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History of Mendip H.C.

The club was originally formed back in 1975 as Timsbury Ladies Hockey Club. Their matches were played on the bumpy grass football pitch at Conygre Hall in Timsbury before, in 1982, adopting the nearby St Mary’s Primary School field as their home venue. Neither had ladies’ changing room facilities!
In 1992 the club became Peasedown Mendip Hockey Club, having adopted the newly formed and slightly less bumpy grass pitch (but with the added luxury of changing facilities!) at Peasedown Cricket Club as their home venue. During that time the club still only catered for ladies’ league hockey, but it now also had a ‘mixed’ team made up of men, women and juniors who competed in a local area Sunday league of mixed team ‘friendly’ matches.
The club became MENDIP HOCKEY CLUB when, in 1999, a new league rule required that official league matches must be played on all-weather pitches. MENDIP HOCKEY CLUB was therefore forced to relocate their home match venue further afield in order to comply with the rules. The closest suitable and available all-weather pitches were at schools in Trowbridge and Wells! These were regarded as ‘home’ until MENDIP HOCKEY CLUB was finally able to return to it’s true spiritual home once more when, in 2002, they adopted Norton Hill School’s new all-weather pitch as their home venue in Midsomer Norton. 2003 then saw the successful formation of the club’s first men’s league team.

Mendip Hockey Club’s (MHC) home pitch remained at Norton Hill School until the end of the 2017–18 season, when the Midsomer Norton Schools Partnership (MNSP) Board of Trustees took the unexpected decision to replace the ageing playing surface at Norton Hill School with a 3G surface, designed specifically for football use and not permitted by the England Hockey governing body for use in competitive league hockey, or even recommended for basic school-level competition hockey.

This decision was all the more surprising because the two other local ‘comprehensive’ schools under the control of the MNSP both already possessed 3G playing surfaces!

The decision effectively robbed the local community of its access to play competitive hockey in the area, or even to have it meaningfully coached within the sports curriculum at the senior schools that served it.

Mendip Hockey Club’s loyal and (for the school at least) financially lucrative support and patronage of the ‘community’ sports facility at Norton Hill School was ultimately rewarded with uncommunicative contempt, effectively leading to a circumstantial eviction.

However, Mendip Hockey Club members rallied well in the aftermath of this news and were eventually able to make arrangements with four different supportive sporting venues in order to facilitate their survival as a hockey club, albeit fragmented and no longer with a single local base.

MHC league hockey from September 2018 will be played at Chew Valley Leisure Centre, (next to Chew Valley School) Chew Lane, Chew Stoke, BS40 8QB.

 Mendip Hockey Club is also indebted to Downside School at Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Chew Valley Sports Centre at Chew Stoke and the Blue School Sports Centre at Wells for their willingness to discuss and facilitate the provision of training and playing facilities.

A big thank-you also to the management and staff at The Stoke Inn at Chew Stoke for providing post-match hospitality.

Mendip Hockey Club would not have survived without the support and true sportsmanlike attitudes displayed by the management of these venues. Our sincere thanks go to them as we move forward.

MENDIP HOCKEY CLUB remains as the only hockey club serving the Norton Radstock area. The club has expanded over the years and currently boasts 3 ladies’ league teams and 2 men’s league teams. MENDIP HOCKEY CLUB also has a very popular junior section that offers boys and girls (5 yrs +) the chance to learn hockey skills whilst also developing their team spirit, confidence and fitness within a safe and fun club environment.