Long Needed Update

May 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

A good sign rather than a bad one. Have been so busy writing the book that have not had time to keep up with the blog! Well on target for handing material over in July and having it published in October as shown on Amazon. Four chapters more or less complete ( up to 1974) and others well on their way including one on multi talented sportsmen, one on the wider Ashbrooke sporting club and one on the Ashbrooke administrators who have had an influence beyond the club. Read all the earlier blogs to find out what has been going on so far and preorder the  book on Amazon if interested

Mid April Update

April 12, 2011 § Leave a comment


Up to the middle of the 1950s and the story continues to fascinate as the club looks to consolidate and find a second ground ( and a licensed bar!) Nice responses to the Echo article re Max Deas, player, administrator and local TV personality and also Edwardian star Dr Ayre Smith. Keep it coming!

Echo does us proud

April 6, 2011 § Leave a comment


Sarah Stoner at the Sunderland Echo has written a really helpful article on the efforts to write the book. It is on page 16 of the issue of Wednesday April 6th and you will probably be able to get it online. I have also been asked to give a talk to the Antiquarians at the Minster – second Tuesday in May 7.45 for 8.00. All welcome. I will be talking about the state of play and should be near the end of my research by then.

Moving On

March 25, 2011 § Leave a comment


Now going carefully through the minutes for the period from 1945 – 1973. A great deal of interest in the roles played in rugby development nationally and internationally by club members Eric Watt Moses, Alan Bean, Hartley Elliott, Robin Auld, Harry Keenan and Ken Witherington. It is clear that the club battled way above its weight in this sphere and was thus behind many of the important changes in the game.

Spreading the News

March 18, 2011 § Leave a comment


The publishers are on the ball – as ever. Take a look at this site


Don’t forget to read all that has gone before ( below) and of my current interest in anything to do with the club between the Second World War and the club centenary in 1973.

Latest update

March 15, 2011 § Leave a comment


First three chapters up to 1945 more or less in place although there are still queries as you will see if you read previous blogs. I’m now moving onto the 1946 – 73 period and am particularly interested in the coaching courses for schoolboys which took place at Ashbrooke during this period. Any players or relatives with archives or memories please get in touch.

March update

March 1, 2011 § Leave a comment


The book is going well and currently writing up the third chapter ( 1914 -1945). Lots of interesting queries to add to the ones below. I have managed to spot on a picture Tom or Thomas Parker who played for Sunderland, Oxford University, Richmond and Durham County in the 1880s and 1890s. He also had England trials. His father was a shipowner and the family lived in St George’s Square. Any descendants? Also the Burn family from the Elms West and once again Dr Howard Marshall plus Dr Alan Ayre Smith who have been posted as early British Lions thanks to recent research. Also interested in Henry Clayton-Greene and family

Chapter One

February 19, 2011 § Leave a comment


The first chapter ( 1873 – 1887) is now complete and I may be sending out a few queries over the next few weeks. Current interest lies in seeing if any descendants of the founding families – Kaylls, Kidsons, Elliots, Thompsons and Laings are still around and have any further evidence

latest on cover

February 14, 2011 § Leave a comment


The book cover can now be seen and cover details be read by putting my name into Amazon and clicking onto the area relating to the book. Now up to the third chapter and lots of questions to ask over the next few weeks. For example – are there any descendants of famous explorer Abel Chapman in Sunderland? He may have played for the club’s very first team

Six Nations

February 3, 2011 § Leave a comment


With the international season about to start, it is a good time to look at the club’s international connections.In recent years we have produced schoolboy and youth internationals. In fact,  James Lofthouse ( captain of SRFC victorious county cup winning U12s in 1992!) captained a successful England youth side with Jonny Wilkinson and current England captain Mike Tindall in it. The under 9s around 1995 also had the misfortune to come across Katy McLean in a county final when she played for Westoe. She captains England ladies this weekend.

SRFC had a number of internationals in Victorian and Edwardian times and I would like to know a little more about their Sunderland connections. Henry Kayll  (born about 1856) was one of a big family in the glass business and he was brought up in Roker Terrace. He played for England against Scotland in one of the very early internationals in 1878. Charles Elliot ( born around 1852) was from a family of timber merchants, originally from Penshaw but later in Green Terrace. He played against Wales in 1886. His nephew, Edgar ‘Tegger’  Elliot ( born about 1879) was probably the best known of our internationals. He lived in Carley Lodge and played against Scotland, Ireland and Wales in 1901 and Wales in 1904. In 1901 he was partnered in the backs for England  by his club mate Norman Cox. The Cox family ran the Gasworks. They lived in St George’s Square and later in a house by Hendon gasworks. Howard Marshall, (born about 1871)  a doctor who was brought up in Grange Terrace, played against Wales in 1893 and scored three tries. Injury stopped his career soon after. Francis Poole. a minister of the church born in East Rainton (1870/71) , played against Scotland, Ireland and Wales in 1895. He played for the club both before and after he won his caps.

A number of players played for the Barbarians and had international trials but more of them later