Blasts From The Past

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This fact may not give a definitive answer to the question but it certainly adds a little detail. In a book entitled Ernest Bracebridge or Schoolboy Day by WHG Kingston published in 1860, the author gives details of both sports being played in school in the mid 19th century. Do the academic details added to the description of the sports give us grounds to suggest that hockey predates golf?

In one statement the author says of golf, “Two centuries ago it was a fashionable game among the nobility: and we hear of Prince Henry, eldest son of King James the First, amusing himself with it”. This would have been circa 1610. In those days golf was called ‘bandy ball’, very similar in name to ‘bandy’ an accepted early version of hockey that was being played before this date.

Moreover, our author kindly delves further back to say that, “In the reign of Edward the Third the game [of golf] was played and known by the Latin name of Cambuca”. This was circa 1327 and Cambuca, although a Latin word, was also an early name for hockey.

These early references to stick and ball games will be researched further and fleshed out to form part of an authoritative study of hockey that is being carried out by The Hockey Museum and will be published in some years’ time.

There are very few records of royalty playing hockey and even fewer of reigning monarchs. However, this reference relies entirely on what King George V said when he attended the international match between England and Ireland at Beckenham in 1921. Having met the teams, he proceeded to tell those in his party that he had been a hockey player himself. Confirmation of this was apparently given during the match by his appreciation of the skills and his understanding of the rules.

Whilst we are happy to accept the monarch's word that he played hockey we have no actual record or report of it. We do know that his elder brother, the Duke of Clarence was a hockey player but they lived rather different lives. The Duke died before inheriting the crown, leaving George an unexpected monarch. George had spent much of his life in the Royal Navy and it could have been while serving that he played hockey as it was a popular game in the Navy in those days.

King George V

A match between Ludlow and Bromyard was played on 29 October 1898.

This was the age of the train: all these early matches involved train travel which presented both problems and pleasures. Arrival time reduced the Bromyard game on the 29 October 1898, for instance, to twenty minutes each way. But for their return journey the Bromyard team chose a train which did not get them home until midnight.

One presumes that a very good time was had by all, and perhaps envies the togetherness which train travel promoted when compared to those modern team trips on which travel is in separate private cars.

Source: The History of Ludlow HC.

The first four international matches that were played by England men were all against Ireland. They were in 1895, 1896, 1897 and 1898. As this was around the 'birth' of international hockey it is not altogether surprising to discover repeat fixtures against the same opposition because hockey was not being played in many countries at the time. However, it is a little surprising that the first ever international hockey match was between Wales and Ireland in 1895, a few months before England played their first ever match against Ireland. Why then did England and Wales not play each other in that three year period? Will we ever know?

HockiveFact no8
There are 132 nations affiliated to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and 131 of them play under their own national flag.

The one exception is Ireland because they play their international hockey representing the whole island of Ireland; that is to say the four provinces of Ireland including Ulster, which, of course, is also known as Northern Ireland.

The Irish hockey flag therefore incorporates the badges of the four provinces – Munster, Leinster, Connaught and Ulster – although there has been confusion on occasions when the Republic of Ireland's tricolour has inadvertently appeared!

In the 1970s there were still a lot of separate Ladies' and Men's clubs. Many men's clubs went on to form ladies' sections, whilst many ladies' clubs amalgamated with a local club. For the purposes of this story, Wimbledon Ladies' Hockey Club and Staines Hockey Club were separate clubs a dozen or so miles apart. A few members from each club met up at festivals and, for a few years, the ladies of Wimbledon were enthusiastically entertained in the Staines club house on a Saturday evening. Those were in the days when English club hockey was consistently played on grass at 3pm or thereabouts and a large gathering retired to the bar after tea. The net result of all this fraternising was that seven ladies of Wimbledon ended up marrying seven gentlemen of Staines! Can any other clubs beat that?

In the 1930s the Hockey Association, which ran all men’s hockey in England, had a rule that England should only play one 'foreign international' match a year. With the Home Countries playing each other regularly this meant that England international players of the era would play a maximum of four matches a season. It is a staggering comparison to the modern era where England teams often play twenty to thirty matches a year.

Hockey was not included in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. So as not to miss out completely, Germany decided to host an alternative tournament in Hamburg. They invited six other countries to join them but only England and Austria accepted and attended. We believe that England won both of their games though the results do not appear in the England records. Indeed, the only recorded results of this tournament are those kept by the Germans.

