George’s half-century of festivals milestone

The Morpeth squad (runners-up at the Blackpool Hockey Festival).
The Morpeth squad (runners-up at the Blackpool Hockey Festival).

A Morpeth Hockey Club stalwart has received Royal recognition after achieving a major milestone at a national event.

George Robson recently attended his 50th Blackpool Hockey Festival, which attracts teams from across the UK. He has been its President and Chairman since 1991.

His first visit to the North West town was in 1965 when he was a Durham University student and he came along with a Morpeth team from 1967. It was the nearest club when he began his teaching career in Ashington.

To mark the anniversary, the 69-year-old received a silver salver from the festival and a special vase from Blackpool Borough Council.

He also received a letter of congratulations from the Countess of Wessex, she is Royal Patron of England Hockey and a letter from Buckingham Palace saying that the Queen was glad to hear of Mr Robson’s loyalty and dedication to the event.

“I was overwhelmed with the responses from my fellow committee members, other officials, the players and umpires as well as the council,” he said.

“The icing on the cake was the Royal letters.

“Blackpool was magic to a young lad in his teens and the festivals in the next 49 years have been just as magical. As well as the games, many social activities take place during the weekend.”

The team from Morpeth (Dirty Mike and the Boys) almost won the men’s competition – they lost the final on penalty flicks.

Mr Robson, a benefactor for the club, was the Secretary at Morpeth for 27 years in two stints and he is currently club historian and photographer.