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BarryMiddleton01In 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 varied articles donated by Barry Middleton and his mother, Sheila – herself a hockey player of some note – we found many things we would have expected. There are photographs and programmes tracing the progress of Barry’s career through the various levels of hockey; from Doncaster HC to the North East Under 14s and from junior and senior internationals to the dizzy heights of the Olympics.

Barry's collection contains a large quantity of items of kit: from the Athens Olympics in 2004, the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 and Delhi in 2010. The range of kit items issued for major events, particularly the Olympics, was evidently extensive: vests, shorts, track suits, waterproof suits, blazers, shirts and formal suits. Fashions evidently change, but a cream blazer in a light cotton weave which did not seem to hold its shape, with black piping and patch pockets...? Another surprising feature was the pinstripe in the suit issued to the Athens 2004 Olympic team, which comprised woven repetitions of the words "GO FOR GOLD"!

In the pocket of this suit were the crested invitation cards for Barry to attend a royal event. Perhaps a garden party at Buckingham Palace? In the Aladdin's suitcase (also part of the official Olympic kit from Athens 2004) there was also an official waterbottle. Who would guess that the kit for an Olympics included such things?

One of the vests from the Beijing 2008 Olympics had the signatures of 16 of the squad; a wonderful and unique memento, but one which poses the problem of how to conserve marker pen on polyester...?

A 'hoodie' from Barry’s days at Loughborough University shows a lighter side of the game of hockey. On the back are all the names of the team which won the BUSA Championships for the 3rd time in a row, complete with nicknames. From this distance, we can only wonder how Barry got the nickname 'Report to Lost Property' and some of his colleagues theirs, such as Phil 'Filthy Spider' Wilkinson. Perhaps more obvious was that of Rob 'Couldn’t Hit a Bee in a Hive' Playford!BarryMiddleton02

Most of the items of kit have badges: on the breast of the shirts, blazers and track suit tops; on the legs of shorts and track suit bottoms and even inside the collar of a dress shirt. All have to be laboriously described in detail as the items are booked in so they can be clearly identified with the correct event. Some of the stylised logos challenge the volunteers' powers of description more than others, but the lion motif on most of the England kit is fairly straightforward. When it comes to other badges in other donations it is not so easy, even if you can identify the origins of the badge in the first place.

We also had to remember to book in, complete with description and numbered label, the suit carriers and even the suitcase itself. Perhaps Barry will be pleased to know that his kit is kept together for posterity very appropriately in the suitcase he used to travel to Athens over 10 years ago.

Photograph 1: North East U14 team 1997. Barry is in the front row, second from left.
Photograph 2: Great Britain shirt from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, signed by the squad members.

Evelyn Somerville, August 2015


AnotherWow002It 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 records, the first British team was at the London Olympics of 1948 and, even then, not without a great deal of persuasion. Participation in the 1908 and 1920 Olympics had been as England and until 1948 no agreement could be reached to enable a British team to take part.

Research in the Museum discovered a four-page article by EAC Thompson in the 6 September 1935 issue of Hockey World on a European international tournament between 4-11 May, held under the patronage of the Brussels Exhibition that year. The event was organised by the Belgian Hockey Association and 'controlled' by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). The British team was organised by the Hockey Association (HA).

It was described as "The most important of its kind yet held in Europe in the history of the game as, for the very first time, all the hockey countries in Europe were competitors": Austria, Belgium, a British International XI, France, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. The grounds used were the Heysel Stadium and the Stade de l'Union St Gilloise.

The British team comprised 15 players, including four Irish and one Scot.

The article stated: "It was the first time a representative British hockey team had participated in a tournament comprising all the other European hockey playing nations and so carried a world-wide hockey interest. This tournament, of course, easily transcended in general interest the past Olympic hockey games, in-as-much as, although the Indians were absent at Brussels, a representative International British XI was included, thus creating the main interest."

The British team won all their games, beating Belgium 2-0, Austria 4-0, Spain 4-0 and Holland 1-0 before winning the final against Germany 3-2 with a goal in extra time. After 70 minutes the score was 2-2 with two ten-minute periods of extra time producing no further goals, and during which the Britons lost a forward with an eye injury. Bowing to the pleas of the spectators, it was then decided to play on until a goal was scored and R Whitlock obliged.

The article's author placed the teams in order of playing merit: the British and German teams equal, 3rd Holland, 4th France, 5th Spain, 6th Belgium, 7th Switzerland, 8th Austria. However, the FIH official classification was 1 England, 2 Germany, 3 Netherlands, 4 Spain, after semi-finals, 3rd place and final were played.

A similar tournament was held in 1937 in Paris in conjunction with the Paris Exhibition but it was impossible to collect a representative British team. An effort was made to raise a wholly English team but the HA were unable to accept the invitation as a consequence of a previous ruling that only one foreign international match per annum could be played.

