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Howard Davies courtesy of Mike Smith 01

THM Oral Histories Lead, Evelyn Somerville interviews Howard Davies. Image credit: Mike Smith

The Hockey Museum was one of the first groups in the UK to receive a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Sharing Heritage grant for an exciting project to collect Oral Histories from past players, umpires, officials and administrators.

Sharing Heritage was a new funding programme introduced last year to help people across the UK explore, conserve and share all aspects of the history and character of their local area. The Hockey Museum in Woking - led entirely by volunteers who have had a past relationship with the game of Hockey - was given £7,100 to set up and start running this programme.

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Volunteers have interviewed 25 people who have had an involvement in the game of hockey at all levels and are today making those oral histories available on their website here. From today you will be able to access and listen to the whole interviews or search for keywords and jump to the corresponding segments within each interview if you have an interest in a particular topic area such as the Olympics or the administration of the game of hockey. To achieve this, The Hockey Museum has utilised an innovative, new software called OHMS, created by the Louie B Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky. In doing so, The Hockey Museum has become the first cultural institution in the UK to make use of OHMS and it has resulted in a clean and intuitive user experience that greatly enhances the accessibility of its oral history collection to the wider public.

The Hockey Museum exists to collect and preserve as much as possible of the origins and development of the game of hockey in the UK - both written and oral material and a wide range of artefacts. Over the years, much material of great historical interest has been lost or destroyed, because of the absence of a suitable repository for it. The Museum already has a large collection of heritage and history material but, until now, very little by way of personal recollections. This project set out to start collecting as much of this material as possible, as quickly as possible because in the four years of the Museum's existence, a number of long-standing hockey lovers, whose recollections would have been of great value, have already died.

This initial oral history project has focused on 25 former players and/or officials who have been long-time participants in the game, at all levels within the sport. The objective of these conversations was to record their recollections and preserve them for the education of current and future generations of participants and potential participants, to encourage greater awareness of, and participation in, the sport. The conversations focussed on the way the sport has changed over the years, both in the way it was played and also the way it was organised and administered. The intention is that these very personal recollections will help to bring to life the written records of the development of the sport, and thereby be of greater interest and stimulation to listeners.

Chair of THM Trustees, Katie Dodd, said:

"I am delighted that The Hockey Museum is able to report the successful completion of this Heritage Lottery funded project. This is just the start of our work to bring many more of hockey’s fascinating stories to a wider audience so we hope that people will find the current interviews published both interesting and informative."

Our sincere thanks go to the Heritage Lottery Fund whose grant made this possible and to all those who have generously given their time to be interviewed for sharing their personal memories with us and the wider public through this medium.

pdfDownload the full Press Release by clicking the PDF icon to the right and for more information contact THM Oral Histories Lead, Evelyn Somerville, through our contact form.

In a year when the Great Britain women’s hockey made history by winning the Olympic Gold Medal, 2016 has also been another very successful and exciting year at The Hockey Museum.

We took on our first paid staff, organised two very successful exhibitions at The Olympic Hockey Venue and the Surrey History Centre, opened our doors to the public on a regular basis, continued to take in many new and exciting collections, attended and presented at a number of Conferences, developed a fantastic ‘Art in Hockey’ competition for schoolchildren, completed our first International Heritage Scoping Study (results to be published early in 2017) and are about to start the process of recruiting our first PhD student. Exciting times!

Thank you all for continuing to support THM and watch out for more exciting developments in the New Year.

View our latest newsletter by visiting the Newsletter page of our website here.

The Hockey Museum is seeking a volunteer Webmaster to develop and oversee its website and advise on web and IT progress generally.

Interested parties should have a working knowledge of PHP language and MySQL. Experience of Content Management Systems (The Hockey Museum uses Joomla) would be ideal but not essential.

Ideally, the Museum’s new Webmaster will be from within the ‘Hockey Family’, be passionate about the sport of hockey and willing to give their time voluntarily to further the goals and ambitions of our growing institution.

As Webmaster, you will join a team of passionate volunteers who are actively involved in all areas of the Museum’s work on and off-site, with the freedom to work from wherever you choose. You need not be located near our Woking home.