13/10/1912 Germany 3-8 England
14/10/1912 Germany 5-0 Austria

The first person to fly a plane off seawater was Oliver Schwann, a very keen hockey player and one of the 'founding fathers' of the Royal Navy Hockey Association. He was also responsible for setting up The United Services Hockey Club which most people in hockey know of, rather confusingly, as US Portsmouth which has nothing to do with the Americans.

Promoted Commander at the age of 31, on 31 December 1909 he was successively Commanding Officer of Her Majesty's ships HMS Niger and HMS Hermione. It was during this period that his rapidly increasing interest in aviation came to fruition. He bought his own aeroplane, an Avro Type D landplane for £700, a great deal of money in those days. He fitted floats to it and was successful in being the first British person ever to take off from salt water. This he achieved in Cavendish Dock, Barrow-in-Furness on 18 November 1911, which happened to be his 33rd birthday. Bitten by the flying bug he then qualified as a pilot six months later on 16 April 1912 at Larkhill on Salisbury Plain (Royal Aero Club Certificate no. 203).

A full article on Oliver Schwann will appear in our soon-to-be-launched Hockey's Military Stories (HMS) feature as he enjoyed an amazing Service life that took in the Royal Navy, the Royal Naval Air Service and finally the Royal Air Force to make up a service career that spanned 53 years.

OliverSchwann

Oliver Schwann taxiing in his Avro Type D, Barrow-in-Furness, 18 November 1911.
Image reproduced courtesy of the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

Across the bottom of page 3 of the last issue of Hockey Field magazine for the season 1938/39 (specifically, 8 April) there was printed a statement in bold type that read:

“THE FIRST ISSUE FOR SEASON 1939/40 WILL BE SEPTEMBER 30”.

Of course, that was not to be as WW2 began that very summer. In fact the next issue was not published until the 5 October 1946, some seven and a half years later; however hockey continued to flourish and we have many records of wartime hockey building up in our forthcoming study of Hockey’s Military Stories.

In the first ever Olympic Hockey Tournament at the London Olympics of 1908, The Home Nations – England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales – all took part separately. They were joined by France and Germany but it was the Home Nations that reached the medal play-off games. The bronze medal match did not take place as Scotland and Wales decided they needed to get home and back to work and it is believed that no bronze medals were awarded. In the final for the gold medal England defeated Ireland 8-1.

Whilst we are aware of at least four of the gold medals, no mention has ever been heard of a silver medal. Were they ever presented?

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 Olympic gold medal awarded to Gerald Logan, 1908.

Blasts From The Past: An Introduction

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....

AWRE Hockey Club: Explosive Hockey Played in 1950s Berkshire

AWRE Hockey Club: Explosive Hockey Played in 1950s Berkshire

Last weekend saw the release of the much-anticipated biographical film Oppenheimer, which tells the story of the American nuclear physicist J Robert Oppenheimer, often recognised as the ‘father of the atomic bomb’. Situated in a remote part of New Mexico, USA, the secret Los Alamos Laboratory was established by the...

An ‘Anglo-Welsh’ hockey honours cap

An ‘Anglo-Welsh’ hockey honours cap

  A recent addition to our ever-increasing collection at THM, a beautiful Welsh honours cap, has come to us from the family of William Richard Edwards who played for Wales between 1929 and 1931. William was born, lived and died in England but with Welsh ancestry he played hockey for...

A postcard home … to France in 1906

A postcard home … to France in 1906

Whilst looking at this picture, consider that the first ladies’ hockey in England – indeed the world – began less than twenty years before this photograph was taken. This really was at the dawn of women's hockey!     The postcard is from a French girl writing home to her...

Sikhs, Lord’s and Hockey

Sikhs, Lord’s and Hockey

The following article was written and researched by former trustee of The Hockey Museum Dil Bahra for fieldhockey.com. It is reproduced here for posterity. Dil is author of the website sikhsinhockey.com which highlights the contribution and achievements of Sikh hockey athletes. The names of Sikh players are emphasised in bold...

The hockey story of Shalford church’s ecclesiastical cloth is not fabricated

The hockey story of Shalford church’s ecclesiastical cloth is not fabricated

    The altar at St Mary’s Chruch, Shalford in Surrey.Photographs courtesy of St Mary’s Church Shalford’s vicar, Rev’d Sarah Lloyd, and parish administrator, Kate Waldock.   Steve Woodward, a hockey player and international umpire, who died in 1992, has an unusual memorial: an altar cloth in his local church....

