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Westwood Works 1903-2003


The Hockey Section, formed in the late 1940s, boasted around 40 members and fielded Men's, Ladies and Mixed teams.Before the extension to the Alma Road ground in 1955, the Section played its home matches on the Grange playing field of Mayors Walk, Peterborough.

All their matches played were friendlies as there were no league competitions.but the Section played major games against RAF Wyton and entered 'six-a-side' competitions in Luton and the Isle of Man. Westwood Works was one of the founding members of the Roger Brummitt trophy, started in 1958 and attracting some sixteen teams to contest the yearly event.

1955: Hockey Section 1955: Hockey Team 1955: Hockey Festival - Isle of Man 1955: Hockey Team Mid-Fifties: Hockey Team 1950s: Mixed Hockey Team 1976: Baker Perkins Mens First Hockey Team
1977: Past vs. Present Hockey Match 1979: Past Team 1979: Present Team 1980: Past Team 1980: Present Team 1980: Mixed Team 1982: Fire Brigade vs. Works Team

Our very own Olympian

1948: John Peake - member of British Olympic Hockey Team John Peake relives his triumph

John Peake, Chairman of Baker Perkins Holdings from 1984 to 1987, was a member of Great Britain's silver medal-winning hockey team at the 1948 London Olympics. John was further honoured by being part of Peterborough's Olympic Torch Carrying Team when it passed through the City on its nationwide journey from Lands End to the Olympic Stadium.

John was asked how this experience compared with that of 1948:

"In 1948 rationing was still going on and those taking part in the Games were allowed extra rations equivalent to what was provided for people in heavy manual jobs. I was very lucky to be at Greenwich being comfortably fed and not having to cater for myself in digs - my one Olympic "plus" was being granted eggs for breakfast.

Although our side was pretty fit through playing other games such as tennis or cricket (the hockey season finished at Easter) we didn't undergo anything like the gruelling training endured nowadays. We didn't have any training support like the numbers nowadays, nor were we able to practice together. There was only one gathering together with Welsh and Scottish team mates several weeks before the Games started (Northern Ireland joined up with Southern Ireland for the Irish team).

London housing was only slowly recovering from the devastation of the war but the Services helped out and our team was accommodated at the RAF base in Uxbridge (where we did do daily training).

We were thrilled to find ourselves in the semi final having played Switzerland, USA and Afghanistan in the early rounds. We beat Pakistan in the semi final and lost to India in the final. India played with what we called "button hook" sticks (not long after to be used in England as now) compared with our much more gently curved ones. We were used to playing on grass and thought this would be an advantage but the Wembley turf was very thick and Indians were anyway much more adroit tapping the ball to and fro and into the net four times.

Various contrasts between the Games nowadays and those of 1948 are not so much associated with the austerity after the war but more with changes which have taken place since then. The Olympics are no longer amateur and sponsorship plays a major part in finance as well as with the competitors (sometimes quite a burden). Publicity by TV, radio and the internet is vastly different - I didn't have one interview in 1948 - it's been all go for me in the last few weeks! This is mainly because I am the only one left of our team having been the youngest at 23 with most of the others being 30+.

As with many other games the rules have changed and the strategy too. The equipment (including the advent of the synthetic pitches) has developed - and become more expensive. All in all games are much speedier and tougher.

I thoroughly enjoyed the torch relay and was amazed at the numbers including youngsters who turned up to watch. The organization was very efficient too including our briefing beforehand".

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