If you think you have the skills and time to become our Webmaster, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with THM’s Curatorial Assistant, Shane.

We are always keen to welcome new volunteers to THM team so if you have other skills and are keen to offer your time please get in touch too.

The Hockey Museum, Woking, Surrey.
Collections Management Officer
Average 3 days a week - flexible
Expected remuneration: c. £20k pro rata
Fixed term 1 year, with potential to extend. Freelancers welcome to apply.

The Hockey Museum is a relatively new Museum having opened in late 2011. It achieved charitable status later that year and progress has been rapid as the wealth of new collections, enquiries and profile continues to rise. The Museum has moved to new premises in Woking Town Centre and has submitted an application for Museum Accreditation. We are now undertaking a comprehensive collections care and cataloguing project and managing the volunteers to ensure that all the existing and new collections are correctly accessioned and then archived.

We are looking for an enthusiastic Collections Management Officer with proven collections management skills, a meticulous attention to detail and outstanding organisational skills to oversee the maintenance and delivery of collection management procedures to the standards appropriate for an accredited museum. This will extend to overseeing the digitisation of the Museum’s extensive collections across all media platforms.

To apply please email a covering letter and a CV to Evelyn Somerville, THM HR manager, via our contact form.

Closing date for applications: 31 December 2016. Interviews will likely be conducted in the new year.

Full job specification downloadable below.


VolunteersDay2016 03The second annual Volunteers' Day was held at the Hockey Museum on the afternoon of Wednesday 26 October 2016, with around 25 people in attendance including special guest Peter Savage, long time hockey photographer and journalist, his wife Stella and family members. Curator Mike Smith opened proceedings and Chair of the Trustees Katie Dodd (left) followed on with an update on the scoping study to investigate hockey’s international heritage. VolunteersDay2016 06Numerous volunteers then gave brief updates on various projects, collections and the exhibitions the Museum had held in 2016, and Curatorial Assistant Shane Smith presented details of the proposed Museum membership scheme. Guest speaker and double Olympian Simon Mason (right) gave a very eloquent potted history of Peter Savage’s extensive work in hockey and Simon also talked about his experiences in Rio. Volunteer Evelyn Somerville gave an amusing talk on the ongoing Oral History Project with highlights from some of the interviews conducted so far. It was then announced the THM's Oral History Collection will henceforth be known as the "Peter Savage Oral History Collection". Peter (below, left with his wife, Stella and THM Oral History Lead, Eveleyn Somerville) was very pleased and emotional, before the real surprise of the afternoon took place when a personal message was relayed to him from Japan by Great Britain and England hockey Captain Kate Richardson-Walsh and Helen Richardson-Walsh. The successful proceedings were brought to a close by Katie Dodd.

VolunteersDay2016 07Peter Savage was later to post on his website:

"The proudest day of my life? It could well be! I've dedicated a huge amount of my life to hockey. It's not just a sport, but almost an international fellowship who share a common belief in sportsmanship and ethics, whilst at the same time playing a highly competitive and exciting game. Although I was a player (but not a very good one) I have spent much of the last 30 years photographing and reporting on hockey.
"For much of the 30 years I wondered whether anyone had noticed or even cared about my contribution to hockey. So I got a special thrill on Wednesday when The Hockey Museum dedicated its oral history collection to me. Highlights of the day, in addition to being among friends, was a very nice pen picture of me presented by TV commentator, pundit and Olympian, Simon Mason (pictured), and a message from GB Captain Kate Richardson-Walsh and Helen Richardson-Walsh.
"I am not a very emotional person, but I found I was crying (for joy) during some stages of the proceedings. My profound thanks to everyone at the THM for making me so proud."

Lynne Morgan, 8 November 2016

As part of the Sport in Museums Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) consortium, The Hockey Museum (THM) has been given the opportunity to submit an application for a fully-funded PhD studentship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) starting in the 2017/18 academic year. This PhD will be jointly supervised by a Trustee at THM and a university or other Higher Educational Establishment (HEI). The HEI will administer the studentship, receiving funds from the AHRC for fees and maintenance. THM will provide access to relevant archives and collections and specialist subject guidance and additional appropriate financial support to the student towards travel and related costs.

