Watersheddings Memories, the latest book from the Oldham Rugby League Heritage Trust is a fascinating collection of photographs and images all of which are centred in and around the famous old ground that was for so long the home of Oldham Rugby League Football Club.
As you would expect many of the photographs are of rugby league action but that is not all. ‘Sheddings was also witness to lots of other activities. Did you know for instance, that for over forty years it was also the home of Oldham Cricket Club, that international soccer stars Tom Finney, Bill Shankly, Stan Mortensen and Jack Rowley played there and that an England women’s soccer side took on the French? That Great Britain rugby league hard man Don Vines wrestled the Outlaw and that those famous league stars Jim Sullivan and Gus Risman played pro baseball in the stadium? The camera lens has recorded these and other intriguing and unusual events – most of which are illustrated in the book.
But, first and foremost, Watersheddings was famous for being the home of Oldham Rugby League Football Club and for over a century was graced by the most famous players of the sport, both professional and amateur. Thousands of us, some scattered to the four corners of the earth, will each cherish our own memories, whether it might be a packed to the rafters, thrill-a-minute Tuesday night cup replay, a Good Friday morning Standard Cup final or queuing at half-time for a plastic cup of lukewarm coffee in the driving rain.
Many of the photographs and images featured originated from both the national and local press – particularly the Oldham Chronicle – but others, some grainy and dilapidated they may be, have been prised from albums, old chocolate boxes and top drawers from far and wide!
This limited edition is a must and sure to be a sell out. It’s a big book – 400 landscape pages x A4 and it’s hard-backed all for just £20 – the ideal Christmas present! Copies available from the club’s offices and most good book retailers.
About the Oldham Rugby League Heritage Trust
The Trust was formed by a group of Oldham RLFC supporters who first met back in 1995 to discuss the formation of the Oldham RLFC Hall of Fame.
At that time it was realised that in and around the town there were a number of people who owned representative caps, medals and other awards won by Oldham players from bygone eras, some of whom wished to donate those items to the Hall of Fame.
To protect the ownership of this collection and at the same time ensure it was kept available for generations of Oldham people to come, the Trust, under the guidance of OMBC Museum, the Charity Commission and a local firm of solicitors, was formed.
Many of the items in the collection have been donated but from time to time the Trust bids for Oldham rugby league - related items at auction, again in an attempt to either keep them in the borough, or bring them back to the town
As a result of the Trust’s endeavours the people of Oldham now have access to one of the finest rugby club collections of important memorabilia in the world and it’s still growing!
In recent years, amongst other activities, the Trust has organised:
Exhibitions - a record attendance for OMBC’s flagship “Gallery Oldham” - when its collection was displayed there. A permanent Oldham RLFC showcase is sited in the Rugby League Heritage Centre at the George Hotel, Huddersfield – the birthplace of rugby league.
Film shows - rugby enthusiasts attended the sell-out showing of the Mitchell & Kenyon collection of Edwardian rugby films in conjunction with the British Film Institute.
Books – Watersheddings’ Memories is the fourth from the Trust’s presses and the fifth surrounding the ‘Roughyeds’.
It is important to note that all proceeds from any projects such as the current book, are used to fund purchases to add the collection. Without your generous support, many items would be lost forever.
We are hoping to have the full collection on show again in the town next year, and we will update this when details are known.
Edited by sheddingswasus, 16 November 2010 - 10:40 AM.