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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.


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

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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