The idea of this publication was conceived in September 1991 during a period of reflection whilst crossing the North Sea from Harwisch to Esberg. Initial research indicated that it was premature to celebrate our centenary for several years but the interest remained and the project was duly launched some four years later.
It is right that the centenary of the Club should be celebrated in style and the opportunity grasped to record in some detail the first one hundred years of the history of the East Grinstead Mens Hockey Club. As befits our sport, this book is the result of the dedicated efforts of a small group of enthusiasts supplemented by the assistance of a number of others.
Those whose assistance has been invaluable in providing information have included the East Grinstead Town Museum with photographs and personal assistance from Michael Leppard and David Gould and the Hockey Association who have allowed us access to their extensive library at Milton Keynes. Without this latter data it would have been impossible to have compiled the detail of the early years of this club. John Scott's advice with this early research was also most helpful.
The East Grinstead Courier have been especially helpful in providing photographs and allowing us to reproduce both pictures and narrative.
Collectors of information are fundamental to a research project and the contribution of Tony Blunt, Roger Dakin, and Alfred Nathan in this context has been invaluable. Each had a library of information so that the problem became what to leave out rather than what to include.
Others who have made information and photographs available are Mrs Major who kindly provided the photograph on Page 9. Gwen Place supplied the picture of Geoff for the Presidents gallery. Their assistance is gratefully acknowledged.
I would also like to thank all those who have produced articles for this journal, namely Janie Champness, Roger Dakin, Frank Farrell, Alan King, Richard Leman, David Luckes, George Pitcher and John Skilton. The main burden of the task however has fallen on a small group and I have been fortunate to have such a dedicated team.
Brian Poole and Owen Hill (ably assisted on occasions by Betty) have done much of the research and have also provided articles which I believe give an excellent reflection of the times about which they write. David Sumpter, who joined the group later, has contributed to the production phase and wrote the article on umpiring. I would like to thank especially Maurice Tester for his scholarly contribution, for reviewing much of the text and being a major participant to the original research as well as writing one article and editing another.
To convert these efforts to print required word processing skills, which left in my hands would have resulted in this publication being further one hundred years in production. I am therefore particularly grateful to Lisa Faulkner, my PA, who has processed these words to efficiently. This gratitude also extends to Lisa Felton, another member of the Crystal Palace team who has contributed to the front cover design and to the index page.
This publication was originally printed by GJ Office Services whose principle Geoff Tompkins has contributed enormously to its style and quality. his professionalism and patience when dealing with a group of amateur authors has hopefully resulted in a final product to match the quality of our club.
On a personal note, I hope that the results of these efforts will be enjoyed by many and that readers will be forgiving of any omissions or errors they may detect.
I set out to produce a journal which would encapsulate both the success and the spirit of the Club, of which members are so rightly proud. If this publication has succeeded in capturing that spirit which has achieved so much in the first hundred years, then surely it will also be an encouragement to those who will follow in the second century.