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Jim Shepherd collection 01
 
Jim Shepherd (pictured) has collected a lifetime of Scottish heritage material.

 

Jim Shepherd, Mr Hockey from Broughty Ferry, Dundee: player, umpire, administrator, journalist, broadcaster and hockey collector. These are just a few of the titles which describe a man involved with hockey for over 60 years.

During that time, Jim amassed a phenomenal archive of documents, reports, press cuttings, photos and more that reflect his varied association with the sport he loves. The extent of this archive was only recently revealed when Jim, now 80 years old, decided that he needed to pass it to others to ensure it is preserved and made more widely available to a new audience. He invited Alan Veitch (archivist for Inverleith Hockey Club) and Richard Miller to visit, and they were blown away by the extent and variety of Jim’s amazing collection.

Now that Jim was looking to find a secure home for his collection, where should it go?

Alan is a member of the newly formed Scottish Hockey Heritage Group (SHHG), and the Group is now in discussion on the best way to handle this new collection. Work to secure, catalogue and share Scotland’s rich hockey heritage is still in its infancy, but the SHHG – led by Jenny Grassick, former Great Britain and Scotland international player – is already in discussion with Scottish Hockey, The Hockey Museum, Sporting Heritage and others.

The Hockey Museum is actively supporting the development of the SHHG to help them protect some of the most important Scottish hockey collections and bring out their fascinating stories. If you would like to offer your support, please contact us and we can put you in touch with Jenny.

Contact Us | The Hockey Museum

 

Jim Hamilton’s Amazing Hockey Life

Jim’s first taste of hockey was in 1954 at the Boys Brigade International Camp at Eton College, but it was in 1958 that his hockey journey really began. Jim was working in the Drawing Office of Bonar Long & Co. in Dundee when a work colleague began trying to recruit hockey players. Jim agreed to go along to practise and was soon playing his first match for Dundee Wanderers Hockey Club (DWHC) against HMS Condor at Arbroath. Jim describes himself as a “hockey enthusiast” – he played for Dundee Wanderers 1st XI, then their 2nd XI when they started one, then their 3rd XI when they started one. After his playing days drew to a close, he joined the umpiring ranks.

Jim’s administrative skills were soon captured by his club. He assumed the roles of DWHC Secretary, Match Secretary and Treasurer at various stages, all in the era of postcards and telephone calls. Club administration was obviously not enough to sustain Jim, and he was soon involved in the Midlands District and then Scottish Hockey committees.

For almost 40 years up till around 2018, Jim almost single-handedly ran the Midlands Men's Indoor Leagues, creating all the fixture lists, setting the pitch times to ensure every team had a worthwhile slate of matches on the days they were to play, running the technical table, arranging umpires and generally making it a smoothly oiled machine.

Around 1980, via his friend Scott Smith of Grove Academy Former Players (another Dundee hockey club), Jim got involved in match reporting for the Dundee Evening Telegraph, covering both Midlands and Scottish Hockey. The newspaper provided very good coverage of hockey at least twice weekly for 40 years. Jim was very meticulous to ensure all scores and local hockey points of interest were published. Again, he didn’t stop there. Local broadcaster Radio Tay invited him to do a weekly summary. Another of Jim’s interests is photography and the camera was always at his side for hockey matches. Many of his photos appeared in both the Dundee Evening Telegraph and Dundee Courier.

 

Jim Shepherd collection 02      Jim Shepherd collection 03
     
An insight into the records and newspaper cuttings that make up some of Jim Shepherd's collection.   

 

Clearly, Jim’s training as a draughtsman wasn’t wasted at home as he started to draw together an amazing hockey collection, all filed in chronological order. Many of us can relate to being ‘hoarders’; Jim was more than that – a full-on hockey collector. His study at home along with his loft and cupboards capture 40 years of hockey material. There is no Scottish Hockey Museum in place (yet), but Jim’s house is as good a starting point as any!

Among some of the historical gems are weekly hockey press cuttings from all Scottish newspapers (all marked with dates), international hockey team lists, match programmes, hockey posters and photographs, hockey books, and those Radio Tay broadcasts are all stored on cassette tape. As Jim says, he has material that no one else will have.

Looking back on his hockey career, Jim recalls DWHC’s first Scottish Cup win in 1973 and their subsequent journey into Europe as a particular highlight. He has enjoyed, too, seeing his son Gordon carry on the family hockey tradition at DWHC. “He was better than me”, says Jim – Gordon went on to win many Scotland caps, playing both outdoor and indoor. He then followed the coaching path going onto to be Head Coach of the Scotland women’s side until recently.

Jim is a truly amazing servant of Scottish hockey.

 

Alan Veitch
July 2022

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