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I am writing from the Manchester Rugby History Group. 

We have recently received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable us to research and preserve the history of Rugby League in Manchester.

We would like to appeal to the rugby League community and invite anyone who may be interested to get involved with the project. 

The project will see us start to further investigate the events that happened in Manchester on 3rd September 1895, when all 22 breakaway Northern Union clubs met for the first time at the Spread Eagle Hotel in central Manchester and will finish around the time of the 2018 Grand Final with an exhibition of the findings of the Project. 

We’re familiar with what happened at the event at the Spread Eagle and want to build on this over the next year by adding more plaques like the one below around the city. 

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/bombed-rugby-plaque-gets-a-return-689703.amp

Can anyone help us? Does anyone know of a relative who may have been involved in rugby league in Manchester prior to the 1980’s particularly at Broughton/ Belle Vue Rangers?

Does anyone have any artefacts that they may be able to donate to the exhibition?

Have a look at our website and get in touch if you do! 

http://mcrrugbyheritage.com/

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Manchester Rugby History said:

I am writing from the Manchester Rugby History Group. 

We have recently received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable us to research and preserve the history of Rugby League in Manchester.

We would like to appeal to the rugby League community and invite anyone who may be interested to get involved with the project. 

The project will see us start to further investigate the events that happened in Manchester on 3rd September 1895, when all 22 breakaway Northern Union clubs met for the first time at the Spread Eagle Hotel in central Manchester and will finish around the time of the 2018 Grand Final with an exhibition of the findings of the Project. 

We’re familiar with what happened at the event at the Spread Eagle and want to build on this over the next year by adding more plaques like the one below around the city. 

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/bombed-rugby-plaque-gets-a-return-689703.amp

Can anyone help us? Does anyone know of a relative who may have been involved in rugby league in Manchester prior to the 1980’s particularly at Broughton/ Belle Vue Rangers?

Does anyone have any artefacts that they may be able to donate to the exhibition?

Have a look at our website and get in touch if you do! 

http://mcrrugbyheritage.com/

 

 

contact Manchester Rangers directly they have the Bob Wilson award which was presented by his relatives last year.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rugby-League-Manchester-100-Greats/dp/0752430874

Also the author of the above book is listed as the club historian in the club programmes.

 

 

Edited by TheLegendOfTexEvans

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I was brought up in Lower Broughton in the 50s and 60s. By then Wheaters Field was housing and the original ground on Yew Street became Broughton Cricket Club. The Club moved to Belle Vue and then folded shortly afterwards.

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42 minutes ago, TheLegendOfTexEvans said:

contact Manchester Rangers directly they have the Bob Wilson award which was presented by his relatives last year.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rugby-League-Manchester-100-Greats/dp/0752430874

Also the author of the above book is listed as the club historian in the club programmes.

 

 

Thank you. We have contacted all clubs in the Manchester area but we are interested in the original clubs and receiving memories and artefacts from them and we’ve been contacted already by families of former Broughton and Belle Vue players and we will be recording oral histories from them. 

We are meeting with Graham Morris who you mention’. He was instrumental in encouraging us to get the project going a couple of years ago - his book is fascinating - and we’re looking forward to discovering more information for him. 

If there is anything else we’d love to know about it. 

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20 minutes ago, bazzzz65 said:

I was brought up in Lower Broughton in the 50s and 60s. By then Wheaters Field was housing and the original ground on Yew Street became Broughton Cricket Club. The Club moved to Belle Vue and then folded shortly afterwards.

Wow. Did you watch the Club play? 

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I didn't t see them play. They moved to Belle Vue when I was very young. I started going to watch Salford about 1960.

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3 hours ago, Wanderer said:

is there a rugby union club operating on the same site?

very odd for salford but at least the oval ball survives in some shape or other

Now where do I start?

There is now a rugby union (Broughton RU) playing out of the cricket/Rugby Club on Yew St, which is less than half a mile from The Cliff, in Salford where Broughton Rangers played and is very near to Wheaters Field, where Broughton Rangers also played before they moved to The Cliff. 