THM is interested to hear from Academics or HEIs who wish to develop a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership project with THM.

The Hockey Museum (THM) is a relatively new organisation set up in 2012 whose aim is to preserve, share and celebrate the rich heritage and history of the sport of hockey, not only in Britain where the modern game started, but also from all around the world.

The Museum is located in Woking, Surrey and is home to a growing collection of hockey archives, artefacts and memorabilia. A significant part of our archive collection is held at the University of Bath Library. A key part of the work of the Museum’s team of volunteers is to register, catalogue, develop and preserve these fascinating records and items and over time, make them accessible to the hockey family, researchers and the wider public through the website, newsletters, displays and other exhibitions. We have already supported a number of research workers from different HEIs in the UK and abroad in undertaking their PhD and other academic studies but with the growing wealth of archival material available to us, we are keen to work with an HEI to define our own PhD research project.

We have a number of possible topics available for discussion with interested parties or can discuss CDP applications on other suggested topics provided that the proposed project is of high quality, is appropriate for collaborative study at doctoral level, and is relevant to both AHRC subject areas and THM current range of archive material.

Studentship projects must be jointly proposed by THM and the selected UK HEI and the completed application form submitted to the AHRC by 25th November 2016 in order to be considered.

Further details on the CDP and CDA schemes are available from the AHRC and CDP Consortium websites.

If you are interested in working with THM to submit a CDP application, please contact Katie Dodd, Chair of THM Board of Trustees through our contact form, attaching no more than an A4 expression of interest that sets out;

  • the applicant’s sports history experience generally and/or specifically in relation to hockey
  • their experience (supervisory especially) which fits them to take the project forward
  • existing project commitments

Closing date 5.00pm on Thursday 27th October.

Applicants will hear back within 2 weeks.

DavidandDesDavid Balbirnie with Des Simon and his family at his 100th year birthday celebrations.


On Tuesday 20 September 2016 Des Simon, a Past President of the former Irish Hockey Union and Hockey Ireland Honorary Life Member, celebrated his 100th birthday.

Des, a long standing member of Cliftonville Hockey Club, has made an immense contribution to Ulster and Irish Hockey. In addition to his roles above he has been President and Honorary Secretary of the Ulster Branch and was awarded his FIH Badge when he took up umpiring after his playing days were over.

David Balbirnie, Member of Honour of the EHF, candidate for the FIH Presidency and Trustee of The Hockey Museum was delighted to be amongst the guests of close friends and family. "There is no doubt that Des has made a huge contribution to the early years of Irish Hockey. His ever smiling face and attitude, with an openness to change, were useful attributes over the many years that he served. To be here on Des's special day reminds me of the core values of hockey worldwide, family friendly, dedicated volunteers and life time friends that we meet along the way. It is a personal pleasure for me to call Des a friend and to wish him continued health surrounded by his family and friends."

On behalf of the European hockey family we wish Des, who we believe could be the oldest hockey ex-President, a wonderful birthday!

This article first appeared on the EHF website here.

The Hockey Museum (THM) has launched a limited-edition calendar for 2017. It covers 16 months (September 2016 to December 2017) so that if fully incorporates the hockey season – and you can start using it right away!

Featuring a stylish and clean aesthetic in-keeping with THM’s branding, the calendar is illustrated with highlights from the Museum’s varied and ever-expanding collection of artefacts and archives from across the centuries (see the images below), as well as notable dates throughout the year that will serve to keep you up to speed with the Museum’s planned events and national and international hockey happenings.

THM has a limited number of calendars for sale. These can be purchased for the bargain sum of £6 each including postage and packaging (within the UK, overseas postage will incur an additional cost). Please email THM Curator, Mike Smith (via our contact form) to register your interest.

October 2016November 2016

December 2016











Shane Smith, 15 September 2016

Following a worldwide search, Great Britain and England Hockey is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Ed Barney PhD as Performance Director.

Dr Barney's track record of maximising performance, talent identification and strategic thinking made him the outstanding candidate for the role. With international experience in hockey, cricket and sailing, he brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to this pivotal role.

