Records show that there was an active mens hockey club in Harrogate as early as 1913/14 with J Waddington appearing for Yorkshire in 1927. Little is known about the Club at that time apart from....
Harrogate Ladies Hockey Club pre-dates the second world war and there are records showing that the Harrogate Athenians Ladies Hockey Club were playing in the 1913/14 season....
Ladies Hockey Club pre-dates the second world war
Ladies have been playing hockey in Harrogate for as long as the men and have a distinguished history. Following a number of moves they eventually merged with the men in the sixties.
Harrogate Ladies Hockey Club pre-dates the second world war and there are records showing that the Harrogate Athenians Ladies Hockey Club were playing in the 1913/14 season. They played in green and yellow adjacent to the County cricket ground. A memento of that period is a Silver Hot Water Jug given by the Athenian Ladies to Constance Keysill Saville on the occasion of her wedding in 1914 at Ripon Cathedral which thanks to the kindness of her family now resides in the Club’s trophy cabinet.
The Club’s modern history dates from its reformation in 1953. The next 45 years saw ten or so different playing venues, including grounds at Bilton, Pannal Ash, Knaresborough and Bluecote Wood near Beckwithshaw.
A permanent social base was established in 1968 with the alliance with Harrogate Hockey Club. Following the opening of "The Stables" in 1973 this became a full amalgamation to form a joint Mens and Ladies hockey club.
The Club has run two teams since 1955. The 1st XI has remained one of the top local teams, winning the Yorkshire Women's Hockey Association Club Championship in 1977 and 1980. After ten consecutive years in the YWHA Premier Division the team won promotion into the North Hockey League for the 2002/03 season. A 3rd XI was established in 1981 and since joining the League in 1994 has progressed steadily up the leagues
Many players have gained representative honours at senior county level, most notably Joan Bennett (1962/3), Jane Lister and Sue Manby (late 1970's/early 1980's) and Jane Henderson (indoor).
In the 1950's Maureen Robshaw, Honorary Secretary, was a mainstay in organising the Club's five international festivals held at the York Place Stray and Wheatlands School (now St Aidan's C of E School). It was not until 1988 that we were again able to play hosts to international guests at the Crawfurd Porter Tournament.
ALLIANCE WITH HARROGATE HOCKEY CLUB
The Club thrived in the 1960's when Dorothy Cabena made a substantial contribution as Honorary Secretary and then 1st XI Captain, Daphne Pruden, Elizabeth Powell and Judy Lupton were key officers when the alliance with Harrogate Hockey Club was cemented in 1968.
Sue Holden steered the Club through to the late 1980's, her "retirement" coinciding with the death of Thyra Duckworth, Club President since 1954. Youngsters from the 1970's have continued to support the Club into the 1990s including Pat Benson, Sue Couture, Joyce Sedcole, Jennifer Hill, Linda Down and Sue Campbell.
The Granby Hockey Centre now represents the Club's permanent social and playing base. The young people of Harrogate can look forward to many years of successful and sociable hockey in their new centre.