However, Broughton Park Rugby Club, who now play in Chorlton, Manchester also played in the Broughton area, having originated in Broughton (Salford). 

Brougton Rangers also originated in Broughton (Salford) and then migrated to Belle Vue (Manchester).

All these three clubs feature a Griffin on their Club badges. None, apparently are legally linked. We intend to unravel this cobweb of rugby clubs and tell the full story. Maybe they are all linked? Who knows! 

One theory is that they all used the Griffin Hotel in Broughton as a base and took inspiration from that. 

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Swinton are selling a book recalling their 150 year history.

I wonder if the author(s) of that might be able to help get you information on Broughton/Belle Vue Rangers as I imagine they’ll of cropped up during the research on the Lions?

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You cant really do rugby league history without covering union. 

I see you are doing both from the website.   Also pre-1974  was Swinton in Manchester?? 

The following book might help.  Nice reference to Rochdale Hornets who have a long rugby history.

Moss Side \ Manchester Rangers (1870) who were formed at St Michaels Church Hulme.

(No connection to the Belle Vue club).

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=_IWEBwAAQBAJ&pg=PA393&dq=moss+side+rangers&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjT3dGw4KrXAhUIAsAKHa4UDYgQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=moss side rangers&f=false

Edited by TheLegendOfTexEvans

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14 hours ago, TheLegendOfTexEvans said:

You cant really do rugby league history without covering union. 

I see you are doing both from the website.   Also pre-1974  was Swinton in Manchester?? 

The following book might help.  Nice reference to Rochdale Hornets who have a long rugby history.

Moss Side \ Manchester Rangers (1870) who were formed at St Michaels Church Hulme.

(No connection to the Belle Vue club).

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=_IWEBwAAQBAJ&pg=PA393&dq=moss+side+rangers&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjT3dGw4KrXAhUIAsAKHa4UDYgQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=moss side rangers&f=false

Curiouser and curiouser. Of of the group had found some reference to Moss Side Rangers but not this one. Not sure what you mean about Swinton, was that pre boundary changes? 

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1 hour ago, Manchester Rugby History said:

Curiouser and curiouser. Of of the group had found some reference to Moss Side Rangers but not this one. Not sure what you mean about Swinton, was that pre boundary changes? 

yes but I am not old enough to give you an educated answer to the boundary change.

Guess everything was Lancashire then??

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Manchester was a hotbed of rugby football in the late 70s and early 80s and soccer barely got a look-in. Many of those clubs joined the junior ranks of the NRU post ‘95.

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9 hours ago, TheLegendOfTexEvans said:

yes but I am not old enough to give you an educated answer to the boundary change.

Guess everything was Lancashire then??

Yes.  In England, the big local government re-organisation came in formally on 1st April, 1974.  Some areas were deemed 'shire' counties, and also had district (sometimes called 'borough') councils.  There were a few metropolitan counties, with metropolitan district councils as well as, hierarchically above them, the metropolitan county council.  Metropolitan counties included West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.

Previously, all the area talked about here - Manchester itself and Swinton, for instance - was indeed in Lancashire.  Lancashire County Cricket Club's home ground, Old Trafford, is in one of the places that became part of Greater Manchester, albeit only in a local government sense.  I still think of it as in Lancashire, just as my Skipton born-and-bred wife would still consider she is from the West Riding (North Yorkshire?  What's that?!)

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I drafted a short history of RL in Bury about 2 years ago. It included obtaining various press cutting from up to 1914 with tables, results, scores from the Manchester and District league - by summer 1914 ready for the 14/15 season the Manchester league had two divisions with 3 clubs in what we'd say is East Manchester these days (or you might say Reddish is Tameside) , 2 clubs from Bury (Prestwich CI and Radcliffe Rangers) and the rest from areas of Salford.  Of course the 14/15 season didn't then happen as WW1 broke out and it seems that most sides simply did not re-form afterwards.