Core of 'The Apple' reflected in Hampshire church window

Core of 'The Apple' reflected in Hampshire church window

If you ever have cause to visit St John the Baptist Church in Burley, Hampshire, in the UK, be sure to look out for the hockey sticks! For among its many memorials is a stained-glass window dedicated to Constance Applebee, the British woman credited with popularising hockey among women in...

Len Smith’s Sportswear and designs on further clothing research

Len Smith’s Sportswear and designs on further clothing research

            Royal Ascot Hockey Club's Royal Stewart tartan skirt, produced and sold by Len Smith's. From The Hockey Museum's collection.   Following on from mention of Len Smith’s Sportswear Ltd. in a recent article about the introduction of VAT in 1971, several volunteers at The...

Maurice Turnbull: Britain’s most complete all-round sportsman?

Maurice Turnbull: Britain’s most complete all-round sportsman?

  August 2024 will mark the 80th anniversary of the sad death of a long-forgotten Welsh sportsman, the unique Maurice Turnbull, who was killed in action in France at the climax of World War 2. Why unique? Maurice has the distinction of having been a ‘quadruple international’ gaining honours for...

Eustace E White: Hockey Field’s Educator Editor

Eustace E White: Hockey Field’s Educator Editor

   Eustace E White.   The life of Eustace E White Mr Eustace E White was the Editor of Hockey Field and Lacrosse magazine (aka Hockey Field). The magazine was shocked to learn his sudden death on 8 December 1922, due to a second heart attack whilst in Nottingham during...

How the introduction of VAT impacted club hockey in the UK

How the introduction of VAT impacted club hockey in the UK

          Len Smith’s was a renowned shop in Twickenham, Greater London, which sold women’s sporting attire to hockey clubs. It is perhaps most famous for its skirts (pictured), even fitting out the England national team.   The introduction of Value-added tax (VAT) into the UK on...

Women’s History Month 2023: Biddy Burgum’s fascinating life in hockey

Women’s History Month 2023: Biddy Burgum’s fascinating life in hockey

    Biddy Burgum's scrapbook which chronicles England women vs Belgium at Empire Stadium, Wembley in 1953.     March 2023 is the 70th anniversary of England women’s thumping 11-0 victory over Belgium at Wembley Stadium – a match played in front of an impressive 50,000-strong crowd of mainly schoolgirls....

The British and the Origins of Hockey in Italy

The British and the Origins of Hockey in Italy

This article is inspired by the research of the writer and journalist Pier Angelo Rossi, whose work was shared with The Hockey Museum by our Italian friends at HockeyLove.it, Riccardo Giorgini and Luciano Pinna.    Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the region of Liguria in north-western Italy witnessed an influx...

50th anniversary of the introduction of substitutes

50th anniversary of the introduction of substitutes

  The International Hockey Rules Board minute book. The book is held in the collection of The Hockey Museum on loan from the International Hockey Federation (FIH).   In March 1973 at its third meeting held in London, the International Hockey Rules Board approved a new rule introducing up to...

The creation of umpiring structures for women in 1923

The creation of umpiring structures for women in 1923

“Men have helped us in the past … until we are able to stand on our own legs, and we now look to them to encourage women to umpire. There is no doubt … that women will not trouble to learn to umpire as long as there is a man...

Kingston Grammar School 7-5 Staines Hockey Club

Kingston Grammar School 7-5 Staines Hockey Club

“Kingston School maintained their unbroken record on their own ground by defeating Staines. During the first half, Staines pressed continually and scored three goals. The School forwards, on the other hand, did not seem able to play together, and only succeeded in getting one goal (Shoveller). At half time the...

A Fashion Faux Paus? England vs France, 1923

A Fashion Faux Paus? England vs France, 1923

  An action shot of England women vs France on 3 February 1923. Image from the Marjorie Pollard collection, The Hockey Museum.   100 years ago on 3 February 1923, England women played their first international match against France. The game was played at Merton Abbey, Battersea and Chelsea Polytechnic...

'Combination' in Hockey: the Difference between English and Irish Styles?

'Combination' in Hockey: the Difference between English and Irish Styles?

  England vs Ireland during the Olympic final of 1908.   In January 1948, Hockey World magazine published an extract from the book Hockey in Ireland by TSC Dagg. In it, Dagg compares the ‘traditional’ playing styles of the English and Irish men’s national teams by drawing on previous literature....

