockey’s heritage. The key aims are...

The Hockey Museum Is Helping Two UK Exhibitions

31 May 2015

On 10th June a sports exhibition titled Team Spirit opens at the Orleans Gallery in Richmond. We have provided some material relevant to their area. Also, at the moment, we have material in an exhibition in Alford Manor House in Lincolnshire to celebrate their local patron who was a hockey enthusiast. So,...

FIH President Drops By

16 May 2015
FIH President Drops By

FIH President Pays Whistle Stop Visit To The Hockey Museum Players in the Mercian Home Counties Colts Hockey League Finals at Guildford received a surprise visit when the International Hockey Federation (FIH) president, Leandro Negre, called in to make some presentations. He then went on to Woking to visit The Hockey...


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