The North East Film Archive is one of a network of regional film archives established to collect, preserve and show film made in, or about the North East of England. Our collections are non-fiction, and date from the early 1900s to the present day, providing a rich record of life in the region over the 20th century. Many of our films are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
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Hartlepool Rovers' Diamond Jubilee Rugby Match with Bob Oakes
Rare footage of Rugby Union legend Bob Oakes and his International XV team in action against Hartlepool Rovers.
From the collection of:
“There is nothing quite so informal, boisterous or merry as a Hartlepool Rovers’ reunion.” So said the Northern Daily Mail of the annual tribute in Hartlepool for legendary Rugby Union player Bob Oakes and his veteran International XV team. The boozy Sunday reception pictured takes place at the mansion of the Horsleys, an elite shipping family, after the Diamond Jubilee memorial match against Hartlepool Rovers at Old Friarage Field on the Headland.
This footage was probably filmed by Neville Horsley, brother of George, who ran the important dockside cargo and timber merchants, known locally as Todd’s Yard. The family were guests at important civic events, and hosted many, such as this reunion reception for Robert “Bob” Oakes, former player with Hartlepool Rovers from 1873. He captained the team for six seasons, played for Durham and gained eight England caps. Oakes was one of the most influential figures in the history of Yorkshire Rugby Union, and Rugby Football Union President between 1933 and 34. His International XV team were known affectionately as “Bob’s Bodyguards”.