Overcoming the Elements: Hockey during the Big Freeze of 1962-‘63

Overcoming the Elements: Hockey during the Big Freeze of 1962-‘63

In these days of global warming and only occasional flurries of snow in winter, it perhaps seems unbelievable that it could start snowing on Boxing Day and for the frost and snow to remain for nearly three months! That is what happened in the (real) winter of 1962-‘63. Today, water-retaining...

The Astonishing Role of Hockey Boots During WW2

The Astonishing Role of Hockey Boots During WW2

There are few things in everyday life that could be described as ubiquitous hockey items. However, one exception are the canvas and rubber hockey shoes that were widely worn in the ladies and school game from the 1930s onwards. Men’s hockey of the era preferred the more substantial football or...

The History of I M Marsh College of Physical Education, Liverpool

The History of I M Marsh College of Physical Education, Liverpool

The I M Marsh campus of Liverpool John Moores University has a long history. The college was founded in 1900 by Irené Mabel Marsh under the name of Liverpool Physical Training College. From small beginnings the college grew over the years and by the 1960s I M Marsh College of...

“Get Off My Pitch”: A Memoir of Don Gallacher

“Get Off My Pitch”: A Memoir of Don Gallacher

In August 2022, The Hockey Museum (THM) featured a piece about Wembley Head Groundsman Don Gallacher and his son Colin’s efforts to document his father’s memories in a new book. Don oversaw the Wembley pitch between 1974 and 1985 when hockey crowds were at their highest. The vibrancy and the...

Centenary of Australia and New Zealand's First International Matches

Centenary of Australia and New Zealand's First International Matches

27 September 2022 is the centenary of Australia and New Zealand men’s first international matches. It is unusual for two nations to have their first international matches occur simultaneously, but the geographical distance of Australia and New Zealand from other hockey-playing nations of that era led to this exceptional first...

A Brief History of Women’s Headwear in Hockey

A Brief History of Women’s Headwear in Hockey

At a recent event at Great Comp House & Gardens in Kent, we presented Sue Chandler (former Great Britain (GB) Captain with 25 appearances) with her GB honours cap alongside a group of ladies from Sevenoaks and Teddington hockey clubs who were re-enacting hockey as it was played in the...

Correcting Hockey History: The Hunt for Harvey Wood

Correcting Hockey History: The Hunt for Harvey Wood

  Harvey Wood, England men's 1908 Olympic gold medal-winning goalkeeper.   The Hockey Museum volunteer James Ormandy spent a large part of 2019 researching hockey in Yorkshire to produce an article “When Hull Got Hooked on Hockey” for the Playing Pasts website. When Hull Got Hooked on Hockey | Playingpasts.co.uk...

Unearthing a Groundsman’s Special Memories of Wembley Stadium

Unearthing a Groundsman’s Special Memories of Wembley Stadium

  The Hockey Museum (THM) regularly receives interesting enquires from the public and sometimes even an exchange of information. Back in April 2022 there was one such enquiry from Colin Gallacher. His father Don was Head Groundsman at Wembley Stadium between 1975 and 1985. Colin is planning to publish his...

The First Mixed Hockey International Tour by a British School: Australia 1997

The First Mixed Hockey International Tour by a British School: Australia 1997

International touring has a long and distinguished sporting history. Within British hockey, Australasia has been an attractive location to tour to as far back as the early twentieth century. An England women’s side travelled to Australia and New Zealand in 1914, in an era before UK women had the vote...

Whistle While You Work: Researching Umpiring Whistles From The 1920s

Whistle While You Work: Researching Umpiring Whistles From The 1920s

Mike Smith, Hon. Curator and President of The Hockey Museum (THM), describes the process of uncovering hockey’s history as being like a jigsaw puzzle: “Putting together the history of hockey is like doing a jigsaw puzzle where many pieces are missing. Ultimately, we hope to find enough pieces to make...

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Attends The Women's Hockey At Wembley Stadium in 1981

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Attends The Women's Hockey At Wembley Stadium in 1981

Following the Platinum Jubilee last weekend to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s record breaking 70-year reign, we look back on what is arguably her most iconic hockey moment: the visit to Wembley Stadium in 1981. The Queen made an appearance at the England vs Wales women’s international match at Wembley,...