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14 hours ago, mmp said:

I drafted a short history of RL in Bury about 2 years ago. It included obtaining various press cutting from up to 1914 with tables, results, scores from the Manchester and District league - by summer 1914 ready for the 14/15 season the Manchester league had two divisions with 3 clubs in what we'd say is East Manchester these days (or you might say Reddish is Tameside) , 2 clubs from Bury (Prestwich CI and Radcliffe Rangers) and the rest from areas of Salford.  Of course the 14/15 season didn't then happen as WW1 broke out and it seems that most sides simply did not re-form afterwards.

Fascinating. Would you be willing to submit this to the Project? What were the names of all the clubs please?

We’re having a launch event on the morning of Saturday Dec 2nd which you’d be welcome to come to also. 

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I have a lot of stuff, ask me a question, I'll see what I have got.

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2 minutes ago, Manchester Rugby History said:

When you say you've got a lot of stuff, what kind of stuff do you have?

A lot of news articles and access to more, books on the history of the game.

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30 minutes ago, Padge said:

A lot of news articles and access to more, books on the history of the game.

OK, I'll speak to the rest of the group and come back to you. Alternatively, we're having a launch event on the morning of Dec 2nd in Manchester which you'd be welcome to come to and meet the rest of us. By then, we'll have some initial findings which we'll be presenting. 

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5 minutes ago, Manchester Rugby History said:

OK, I'll speak to the rest of the group and come back to you. Alternatively, we're having a launch event on the morning of Dec 2nd in Manchester which you'd be welcome to come to and meet the rest of us. By then, we'll have some initial findings which we'll be presenting. 

If I can be of help I am more than willing, keep me posted.

 

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On 11/8/2017 at 9:15 PM, Manchester Rugby History said:

Fascinating. Would you be willing to submit this to the Project? What were the names of all the clubs please?

We’re having a launch event on the morning of Saturday Dec 2nd which you’d be welcome to come to also. 

In the Manchester Courier it lists results between these in the M&D League for 1902/03:

Egerton, Irlam Soapworks, Swinton St Stephens, Salford Trinity, Pendleton Brit', Adelphi Lads, Radcliffe Rangers, Broughton H'ts, Pendleton Trinity, Flixton, Clifton Chloride, Prestwich Church Institute

A clipping from before that season started states they rejected applications from Leigh St Jospephs, Rochdale Rangers and that there was an application from a team called North West Manchester on which they had not decided.

This period was a period when Swinton, Salford and Broughton were amongst the very top NU teams.

The Evening News on July 18 1914 has a report from the M&D Committee meeting which lists the make up of divisions to be as follows:

Div 1 - Prestwich, Rylands Rec, Wardley, Cadishead, Pendleton, Anchor and Cable, Swinton St Marys, Swinton Park, Flixton and Clifton (I cant be sure whether thats two teams - a team called Clifton and a team called Flixton or one team called Flixton and Clifton).

Div 2 - Mandlebergs (which was a factory team I think!), Broughton Central, Winton, Bradford Hornets, Deans Rovers, Reddish, Flixton Hornets, Cadishead A, Bradford and Clayton, Weaste, Seedley Rangers

To avoid people being confused there might be a Bradford in Yorkshire with a place called Clayton near it...but there are also areas of East Manchester called Bradford and Clayton that had coal-mines so it's that East Manchester area where these were from.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, mmp said:

In the Manchester Courier it lists results between these in the M&D League for 1902/03:

Egerton, Irlam Soapworks, Swinton St Stephens, Salford Trinity, Pendleton Brit', Adelphi Lads, Radcliffe Rangers, Broughton H'ts, Pendleton Trinity, Flixton, Clifton Chloride, Prestwich Church Institute

A clipping from before that season started states they rejected applications from Leigh St Jospephs, Rochdale Rangers and that there was an application from a team called North West Manchester on which they had not decided.

This period was a period when Swinton, Salford and Broughton were amongst the very top NU teams.

The Evening News on July 18 1914 has a report from the M&D Committee meeting which lists the make up of divisions to be as follows:

Div 1 - Prestwich, Rylands Rec, Wardley, Cadishead, Pendleton, Anchor and Cable, Swinton St Marys, Swinton Park, Flixton and Clifton (I cant be sure whether thats two teams - a team called Clifton and a team called Flixton or one team called Flixton and Clifton).