The German Hockey Association’s statistics also record a game in Munich in June 1938 between a British team and Germany, won 2-1 by Germany, but we have so far been unable to discover any more information on this event.

Although the Great Britain Hockey Board was not formally set up until 1947, in preparation for the London Olympics, all of the matches above appear in the international records of the countries concerned. These results are also verified and recorded by the FIH in their annual report of 1949. It is therefore a matter of very important debate as to how these matches are treated.

Photograph 1: The1935 British International team.

Photograph 2: The British team, about to board a German-built aircraft of SABENA, the Belgian airline.

Mike Haymonds, August 2015

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 as follows:

  • To provide opportunities to increase the visibility of the sport and to effectively celebrate the achievements and progress of hockey;
  • To preserve an accurate story of hockey and provide access to authoritative historical archives and statistical data;
  • To preserve and make available historical information and materials for use in a wide variety of ways e.g. for educational purposes and enquiries from hockey fans; and
  • To work towards creating an international hockey museum and archives.

The agreement was signed in Antwerp during the recent ‘Road to Rio’ Olympic Qualifying Tournament and where THM had been invited to present to the FIH Foundation Meeting. This presentation outlined our vision - Giving Hockey’s History a Future - and key aims for the next five years. The presentation also detailed proposals for projects that will put THM on a sound and professional Museum footing and give us more clarity for how we take on the new international dimension to our remit.

The official press release can be found on the FIH website.

The FIH had considered setting up an FIH Museum in Lausanne but when their President, Leandro Negre, visited us in Woking during 2014 and saw what the Museum had already achieved through the efforts of an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and professional volunteer team with a ‘can do’ mentality there was a rethink. He then encouraged the FIH to put its support behind The Hockey Museum setup to take a lead in tackling hockey’s worldwide heritage challenge. The fact that the FIH, hockey’s world governing body, has gone into partnership with us is a fantastic vote of confidence in THM and its ability to bring something unique and worthwhile to the table.

The Museum’s first task under this new partnership will be to review the current position worldwide in relation to the collection, cataloguing, preservation & display of hockey’s heritage with a view to developing a collaborative approach to ensuring that more of our sport’s fascinating heritage is saved and made available to the wider hockey family and beyond. The work, to be led by an academic, will also set the framework for an exciting project to research, collate and publish an authoritative history of hockey ahead of the FIH Centenary in 2024.

Katie Dodd, 15 July 2015

THM FIH MOUJean-Pierre Strebel (FIH Foundation Treasurer), Katie Dodd (THM Chair) and Leandro Negre (FIH President) sign the MOU.

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, very soon our little museum will be helping two exhibitions with their displays. Not bad, in my opinion; and in August it will be three.

Mike Smith, 2 May 2015

FIH President Pays Whistle Stop Visit To The Hockey Museum

EA57817Players 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 Museum, where he toured their new premises and met volunteers.

The visit, which was masterminded by Mercian League President and founder of Mercian, Mike Smith, was as a result of his asking Leandro if he would consider an award to recognise the work of Mercian League Secretary, David Gunn, and Treasurer, Janet Gunn, who have been organising the Mercian League for 40 years. The FIH President was due to fly to India via Heathrow and offered to make the presentations himself whilst in England. Before leaving for India Leandro returned to Heathrow via The Hockey Museum.

Mike Haymonds, 1 May 2015



Leandro Negre meets some of the team at The Hockey Museum. From left to right: Mike Smith (Curator), Marcus Wardle (volunteer), Lynne Morgan (Chair of the Management Committee), Leandro Negre (FIH President), Martin Ellis (volunteer) and Doreen Brown (volunteer).

Marjorie Pollard Goes Home

22 December 2017
Marjorie Pollard Goes Home

THM Curator, Mike Smith presents cine films featuring Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation to the Bampton Archive. In the decades either side of WW2, one of the biggest names in hockey was undoubtedly Marjorie Pollard. She played cricket for England as well. Marjorie was a player, coach, journalist, publisher and film...

A Festive Friend: Leandro Negre Visits THM

21 December 2017
A Festive Friend: Leandro Negre Visits THM

Former FIH President Leandro Negre at the Board meeting with the THM Trustees and Museum Mentor, Liz May.Standing: Liz May, Philip Kimberley, David Balbirnie, David Wareham, Mike Barford, Dil Bahra, Lucy Newcombe, Imogen Gibbon.Seated: Katie Dodd, Leandro Negre, Mike Smith. We were delighted that the former FIH President and current...