Discovering Vera Cox's Missing Scrapbook

Discovering Vera Cox's Missing Scrapbook

  Joyce Hatton, Vera Cox (wearing her AEWHA blazer) and Frances Heron-Maxwell.This photograph was colourised for Frances Thompson's talk at The Hockey Museum.   Last Wednesday 4 May, Frances Thompson travelled from Australia to The Hockey Museum (THM) for a rather personal research visit, and we asked her to give...

Peter Johnson: The Great Britain Hockey Player With Only One Cap

Peter Johnson: The Great Britain Hockey Player With Only One Cap

A total of 581 players (men and women) have represented Great Britain (GB) over the years. Many of these players have enjoyed illustrious international careers with seven men and 13 women having exceeded 100 appearances – yet this piece is about those players who only made one single appearance. To...

Echoes Of The Moscow Olympic Hockey Boycott 42 Years Later

Echoes Of The Moscow Olympic Hockey Boycott 42 Years Later

The Hockey Museum recently received a 42-year-old document that has a particular resonance with contemporary events that are consuming the world’s media today. The document in question is a copy of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s letter of 19 February 1980 to Sir Denis Follows, CBE, Chairman of the British Olympic...

A Mother's Pride

A Mother's Pride

  The first England women's hockey team (1896).Mary D’Oyley is seated middle row, right of centre next to the lady holding the ball. Mary has her cap on her stick.   When England’s Mary D’Oyley (nee Piper) lined up against Ireland at Alexandra College, Dublin, on 2 March 1896, she...

Hockey: A Political Symbol In The Punjab

Hockey: A Political Symbol In The Punjab

    Punjab Lok Congress Party symbol   The image shown above is being used by a political party as its logo (see here). This may seem a rather strange adoption, yet it has occurred in the Punjab in Northern India. Not only is hockey the national sport of India...

The Evolution of Hockey Honours Caps

The Evolution of Hockey Honours Caps

        The ongoing series of Great Britain (GB) honours cap presentations to current and former GB players is a direct outcome of THM’s Playing Statistics Project. These presentations are really a 'bolt on' to the stats project, perhaps triggered by THM's small collection of various historical hockey...

The First Ever "Hockey" Magazine

The First Ever "Hockey" Magazine

           "Hockey" magazine, 15 December 1893 – the first magazine for hockey?   The Hockey Museum (THM) has over 80,000 items in its growing collection. We receive another two collections most weeks. These are sorted and catalogued by our brilliant volunteers and occasionally we come up...

Jordi Alumà: Hockey

Jordi Alumà: Hockey

    Hockey, Olympic Suite No.2 by Jordi Alumà   The Hockey Museum (THM) holds in its art collection a limited-edition print of a female hockey player by Spanish artist Jordi Alumà (pictured). After a long and distinguished life, Alumà passed away earlier this year on 8 June 2021. The...

How Great Thou Art: Religious Hockey-like Games in Ethiopia

How Great Thou Art: Religious Hockey-like Games in Ethiopia

  © The Trustees of the British Museum How are Orthodox Christianity and sport linked within Ethiopian culture? Created in the late 1940s by an Ethiopian priest, this watercolour painting from the British Museum’s collection depicts two teams of men playing the native stick-and-ball game Genna. Traditionally played at Christmas,...

The Longest Olympic Matches

The Longest Olympic Matches

As we approach the quarterfinals (QF) of the Tokyo 2020 hockey tournament, we reflect on a momentous QF back in 1960: Kenya vs Great Britain (GB) at the Rome Olympic Games. On 5 September 1960, the QF match in Rome became the longest match in the Olympic history (until this...

Tracing The Match Ball From The Australia And New Zealand Tour of 1914

Tracing The Match Ball From The Australia And New Zealand Tour of 1914

An archival document recording an All England Women’s Hockey Association (AEWHA) tour to Australia and New Zealand in 1914, leads The Hockey Museum (THM) Archivist on a journey of discovery to trace a very special match ball with an intriguing social history.       The match ball from Canterbury...

Louis Charles Baillon: The Only Falkland Islander Olympic Champion

Louis Charles Baillon: The Only Falkland Islander Olympic Champion

  The England hockey team from the 1908 Olympic Final. Louis Baillon is seated furthest left.   Louis Charles Baillon is the only Falkland islander to have won an Olympic gold medal. He achieved this feat as a member of the England hockey team that won gold at the 1908...