Div 2 - Mandlebergs (which was a factory team I think!), Broughton Central, Winton, Bradford Hornets, Deans Rovers, Reddish, Flixton Hornets, Cadishead A, Bradford and Clayton, Weaste, Seedley Rangers

To avoid people being confused there might be a Bradford in Yorkshire with a place called Clayton near it...but there are also areas of East Manchester called Bradford and Clayton that had coal-mines so it's that East Manchester area where these were from.

 

 

 

Did they play in ‘whiter than white’ shirts by any chance?

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18 hours ago, mmp said:

In the Manchester Courier it lists results between these in the M&D League for 1902/03:

Egerton, Irlam Soapworks, Swinton St Stephens, Salford Trinity, Pendleton Brit', Adelphi Lads, Radcliffe Rangers, Broughton H'ts, Pendleton Trinity, Flixton, Clifton Chloride, Prestwich Church Institute

A clipping from before that season started states they rejected applications from Leigh St Jospephs, Rochdale Rangers and that there was an application from a team called North West Manchester on which they had not decided.

This period was a period when Swinton, Salford and Broughton were amongst the very top NU teams.

The Evening News on July 18 1914 has a report from the M&D Committee meeting which lists the make up of divisions to be as follows:

Div 1 - Prestwich, Rylands Rec, Wardley, Cadishead, Pendleton, Anchor and Cable, Swinton St Marys, Swinton Park, Flixton and Clifton (I cant be sure whether thats two teams - a team called Clifton and a team called Flixton or one team called Flixton and Clifton).

Div 2 - Mandlebergs (which was a factory team I think!), Broughton Central, Winton, Bradford Hornets, Deans Rovers, Reddish, Flixton Hornets, Cadishead A, Bradford and Clayton, Weaste, Seedley Rangers

To avoid people being confused there might be a Bradford in Yorkshire with a place called Clayton near it...but there are also areas of East Manchester called Bradford and Clayton that had coal-mines so it's that East Manchester area where these were from.

 

 

 

This is just stunning, thanks. Are you aware if the current M&D League is the same organisation as the one you mention and if so, do you know if there are existing records?

Edited by Manchester Rugby History
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6 hours ago, Manchester Rugby History said:

This is just stunning, thanks. Are you aware if the current M&D League is the same organisation as the one you mention and if so, do you know if there are existing records?

Below the 'pro' NU level the game existed as local playing leagues - so the M&D at this pre-1915 point is a local playing league.

Similar would have existed in Wigan, Warrington, Oldham etc.. You would get some clubs flipping between leagues - see this link which gives an account of Leigh Miners being in the M&D 2nd division in 2004/05 and then playing in various M&D leagues rather than Wigan before being in a Leigh and District league eventually - http://www.leighminersrangers.club/academy-our-continuing-history/ . The link references a couple of other M&D clubs not in the lists I've put up.

I've not found references to the M&D as a playing league after 1914 but then again i was only looking for references to Radcliffe and Prestwich CI. My guess is that WW1 devastated the sport and football very quickly became ever more dominant than it would have been before the war with the M&D being a relatively small league made up of sides in just Salford/Swinton which was where the obvious strength had been.

From a Manchester perspective I have previously found references to intended clubs in Cheetham Hill and Blackley from the pre-1914 period but no actual reports of them ever playing games. 

The modern M&D (if active) isn't a playing league but simply a coming together of clubs in a similar geography and maybe running a cup - from some point (1970s?) the local leagues merged to form the NW Counties, Pennine league etc.. BARLA should have a record of all clubs associated with the M&D as it was a competition rule that a club could not join a playing league unless the local league sanctioned it...(although at Bury Broncos we seemed to sneak in without permission as the M&D thought we'd joined the Rochdale league and the Rochdale league thought we'd joined the M&D).

Alfrieda at Eccles (now Salford Roosters) was running the M&D for a long time so may have some records 

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