With the EuroHockey Championship next year and the Hockey World Cups in 2018, this appointment comes with great opportunities ahead for both our men's and women's teams.

Considered to be one of the up and coming stars in his field, Dr Barney is currently Head of Talent Development at Great Britain Hockey and has played a key role in the evolution of the nation's hockey talent pathway.

He was a world class sailing athlete before moving into coaching, and working as an RYA national sailing coach. He then joined the England and Wales Cricket Board to become their Talent Identification Scientist before moving to Hockey as Head of Talent Development in 2013.

After achieving a First Class Honours degree from Exeter University he went on to complete an MSc in Sport Science at Loughborough University, prior to achieving an innovative and cutting-edge PHD in Talent Identification and Development.

CEO of England Hockey Sally Munday said "Ed's track record speaks for itself, he was the outstanding candidate and the unanimous choice of the selection panel.

"We interviewed an exceptionally strong field and Ed shone throughout the process against candidates from across hockey, as well as other Olympic disciplines and global professional sports.

"We have seen first hand the great impact he has made in our performance department, and the quality of his leadership to the talent programme across Great Britain. With his previous experience in international cricket and sailing he will also add a different perspective in leading our Performance Department and I am confident his experience, coupled with his drive and focus, will enable us to achieve our ambition of being consistently ranked in the top three sides in the world for both women and men."

View the full article on the England Hockey website here.

Denmark vs Germany 1941I thought I might share a recent happening you just as an example of some of the work and occurrences at The Hockey Museum. It never ceases to amaze me how the happenings continue to happen!

Recently we received a contact from a player in Denmark who is interested in the history of hockey in his country. He sent us a copy of a photograph of a hockey match between Denmark and Germany in Denmark in 1941 (right) – during WW2 and during the German occupation of Denmark. We are still looking into this as our records do not contain any international matches between 1939 and 1945, but what an interesting find.

Irish team in Denmark 1940sPart of our response to our new 'friend' in Denmark was to ask if he had any other information on hockey from that era. We were really referring to the match mentioned above but his response opened up a whole new area of research. He sent us a photograph of an Ireland men’s team that he says played Denmark around 1940. Now that is a ‘wow’ moment. With Ireland being neutral in WW2 it might have been a possibility, however unlikely it may seem. Official records show the first fixture between them in the 1970s but we continue our investigation.

If sleuthing appeals to you, do come and join us.

Mike Smith, THM Curator, 24 August 2016

HR W 02After visiting the Museum in April to help its Communications Lead Lynne Morgan with her research on the total number of Great Britain capped female hockey players, GB & England International and four times Olympian, Helen Richardson-Walsh kindly agreed to lend the Museum her bronze medal from the London 2012 Olympics to see if we could make a suitable replica of it for display purposes at the Champions Trophy in June. Richardson-Walsh then asked if we would be interested in any of her old kit from her long and outstanding top class hockey career. Initially, she said it would be December before she could sort things out but Morgan was contacted before the Rio Olympics – in which Richardson-Walsh and her teammates have just won a historic gold – to say that she had a small number of items ready to donate to the Museum.

HR W 03Included in the donation and in pristine condition was the white and gold trouser suit, worn by GB athletes at the London 2012 Opening Ceremony (pictured above right). The manufacturers of the ornate white and gold jacket had designed and labelled each of the jacket pockets, for headphones, pen, phone etc. The sleeveless top that was part of the uniform was also included, as was a sequined GB t-shirt (pictured left). It also included a current England tracksuit top and pins from 2012 from the USA, Argentina, Netherlands and New Zealand.

Another surprise inclusion was the AstroTurf shoes Richardson-Walsh wore for each of the London 2012 Olympic matches, which are currently on display, alongside the aforementioned replica of her London 2012 bronze, as part of the Hockey in the Olympics exhibition being held at the Surrey History Centre, Woking (pictured right).HR W 01

We now look forward to Helen’s next donation, thank her for the collection so far and congratulate her hugely on her gold medal success! Perhaps we might even get some Rio Olympics kit down the line.

Lynne Morgan, 20 August 2016


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