Wick celebrate their 80th birthday in style

Posted by Sally Brown on 19 May 2017

"Well ladies don’t we look lovely, although personally I much prefer astro’s and a hoddie!

Firstly, I would like to welcome Caroline from England Hockey who is the Relationship Manager for the South West and her husband Joe who has kindly come to give out our awards to make our 80th birthday a special one.

A massive thank you to Jo, Em, Vicky, Louise & Kate for helping me organise this event it would not happen without you guys, although after the donkey award not so much love for Jo...

So where does Wick Ladies come from, there in a small village called Wick along the A420 toward Chippenham,. During the 20’s a Capt Brown of Wick Court obtained a lease for a field from the Owners of Tracy Park and turned it into a sports ground with a pavilion for the villagers, who played football, cricket and for the women hockey.

There are a couple of us here tonight who can remember the pavilion but by the time of the 80’s it was a shack with a resident rat!

But many a happy night was spent reliving hockey and football moments of the Saturday afternoon. When leaving you often had to push your car out of the mud which was always amusing with a couple of ciders under your belt!

So why are we no longer at Wick village, up until the 80’s all hockey matches were friends, then England Hockey introduced leagues, where all player had to be registered to play. The game became more competitive and with the introduction of astro’s more skilful and quicker.

To move with the times, Wick had to play at schools with astro’s as we could not afford to put down our own astro pitch at the ground. Due to the different times of the games we drifted away from the clubhouse. Those days at the clubhouse will stay with me forever of the laughs we had, late into the evenings.

Wick Ladies has had it up’s and down’s over the year’s at our height in the 90’s we ran 3 senior, 1 junior and an indoor team. Over the decades numbers dwindled and went down to 1 team, but in the last 5 years we have devoted time and effort into establishing a 2nd team again and as you can see we are well and truly on the up again.

So the biggest changes over the decades:

From grass to astro

We don’t play in gymslips and ties! But skorts and number shirts.

We don’t ride on bikes to our away fixtures as they did back in the day, no need for fitness training back then!

Goal keepers wore cricket pads only and they have full body armour and helmet.

All hockey before the 80’s was played at 2.30 now it can be anything from 9.30 in the morning to 5 in the evening.

In 1982 I paid 75p a week to play hockey and £6 annual subs today I pay £8 and £80 a year.. and yes I feel old!

In the 30’s they sent letters to arrange games with other teams.

During the 80’s you phoned your captain to see what the times were to play. If you were dropped you got the dreaded phone call on the Monday.

Now it’s mobiles and social media, although at times we still can’t get that right!

Although I’m still sending carrier pigeon to Rachel W! Will you please get on facebook!

Wick Ladies history will always live on, as over the decades ledgers have been passed down from secretary to secretary and we had 2 books going back to the 30’s which have now been given to the Museum of Hockey to be kept in their archives forever.

So who are the current Wick Ladies, please stand up guys, committee members keep standing the rest sit down, the committee whose roles range from are from captains, secretary, treasurer, web designer and social reps we thank you. So sit down. Can all qualified umpires stand up... and I would like to thank you guys, particularly Chris, Mandy and now James for doing it week in and week out! You put up with a lot of dirty looks and under breath comments and that is just from Danni and Amanda!, but we know that we could not do it without you and we love you really! And finally coaches, Gary for the 1st and me in the 2nds.. and it just shows how we are expanding over the years with a coach for each team, gone are the days of drills around cones, we try to deliver fun, engaging and developmental sessions and it works. Thank you Gary

I would like to thank parents, husbands, boyfriends, partners, sons and daughters over the decades, who let us go and play our hockey every Saturday with our friends. And I am sure you will

agree we are far happier women when we have played, unless we have lost!

Finally, there is a saying that friends are either for a reason, a season or a life time and I compare Wick to this..

A reason – obvious to play hockey

A season – that could be one season or in Jaynes, Jenny M and me we are hitting near our 40th seasons

A Life time – once a Wick Lady you will always have a life time of friends!

I would like you to stand and raise a glass to Wick Ladies and the next 80 years."

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