During this period in the Club’s history, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary and the NU Men’s Hockey Club were annual competitors in the Cardiff Whitsun International Hockey Festival organised by Llanishen Hockey Club. In 1968 the Welsh Club held its first Festival on Llandaff Fields in Cardiff, and for 30 years this was a great hockey event over the Spring Bank Holiday with teams from all over UK and Europe playing on the 9 grass pitches at Llandaff Fields, and celebrating/commiserating in the Llandaff Rugby Club bar.
NUMHC Team attend the very first Cardiff Whitsun International Hockey Festival in 1968
The Norwich Union Staff Magazine article submitted by Mike Denham in 1968 said
“Our president, Mr C.N.A.Hill, recently announced that after five years it is time to stand down and we are very grateful to Mr Hill for his support and encouragement during his term of office. Mr A.C.Aldridge has kindly accepted the committee’s invitiation to succeed Mr Hill.
The highlight of our extended 1967/68 season was our participation in the first Cardiff Whitsun international hockey festival organised by Llanishen hockey club. Our party of twenty-five consisted of fourteen players, several wives, girl friends and babies and one overworked team manager! We had a most enjoyable weekend on and off the field.
We played five matches, winning one, drawing two and losing two and while this was not a particularly impressive record we played good hockey against some of the best teams in the festival. We were pleased Chris Gerrard and Rod Palmer were able to join our party and their efforts were much appreciated.
The festival secretary, Vivian Hill, until recently a member of the Cardiff branch staff, and his committee are to be congratulated on their smooth organisation which included producing six excellent pitches. It is proposed that this festival should become an annual event and we hope to enter again next year. M.D.”
Back row (standing Left to Right) J.Brady, Mike Denham, D.Rivett, Richard Aldridge, Trevor Webb, C.Coleman, Rodney Palmer, Chris Gerrard, A.Saunders, R.Wilson
Front row (seated Left to Right) A.Talby, Nick Price, Graham Packer (Capt), Ray Parke (GK), Brian Hardy
50th Anniversary Club Match
The most significant event during this period in the Club’s history was the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Club. The Event was marked by the Men’s Club by holding a match between the 1st Team and an Invitational Team on Saturday 18th April 1970. Thanks to Mike Denham you can see scans of an original programme for the Match.
A photo of all participants in the 50th Anniversary Celebration Match
Back row (standing Left to Right) Richard Dicks (umpire), Colin Coleman, Mike Harrison, Tony Talby, Rodney Palmer, Mike Banham, Ray Parke (GK), Paddy Potter, Colin Bedingfield (GK), Richard Buckton, Richard Rosher, Richard Aldridge, David Aldridge, Tim Weston, Brian Hardy, Peter Fuller, Graham Cubitt, Gerry Wood (umpire)
Front row (seated Left to Right) Peter Sharpe, Clem Aldridge (President), Chris Gerrard, Freddie Aldous, Mike Denham, Graham Packer, Trevor Webb
Norwich Union Men’s Hockey Club 1st XI that played in the 50th Anniversary Match
Back row (standing Left to Right) Graham Cubitt, Mike Banham, Ray Parke (GK), Richard Buckton, Trevor Webb, Richard Aldridge, Brian Hardy
Front row (seated Left to Right) Tony Talby, Graham Packer, Mike Denham (captain), Paddy Potter
Speakers at the 50th Anniversary Dinner
Following the hockey match, a celebratory dinner was held at the Lansdowne Hotel in Norwich. Speakers at the dinner, pictured below, were (Left to right) Mike Quinton (Treasurer, Eastern Counties HA), Clem Aldridge (President, NUMHC), Standley Bushell (Norfolk County Hockey Umpires’ Association), Mike Denham (Captain, NUMHC), Freddie Aldous (NUMHC)
The Norwich Union Staff Magazine celebrated the occasion with the following double page article.
Also in this year, the annual Head Office and Irish Office tournament took place in Dublin.
NU Men’s 1st XI
1976 Men’s 1st XI – Champions & promoted to Greene King East Premier
1978 Ladies Team
At least one player should be recognised by most of you!
1980-81 Men’s 1st XI – Back in the Big Time of East Premier
Additional Cardiff Whitsun International Hockey Festival Photos shown below from 1969 to 1983 (check out 1970 to see if you can spot the one person still playing today for NDHC, then a second in 1972, three in 1977 and one more in 1981):