Betty Fairgrieve (1912-1973) Hockey Collection

Scope and Content

The collection is small. It comprises various materials assembled by Betty Fairgrieve (1912-1973) during her career as a hockey player. The photographs, post cards and other memorabilia she collected whilst on tour with the England hockey team in New Zealand provide evidence of how women's sport was organised and conducted at an international level in the 1930s. Betty's letters and journal diaries offer further insight into the experiences, thoughts and feelings of an individual player at a time when sport for women was still in the early stages of its development. As a whole the collection puts the achievements of a pioneering player into the broader context of a life lived whilst documenting an important moment in sporting history.

Administrative / Biographical History

Betty Fairgrieve was born in Hebburn, Tyne and Wear, UK, in 1912 and grew up in nearby Sunderland. She was educated at Bede Collegiate School and attended Sunderland Training College, qualifying as a primary school teacher. A keen sportswoman, Betty was an advocate of regular physical activity for fitness and as part of a well-rounded education.

After playing hockey at county level for Durham from 1929 and at territorial level for the North from the early 1930s, Betty was first selected as a reserve for the national team in 1937. The following year she was part of the All England Women's Hockey Association (AEWHA) team that toured New Zealand.

Shortly after her return to the UK Betty married her childhood sweetheart, John Scott, and moved with him to Swansea. They finally settled in Cardiff. Her career as an international hockey player came to an end with her relocation to Wales and the start of World War II, but her interest in hockey, and other sports, continued. She maintained links with her former team mates and was later to assist in hockey coaching and training at Cardiff University.

Betty died in 1973.


This section contains a small amount of biographical material. It relates mainly to Betty's teaching career and her interests in physical education for children and women. It includes notes, instructions and exercises documenting her involvement in the Sunderland 'Keep-Fit' movement.

The presentation is chronological.

This section contains photographs, newspaper cuttings, badges, match programmes, fixture cards and other associated memorabilia assembled by Betty during the course of her hockey career. It relates mainly to the All England Women's Hockey Association (AEWHA) touring team visit to New Zealand in 1938, but also includes some material documenting Betty's county and territorial hockey playing, and her participation in an international tournament in the Netherlands with the British Wanderers team.

The presentation is chronological.

This section contains journal diaries kept by Betty and a small amount of correspondence relating to the All England Women's Hockey Association tour of New Zealand in 1938. The journals record Betty's experiences and thoughts in some detail. The letters were predominantly sent to or received from John Scott, Betty's fiancé, in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, UK.

The presentation is chronological.

Access Information

Not all the material in this collection may yet be available for consultation. Enquiries should be made in the first instance to:

The Archivist The Library University of Bath Claverton Down Bath BA2 7AY


Telephone: +44 (0)1225 383464

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to the Library by Mr Peter Scott, Betty Fairgrieve's son, in October 2019.

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue providing full details of the archival material is available in PDF format on the University of Bath Archives and Research Collections website .

Conditions Governing Use

Enquiries should be made in the first instance to:

The Archivist The Library University of Bath Claverton Down Bath BA2 7AY


Telephone: +44 (0)1225 383464


None expected.

Related Material

For more information about women's hockey and the All England Women's Hockey Association see also the AEWHA (Hockey) Collection and also the Edith Thompson Collection


Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 2020, volume 69, pp 175-201 by Professor G.R. Burton and Professor J.F. Toland FRS