Alan Turing: WW2 hockey-playing hero features on £50 note

Alan Turing: WW2 hockey-playing hero features on £50 note

After the 2014 feature film The Imitation Game and other publicity most people are now aware of the amazing contribution made by Alan Turing and the remarkable team at Bletchley Park during World War 2. It is often said that their efforts helped the Allies to win the war and...

Christ’s Hospital's Jovial WW1 Charity Match

Christ’s Hospital's Jovial WW1 Charity Match

    These photographs tell the story of a convivial charity match involving Christ's Hospital school (CH) during World War One (WW1). They were unearthed by staff at Christ’s Hospital Museum and shared with The Hockey Museum.             Photographs of the hockey match fundraiser, 1917....

Kenya Hockey Olympians Conference

Kenya Hockey Olympians Conference

I was delighted and honoured to be invited as one of the Guests of Honour at a virtual conference for Kenyan hockey Olympians on Sunday 30 May 2021. The invitation was extended by Hilary Fernandes, Kenya’s triple Olympian, and Raphael Fernandes, a Kenyan Los Angeles 1984 Olympian. Raphael co-ordinated the...

The ‘Hockey Girl’ And The Pursuit of Love

The ‘Hockey Girl’ And The Pursuit of Love

  Cartoon from the Punch Almanack, 1903. The caption reads:"We had a scratch game with the 'Black and Blue' Club yesterday, but had an awful job to get any men. Enid's brother and a friend of his turned up at the last moment; but they didn't do much except call 'offside'...

A Biography of Janet Macklin (née Smallwood)

A Biography of Janet Macklin (née Smallwood)

When Janet Smallwood (later Mrs Macklin) was awarded her first international cap for Scotland in 1951 she was not the first member of her family to have an international sporting honour – her father, Alistair Smallwood, was selected to play for England Rugby in the 1920s. Alistair was born in...

The Festival of Britain’s Grand International Hockey Tournament 1951

The Festival of Britain’s Grand International Hockey Tournament 1951

    Cover of the programme for the Grand International Hockey Tournament during the Festival of Britain, 1951.Click the image to download the full programme as a PDF.Credit: the AEWHA Collection at the University of Bath Library.   Seventy years ago in May 1951, a very unusual sporting event was staged...

Harvey Wood: England’s Mysterious Giant Goalkeeper

Harvey Wood: England’s Mysterious Giant Goalkeeper

[ Editor's note: A follow up article to this piece has since been published which corrects some aspects of the below. Please click here for the follow up article: Correcting Hockey History: The Hunt for Harvey Wood | hockeymuseum.net ]   A piece of research on the 1908 Olympic Games together with...

Bandy In Shakespeare

Bandy In Shakespeare

   Portrait of William Shakespeare, 1610. Possibly painted by John Taylor. There are several references to the word ‘bandy’ in the works of English playwright William Shakespeare, including one in Romeo and Juliet when Romeo, trying to stop a fight between Tybalt and Mercutio, declares: “The Prince expressly hath forbidden...

Hockey-Playing Thespians Of The Edwardian Era

Hockey-Playing Thespians Of The Edwardian Era

  Frank Benson, actor and hockey players, inWilliam Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. The Edwardian era would witness the peak of theatre going and its watershed moment as cinema arrived. It also witnessed a sporting boom – especially in hockey – and one club, Benson’s Hockey Club, had done...

It's A Date: Celebrating the First Scotland Women's International Match

It's A Date: Celebrating the First Scotland Women's International Match

By Katie Dodd      The first Scotland women's team, 1901. The 13 April 2001 is the 120th anniversary of Scotland women’s very first international match, played against Ireland in Dublin. I was first made aware of this special date during a conversation with Evlyn Raistrick, former Scottish and International...

Easter Festivals in Years Gone By

Easter Festivals in Years Gone By

Not that many years ago Easter festivals were the much-anticipated climax to the hockey season. Many hundreds of teams, certainly well into four figures, would travel to play in one of over fifty festivals that took place around Britain. The most popular venues were seaside ones, from Bournemouth to Bridlington...

An Amazing Find As The Hockey Museum Links Up With The British Museum

An Amazing Find As The Hockey Museum Links Up With The British Museum

It’s not often that small, independent museums like The Hockey Museum (THM) have an opportunity to change the narrative of national history, but today we share some very exciting news concerning a highly significant archaeological collection – the Anglo-Saxon burial ship at Sutton Hoo. Sutton Hoo gained a lot of...

