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Last weekend, on Saturday 18 June 2022, Teddington Hockey Club (THC) celebrated its 150th anniversary (sesquicentenary) with a Gala Dinner and by re-creating a hockey match from the period of their founding in 1871. These events were followed by intra-club junior and adult hockey tournaments on the Sunday.

 

The full 150th celebrations programme: 150th Anniversary Celebrations | TeddingtonHockey.club

 

THC was founded as a men’s hockey club, but the anniversary exhibition match instead reflected the club’s current makeup: men and women were pitted against each other in friendly competition but wearing period costume for added authenticity. Most players competed with period-style hockey sticks.

Afterwards photographs were taken of the ladies’ and men’s team attempting to imitate black-and-white photography from the 1870s.

 

Discover the full photo album of the exhibition match: Teddington HC at Bushy Park | pixieset.com

 

Teddington 150th exhibition match 06      Teddington 150th exhibition match 05
     
Teddington 150th exhibition match 02   Teddington 150th exhibition match 01
     

Teddington Hockey Club players and invited guests take part in an exhibition match to celebrate the club's 150th anniversary. The teams and umpires wore kit reflecting their founding period of the 1870s.

Photographs © Mark Shepherd.

 

Teddington 150th exhibition match 03     Teddington 150th exhibition match 04
     

Teddington HC re-create nineteenth-century photographs of men's and women's teams; © Mark Shepherd.

Below: the photographs that inspired them: Teddington HC, 1892 and Royal Holloway College, 1888.

 

Teddington HC men 1892     Royal Holloway College women 1888

 

 

The club also planted a tree in Bushey Park with the help of special guests Munira Wilson MP and THM’s Honorary Curator Mike Smith. The new tree replaced the chestnut tree planted for the club’s 100th anniversary in 1971 which sadly died – a symbolic gesture reflecting THC’s iconic logo and enduring spirit.

Earlier in the week, the BBC’s sports reporter Mike Bushell had visited and been shown some of the history of THC. This was reflected in an excellent 5-minute slot on Saturday morning television during BBC Breakfast. Teddington and The Hockey Museum (THM) archivist, Marcus Wardle was interviewed for the online magazine South West Londoner about the history of Teddington and its importance within the history of the sport.

 

THC President Gavin Cookman with Munira Wilson MP 002      Tree Planting Ceremony with Munira Wilson MP 001
     

Teddington HC's tree planting ceremony in Bushey Park with Munira Wilson MP.

Photographs © Mark Shepherd.

 

Teddington and the Origins of Modern Hockey

THC can rightly claim to be the oldest hockey club, but perhaps more importantly, it is the founding club of modern hockey. This claim is supported by archival material held by THM. The legacy of THC is felt when any present-day hockey player runs out onto the pitch. Many rules have changed but the basic outline of the field and how the game is played can be traced back to Teddington.

THC has been instrumental in creating the early rules of the sport. After Teddington Cricket Club members laid down their own hockey rules, these rules were codified so that other clubs could play the same game of hockey and compete against each other. THC's rules formed the basis of the Rules adopted by the first Hockey Association (HA) which were formally published in 1876. It is from these rules that the modern game of hockey has grown and evolved, rather than from other hockey-like games in the UK (some even called hockey), or from indigenous stick-and-ball games around the world.

 

Surbiton record of HA founding
 
Found amongst the records of Surbiton HC is an account of the meeting to form the first Hockey Association,
during which the Rules of hockey were drawn up, mainly inspired by those set down by Teddington HC.

 

THC150th 1020
 
Part of the Teddington HC Gala Dinner display featuring Mr A Frampton mentioned below; © Mary Sullivan.

 

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, Mr A Frampton joined THC to play in the new-fangled position of goalkeeper. He was capped to play for England against Ireland on 28 March 1896 in Dublin. He kept a clean sheet as England won 1:0. In 1899 Frampton, as a member of the HA, formed the International Rules Board. He had previously helped form the Southern Counties Hockey Umpires Association (SCHUA).

Frampton was one of many Teddington players who achieved international status, earning the club considerable standing in the hockey world.

 

The Gala Dinner and the Heritage Display

 

THC150th 1028

 

150 years of Teddington’s success and prosperity were celebrated at their Gala Dinner held at Kempton Park Racecourse this past Saturday. It had been delayed by the pandemic, as were most things!

THC’s history was on display, much of it usually housed in THM. Several stories from the archives had been crafted to show Teddington’s history and the Club’s impact on the game. Also displayed were examples of THC kit showing original to present-day colours. The first kit of a yellow flannel shirt and white flannel trousers gives an indication of THC’s cricket roots. The white flannel trousers were basically cricket ‘whites’.

The display also revealed how THC had celebrated through the years. Menu cards showed what attendees ate at previous Dinners. The complexities of the meals were astounding. The main display of this section took in memorabilia from the centenary celebration 50 years ago. Chief amongst it was the congratulatory letter from Buckingham Palace and the receipt for the venison used at the Dinner. Venison was chosen for the dinner as deer roamed Bushy Park where the original THC clubhouse and pitches were situated. 

Finally, the centenary celebration pennants were displayed. This was the first time the membership had seen these since they were removed from the original clubhouse in Bushy Park.

All of this was well received by the members and some of the elder ones re-discovered themselves in photographs that had been displayed in 1971.

 

THC Venison 1971      THC150th 1017
     
Receipt for the bucks (venison) cooked for THC's Centenary Dinner in 1971.   

Pennants from the club's Centenary Dinner made up part
of the heritage display at the 150th Gala Dinner.

© Mary Sullivan.

 

THC150th 1018      THC150th 1019
     
Material from Teddington HC's heritage display at the Gala Dinner, curated by THM Archivist Marcus Wardle; © Mary Sullivan.

 

Over 250 people attended the event: members old and new as well as England Hockey Vice President Dawn Bonner and high-profile players including Kulbir Bhaura, Jimmy Wallis, Brett Garrard, Simon Mason, Matt Daly and Danny Haydon. English ex-international rugby player Martin Bayfield was a lively after-dinner speaker. He professed to know nothing about hockey but kept everyone in merriment throughout the evening. Martin also presided over the auctioning of a signed t-shirt which raised £1,000 for the club. His description of the article as “a piece of cr*p” certainly helped to raise its value!

Importantly, Club Captain Claire Freer – the first female Club Captain in Teddington’s long history – announced a scheme to raise £300,000 over the next three years to improve the floodlighting of its pitches, create a better clubhouse and more. Teddington Hockey Club has used its 150th celebrations to look to and be inspired by its past, raise a glass to the present and announce how it would move forward into the future.

Congratulations from The Hockey Museum on a job well done.

 

[Photographs © Mary Sullivan or Mark Shepherd.]

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