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pdfNew collections are, thankfully, arriving weekly and many of them create great interest when received. The hockey stick illustrated in the below images was a real example of this. It came complete with a copy of an advertisement from Hockey Magazine of 4 September 1908 extolling the virtues of the “patent edge-protected” stick. Hopefully, (from the PDF of the advert downloadable to the right and from the images below) you can see that the complete edge of the head of the stick has a metal tape running round which is fixed to the stick by small nails. My first reaction when I saw it was “How could this stick be legal?” but then the rules and interpretations were very different over a century ago.

We did not think very much more about this until we received another item of great interest. This was a photocopy of the Hockey Association (HA) Minute Book from the period. The minute for the meeting of 15 November 1909 does indeed mention “the Pickering St George” hockey stick, this being the model of stick in question. Clearly some complaint had been received about this stick because the Council of the Hockey Association had considered the matter and this was their deliberation:

“The Hon. Secretary reported correspondence he had had with Messrs Grenville, Gamage and with the Army & Navy Stores with reference to the illegal hockey sticks which they were said to be supplying and the arrangements he had made with them, viz: that no more sticks should be made after the present stock had in each case been sold out, was approved”.

Clearly these sticks must have been very popular at the time as apparently they were being counterfeited! In the advert by Grenvilles for the original design by Mr WH Pickering he made the following statement:

“Dear Sir or Madam – As the designer with Mrs Pickering of the ‘Pickering’ hockey stick, I shall be glad if you will allow me the opportunity of explaining that Mr WG Grenville, Birmingham, who manufacture the ‘Pickering St George’ hockey stick, is the only maker authorised to use the name, and we can only guarantee his make as being true to design and of proper quality. Another firm is using the name without acknowledgement and without authority from us. This has caused misunderstanding and we have been annoyed by complaints from people who have bought these sticks on the assumption that they were guaranteed by the name.”

The annotation in the HA Minute Book goes on to say: “Mr Grenville’s objection to a stick manufactured by Messrs Ayres, named ‘The Connaught’, was upheld and the Hon. Secretary was instructed to write to Messrs Ayres on the subject.”

Looking back on this 107 years later, it does seem a little pointless for the HA to uphold a complaint on a product that they had deemed illegal. Additionally, the Grenville advertisement describes the stick as “patented”. Surely, therefore, Grenville could have challenged Ayres on a question of patent infringement.

 Grenville Illegal Hockey Stick 01    Grenville Illegal Hockey Stick 03
 Grenville Illegal Hockey Stick 04    Grenville Illegal Hockey Stick 05

Greville's Pickering St George hockey stick (c.1908)

In response to the many enquiries that we receive at The Hockey Museum our volunteers are constantly trawling through hockey publications in search of information. These searches often take twice as long as expected because we find unrelated pieces that are very interesting.

One such piece was discovered recently in Hockey Sport magazine from April 1997. What is more, we actually have one of these sticks in our collection!

Jet Set article

April 1 2016

This features page includes articles from hockey's rich history. With the ever increasing activity of The Hockey Museum, our research is constantly coming across fascinating stories from throughout the sport's history and across the hockey world. These are not current news stories although some may have been when they occurred. Often the passing of time has embellished the story making it an even more interesting read today.

If you know of any points of interest or intrigue in hockey's 'past' then please let us know and we will investigate to see if it is worthy of a 'blast'! Get in touch through our contact form.

SandHockeyHockey players on the beach at Minehead with North Hill behind. Photograph by Alfred Vowles. 

Unlike most of today's youngsters who learn to play on artificial pitches, Nan Williams, a former England international and volunteer at The Hockey Museum (THM), started her playing career on the sands of Minehead on the north Somerset coast. In the 1950s, the home pitches for Minehead HC were marked out each week on the local sands and bully off times depended on the tides. It might seem like another world, but the surface still encouraged great skills as a press article from October 1952 reports; "Minehead 1st XI achieved a really well merited win – the forward line gave an excellent display with the two young wingers working like Trojans and using their speed and skill to the fullest advantage." Those two wings were Liz Venning (nee Boobier) and Nan Williams (nee Morgan) and both went on to play for Somerset, the West and England!

pdfNan has researched this amazing period of the club's historywhich is downloadable by clicking the icon to the left. She used old club records and press reports of the time. It is an affectionate account of games played on the sands of Minehead between the 1920s and 1950s.

Hockey has probably been played on sand for as long as the game has been in existence. Forms of sand hockey such a Genna (played in Ethiopia), Oggaf (Tunisia) and Nomad Hockey (Morocco) date back over hundreds of years and a number of these games are still thriving, almost unchanged, to this day.

A quick search of 'sand hockey' on Google will also show you how many different versions of the old and modern game there are. There has even been a World Sand Hockey Festival in Holland in 2014 on the beaches near The Hague (click here) where the players use a slightly changed stick with holes in the head. The different forms of sand hockey are often played to slightly different rules, number of players, pitch size but they still bear a significant resemblance to the modern game of hockey.

Over time, THM is looking to develop the full stories of all these ancient and modern versions of hockey played on sand. If you have any information on any forms of sand hockey or are interested in getting involved please contact THM Curator through our contact form.

Katie Dodd, January 2016

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

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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