Welsh Honours Caps: A Tale of Interrelated Research

Welsh Honours Caps: A Tale of Interrelated Research

By Elton Riches I was researching in The Hockey Museum (THM) library reviewing the early hockey periodicals for photographs or illustrations of player-issued caps. I located a black-and-white photograph in an 1898 publication showing the Welsh men’s hockey team wearing honours caps. Clear evidence that the Welsh national teams were...

Remembering Wembley

Remembering Wembley

On 3 March 2021 The Hockey Museum (THM) celebrated the 70th anniversary of the first England women’s hockey match at Wembley Stadium in 1951. In partnership with Talk Hockey Radio, we produced a podcast (The Special One - Epsiode 6) and video of the personal memories of Maggie Souyave, Anita White...

Wembley Was A Family Affair

Wembley Was A Family Affair

By Christabel Russell Vick I grew up knowing that the Wembley hockey international was the biggest fixture in the women’s hockey calendar. When I talked to my mother (Mary Russell Vick) about her hockey career, I was amazed to discover that these matches at the iconic Wembley Stadium were entirely...

The First Ever Women's International Hockey Match in 1896

The First Ever Women's International Hockey Match in 1896

   Action photo of Ireland vs England women, the first ever women's international hockey match in 1896.   2 March 2021 is the 125th anniversary of the first ever women’s international hockey match in 1896, between Ireland and England. Ireland beat England 2-0. The game took place on the Alexandra...

Unearthing Further Hockey Connections At Sutton Hoo

Unearthing Further Hockey Connections At Sutton Hoo

  Sutton Hoo excavation, 1939. Still from film made by Harold John Phillips.Public domain. In a recent article (click here) we covered the links that exist between the Netflix blockbuster film The Dig and our sport of hockey. Following that piece, we received news of a further hockey connection. If...

Digging Hockey: An Excavation of Edith Pretty's Links to Hockey

Digging Hockey: An Excavation of Edith Pretty's Links to Hockey

by Dr Jo Halpin.     Portrait of Edith Pretty by Dutch artist Cor Visser.© National Trust / Robin Pattinson   Edith Pretty is famous for unearthing an Anglo-Saxon burial ship on her land at Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, in 1939 – an event that has now been made...

In Search of The Hull & District Hockey Register

In 1900 there were just twenty clubs from the North affiliated to the Hockey Association (HA) causing some historians have been misled as to the game’s popularity outside of the home counties. In most northern towns and cities at this time hockey playing was increasingly popular. For example: in Hull...

Never Defeated By Wine Or In A Game: A Secret Edwardian Gentlemen's Hockey Club

Never Defeated By Wine Or In A Game: A Secret Edwardian Gentlemen's Hockey Club

   Cover of the Sticks Club Handbook, 1910   A fascinating item recently came into The Hockey Museum’s possession which threw an amusing light on a social activity in London hockey circles in the early years of the last century. It was the history of an exclusive gentlemen’s hockey club...

The Jean Arnold Collection: The Lord Mayor's Cup

The Jean Arnold Collection: The Lord Mayor's Cup

The Jean Arnold collection was donated to The Hockey Museum (THM) during lockdown and is now helping to uncover more of the once-hidden history of women’s league hockey.   Jean Arnold  Jean Arnold, a well-known figure in Liverpool hockey circles, has donated a large number of items relating to the...

Baffling Brass Buttons

Baffling Brass Buttons

  The Hockey Museum (THM) has recently acquired a set of blazer buttons that once adorned the England blazer of George Hardy. These buttons, emblazoned (ahem) with the HA logo of the Hockey Association, presumably made their way to Hardy’s fellow England player, Captain John Yate Robinson who passed them...

A Tale Of Principled Pilley

On 14 April 1935 (not 1938 as stated on this British Pathé YouTube clip), Germany women played England women in Berlin. The result was 6-4 victory for England. An unexpected tour given the precarious political situation in Europe. The England team line up: Eileen Arnold (GK), Mary Knott (Cptn), Marjorie...

A Rare Item In The Modern Hockey World

A Rare Item In The Modern Hockey World

The Hockey Museum recently received a Winchester HC fixture card for the 2017-2018 season. This came as a bit of a surprise as we knew that many (most?) clubs no longer produce such a publication. With the availability of information on the internet and social media they have become virtually...

Old Creightonians Archive Arrives With A Suprise

Old Creightonians Archive Arrives With A Suprise

Mike Smith, Curator of THM (left) discusses theOld Creightonians HC archive with Simon Lawton-Smith (right). At The Hockey Museum (THM) we receive at least one collection each week, but not many have a twist in the story like this one. A recent visit by Simon Lawton-Smith brought us the club records...