THM Takes On New Trustees

02 October 2017
THM Takes On New Trustees

These are exciting and challenging times for THM. The Trustees recognised the need to take on additional museum and business skills at the strategic level to ensure we deliver on our ambitious plans to develop hockey’s heritage and bring it to a wider audience. We are therefore delighted to announce...

Helen Richardson-Walsh Donates Her Rio 2016 Astros On The Anniversary Of GB's Gold Medal Triumph

17 August 2017
Helen Richardson-Walsh Donates Her Rio 2016 Astros On The Anniversary Of GB's Gold Medal Triumph

One year on from the women's hockey final of the Rio de Janiero 2016 Olympic Games, Great Britain gold medallist Helen Richardson-Walsh has continued her support of The Hockey Museum by donating her astro shoes from the Games (right). Helen's donation will help to keep the memory of GB's success...

Remembrance Corner At World League Semi-finals

29 June 2017
Remembrance Corner At World League Semi-finals

Photograph courtesy of Steve McCarthy   As well as the excellent hockey on display at the Hockey World League series in London last week, there was also a small display, put together by the Hockey Writers' Club, celebrating the work of the late hockey journalists and photographers Peter Savage, Bill...

The Hockey Museum Visited By England Masters Over 55s

13 June 2017
The Hockey Museum Visited By England Masters Over 55s

  A few Wednesdays ago, twelve of the England Women’s Masters Over 55s rode in to The Hockey Museum (THM). Led by Ruth Hine, the ‘Red Riders’ regularly saddle up for the day as part of their team building and training. Having chosen somewhere to visit, they meet up at...

Staff Appointment And New Volunteers

09 June 2017
Staff Appointment And New Volunteers

THM's Curatorial Assistant Holly Parsons.   Holly Parsons completes the Museum’s curatorial team. She joined as Curatorial Assistant in February. Since leaving the University of Portsmouth in 2011 she has been volunteering at museums in London and the South, including the Old Police Cells under Brighton Town Hall, Marlipins Museum...

Seoul Gold Medal-winning Manager Roger Self Passes Away

07 June 2017

The Hockey Museum is deeply saddened to learn that former GB and Wales Manager Roger Self has passed away after a long illness. Read his full obituary, penned by Bernie Cotton, on THM site here.   Funeral Arrangements Roger's family are holding a private cremation next week, however, there will be...

The Amazing Story Behind The Wheeler Plate

11 May 2017

Jo Halpin, journalist and THM supporter, recently came across this fascinating article in the Irish Times featuring the 107-year-old former Irish international Dorothea Findlater. Findlater turned 107 years old on 27 December 2016 making it 81 years since she won her first Irish cap in 1936. It earned her a slow...

WA Baumann Exhibition

03 April 2017
WA Baumann Exhibition

   Wilhelmina Augusta Baumann   Exhibition: Wilhelmina Augusta Baumann The Hockey Museum is currently showing a small exhibition on Wilhelmina Augusta Baumann, one of the most respected and important women in hockey during the 1920s and '30s. The exhibition, which explores Baumann's playing and pioneering administrative career, ties in with...

Juan Calzado Visits THM

02 April 2017

Last Tuesday (28 March 2017) THM was delighted to host former International Hockey Federation (FIH) and European Hockey Federation (EHF) President Juan Calzado and his family. Following his visit Mr Calzado said: "It was a real pleasure to visit The Hockey Museum. The work that you are doing is fantastic...

Just Over 1 Month Left To Apply For THM PhD

22 March 2017

The Hockey Museum and The University of Wolverhampton are delighted to announce that the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) have approved funding for a collaborative PhD post to be jointly supervised by The University of Wolverhampton and THM. The title of the research project is An Oral History of...

THM Wins Funding For An Exciting New Collaborative Research Project

06 February 2017
THM Wins Funding For An Exciting New Collaborative Research Project

THM is delighted to announce that the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) have approved funding for a collaborative PhD post to be jointly supervised by THM and the University of Wolverhampton. The title of the research project is An Oral History of England and Team GB Women’s International Hockey...

The National Hockey Stadium Featured In Milton Keynes 50th Anniversary Exhibition

17 January 2017
The National Hockey Stadium Featured In Milton Keynes 50th Anniversary Exhibition

      The Hockey Museum has provided imagery to an exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of Milton Keynes. Held at in the central forum of thecentre:MK, Milton Keynes shopping centre, A New City comes to Life celebrates the stories, innovations and communities that have made Milton Keynes the vibrant...

Trustee Opportunities At THM

16 January 2017
Trustee Opportunities At THM

The Hockey Museum (THM) is seeking enthusiastic and experienced people to join its Board of Trustees. Trustees will be strong advocates for the organisation, support the implementation of the Museum's vision and help to raise its profile. We are looking to increase the number of Trustees to give the Board a more...


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