SWINDON Hockey Club celebrated 100 years of hockey with their Centenary Dinner Dance at The Village Hotel, Shaw Ridge last month.

A packed room saw players and friends from the 1950s to the present day in attendnace.

As well as a superb meal and disco, there was a memorabilia corner with photos from the 50s to the current season, along with a display of the changing style of kit and hockey sticks used just after the war.

Speeches were made by chairman Jim Towers and president Bruce Cameron. The oldest ex-player in attendance was John Oliver.

A magnificent £1,050 was raised towards the purchase of the club’s new dugouts from two raffles; the generous donation of an expensive Tissot watch by former hockey player Richard Deacon of Deacons Jewellers raised £470 alone.

Swindon Hockey Club first played on a grass pitch opposite what was then the Black Horse Pub in Wroughton, in the 1920s.

In 1952 the club moved to the then new Moredon Sports pitches, with its new changing rooms, which was opened by the Queen, who was then Princess Elizabeth. A Redgra hockey pitch was later laid at Moredon.

With the advent of artificial pitches, the club moved to Dorcan Academy, Lydiard Park (Greendown), and Abbey Park before setting up at their current home at The Deanery School in Wichelstowe.

Swindon saw double success this season as both the men’s and ladies’ first teams achieved promotion to the top divisions of their respective leagues.

The ladies did so by being crowned Premier 2A champions in West Clubs Women’s League, finishng a full 13 points clear of their nearest rivals and with an unblemished home record.

The club membership has increased significantly with this move, in particular the junior section doubling in size.

In addition, Back To Hockey sessions on Monday evenings have seen ex-players and many new players join the club.

As a result, next season the club will also start a Vets Hockey session on Monday evenings as well.

Swindon have their hockey teas in the Hall & Woodhouse Pub and Restaurant opposite The Deanery, in its attractive location adjoining the restored section of The Wiltshire & Berkshire Canal.

New members are welcome next season.