Terrific Trophies

Terrific Trophies

Over the past couple of years, a considerable amount of material, including a large collection of trophies, has come to THM from Cannock HC. It was rescued from the former National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes by Laurie Alcock, affectionately known as 'Mr Cannock'. Had Laurie not saved it, the cabinets and artefacts...

The Work Of Preserving Hockey Heritage: Saving The AEWHA Scrapbook

The Work Of Preserving Hockey Heritage: Saving The AEWHA Scrapbook

The All England Women’s Hockey Association (AEWHA) Collection is looked after at the University of Bath by their Archivist, Lizzie Richmond. The collection contains many unique and irreplaceable items documenting the evolution of women’s hockey in the UK. Two items, the Hockey Jottings scrapbook and the very first minute book...

A Vintage Christmas Present? From India To The London Stage

A Vintage Christmas Present? From India To The London Stage

Photo from Daisy Pulls It Off, showing at the Park Theatre, Finsbury Park, London.Photo courtesy of Tomas Turpie. One of our eagle-eyed supporters spotted this wonderful image taken by Tomas Turpie in The Times newspaper last week. It was from a review of Daisy Pulls It Off, a play that...

An Early Easter Hockey Tour

An Early Easter Hockey Tour

Programme (cover) of The Newport Centrals Hockey Club Fourth Annual Tour, Season 1913-14   Easter hockey tours and festivals have been very popular for many years, probably more so before the league systems were set up in the 1960s and ‘70s. A recent find, hidden amongst our postcard collection, gives...

Bullets Stopped Play

Bullets Stopped Play

Yesterday one of our volunteers was going through a collection and found this newspaper cutting from Thanet International Hockey Festival, 1964. Anyone who has been to Thanet will know that three coats is a mininum and not just because of the flying bullets.

Hockey Played In Antarctica

Hockey Played In Antarctica

"First game of Hockey played on ice near Ship", from The Atlantic magazine, 2013.   The Hockey Museum recently heard of hockey being played in a most unlikely location: on the sea ice in Antarctica. We were contacted by an Antarctic history enthusiast who pointed out that the British Film...

Bringing History To Life With Juan Calzado

Bringing History To Life With Juan Calzado

The Hockey Museum (THM) was very proud to receive a visit recently (28 March 2017) from Juan Calzado, former President of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), European Hockey Federation (EHF) and Real Club de Polo, Barcelona. We were honoured that on a holiday visit to London with family he took...

An Update On The English Cup

An Update On The English Cup

In 2015 The Hockey Museum received an enquiry from Alan Lancaster. He sent two photographs, one a team photograph, which Alan thought was Newhey Ladies’ Hockey team. One of the photographs featured his mother Doreen Howles and her two sisters, Vera and June holding a cup which was believed to...

Three Antique Silver Cups From The Royal Navy HA

Does the existence of three antique silver cups with the Royal Navy HA have a ‘black lining’? The Royal Navy Hockey Association is the proud owner of three silver cups that date back to the 1900 period. They were used for different competitions between ships and units that made up...

The Grand International Match

The Grand International Match

During the First World War, the War Office often used sporting references to try to persuade sportsmen to enlist and an amusing notice in the book Ireland’s Call (by Stephen Walker) recently caught our eye.

The Liberty Bodice

The Liberty Bodice

We recently came across an interesting advertisement in The Hockey Field magazine from 6 January 1916: "Physical Instructors and Games Mistresses are recommended to try the Liberty Bodice. It obviates the necessity for corsets and gives absolute freedom of movement to growing girls. It is ideal wear for all kinds...

Hockey And Football: A Comparison

Hockey And Football: A Comparison

We recently acquired copies of a rare early sports magazine dating from 1906 – The Cricketer, The Hockey and Football Player. It was only published for just over a year taking in two cricket and one winter season. The magazines contain a number of interesting articles that make comment on...

An Illegal Hockey Stick

An Illegal Hockey Stick

New 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...

The Jet-propelled Hockey Stick That Didn't Take Off!

The Jet-propelled Hockey Stick That Didn't Take Off!

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 On The Sand At Minehead

Hockey On The Sand At Minehead

Hockey 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...

Have You Heard Of The English Cup?

Have You Heard Of The English Cup?

I 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...

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