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History

Strike! The Tour That Died of Shame

 
By John Coffey
Strike! The Tour that Died of Shame is the sixth in Scratching Shed Publishing’s critically-acclaimed Rugby League Classics series.
The 1926-27 New Zealand ‘All Blacks’ rugby league tour of Great Britain was the most tempestuous sporting venture of all time and led to seven of the players being disqualified for life on their return home.
Set against the backdrop of a financially crippling miners’ strike, the ‘guilty’ tourists rebelled against their controversial coach, an Australian who himself was suspended for part of the tour by English authorities.
Nineteen loyal players were left to carry on bravely against overwhelming odds in the midst of a harsh English winter, some of them backing up for as many as fifteen consecutive matches.
Strike! The Tour that Died of Shame is that story. It is a tale of hardship and heroism, courage and cover-up, examined in depth for the very first time. It is an investigation of what went wrong with a tour that promised so much. It seeks to establish who – if anyone – was really to blame. And it is a fascinating slice of sporting social history whose reverberations continue to be felt to this day.
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John Coffey is New Zealand’s most experienced rugby league writer, having covered more than 100 Test matches during 44 years with The Press newspaper in Christchurch and as a touring New Zealand Press Association correspondent. His previous books have included Canterbury XIII (1987), Modern Rugby League Greats (1991), Being Frank, the Frank Endacott Story (2002), and major publications to mark the centenaries of the Kiwis (2007), New Zealand Maori Rugby League (2008) and Auckland Rugby League (2009).

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Gateways to Harewood

Tales of a house, a school and a village

By the pupils of Gateways School

Foreword by Patricia, Countess of Harewood
With an original short story by GP Taylor

The settlement of Harewood can trace its history to the Bronze Age. At the heart of this picturesque Yorkshire village today lies Harewood House, well known for its own fascinating and distinguished family tree.
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Harewood has seen many tales unfold down the centuries and countless changes have altered the face of the village. This book is a treasury of inspirational writing and artwork by the pupils of Gateways School, an establishment with its own part to play in the story. Every contribution captures the beguiling spirit of Harewood. Gateways to Harewood is a special project, the like of which has never before been undertaken. It is unique in its desire not merely to document historical facts, but also to utilise them as a perfect springboard for creativity.

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Border City Blues – The Story of Carlisle Rugby League

By Alan Tucker
With a foreword by Dean Bell

Border City Blues is the previously untold story of rugby league football in the proud Cumbrian city of Carlisle. Author Alan Tucker – a former chairman of the club – shares his inside view of the highs and lows and ups and downs of life in English rugby league’s most northerly outpost. Includes a detailed statistical analysis of every season in the Border Raiders’ existence, including tables, match-by-match records and player contributions. Paperback, 256 pages.

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Border City Blues is the previously untold story of rugby league football in the proud Cumbrian city of Carlisle. Author Alan Tucker – a former chairman of the club – shares his inside view of the highs and lows and ups and downs of life in English rugby league’s most northerly outpost. Complete with an introduction by the New Zealand rugby league legend Dean Bell, the bulk of the book is a season-by-season account of the city’s longest-surviving professional outfit, Carlisle Border Raiders. From their birth in the early-1980s to ‘merger’ with Barrow in 1997, it is a dramatic story of struggle against the odds and a faithfully produced insight into just what it takes to get a new sport up and running in often quite unsympathetic territory. Added to this is a detailed statistical analysis of every season in the Border Raiders’ existence, including league tables, match-by-match records and individual player contributions. Border City Blues also takes care to acknowledge the history of amateur rugby league in Carlisle, courtesy of the city’s junior, ladies and open-age teams. And it brings the story right up to date with the post-1997 launch of the Carlisle Centurions summer conference set-up. The book also provides short histories of the city’s original thirteen-a-side club, Carlisle City, who flared briefly in 1928; and the amateur side of the same name in 1950-52. All in all, this is a valuable and timely addition to the rugby league bookshelves that no treasurer of sporting heritage should be without.

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The Woman Without A Number

By Iby Knill

An inspirational tale of Holocaust survival, The Woman Without A Number is the story of Iby Knill, who featured recently on the BBC1 television series My Story. An extraordinarily brave and open book, it tells of persecution, resistance and – ultimately – redemption. Appearing for the first time in print, it is a story that has waited sixty years to be told. Paperback, 288 pages.

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This is the story of Iby Knill, whose inspirational and moving account of holocaust survival was featured recently on the BBC television series My Story. In her book, Iby tells of her early childhood in Czechoslovakia and of how her parents – alarmed at the persecution of Jews in Germany – smuggled her over the border to Hungary. The Woman Without A Number also reveals how she was caught by the security police and then imprisoned and tortured, not only as a result of her Jewish connections but for having entered Hungary illegally and for aiding the resistance movement. Eventually, Iby was sent to the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. In June 1944, Iby Knill left Auschwitz-Birkenau by volunteering to travel as a nurse with a slave labour transport of 500 women. Once transported to Lippstadt, she was put in charge of a hospital unit and risked her life protecting the weak and helpless from the gas chambers. Appearing for the first time in print, The Woman Without A Number is a truly remarkable tale that has waited sixty years to be told.

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Yorkshire Football – A History

By Cameron Fleming

Yorkshire Football: A History is the story of club football, but told from a distinctly white rose viewpoint. It captures intriguing, surprising and tragic events, and is filled with inspiring characters from the origins of the code to the present day. The triumphs and tribulations of every professional team from the old three Ridings are featured – from Hull to Barnsley, Bradford City and Doncaster, via Leeds to Rotherham and all points beyond. Paperback, 320 pages.

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Yorkshire Football: A History is the story of club football, but from a distinctly white rose viewpoint. It captures intriguing, surprising and tragic events, and is filled with inspired characters from all the teams in the county, from the origins of the code through to its current metamorphosis. Club football was born in Sheffield in 1857 and sparred with rugby for supremacy elsewhere in Yorkshire before flourishing. As such, the white rose county has often been at the heart of the sport’s development; its clubs and administrators helping to mould and shape the most popular game. Far more than a mere chronicle of records set, trophies won, promotions gained or relegations endured, the book offers an enduring impression of how Yorkshire football has trailblazed its way through the last 150 or so years. The triumphs and tribulations of every professional team from the old three Ridings are featured – from Hull to Barnsley, Bradford City and Doncaster, via Leeds to Rotherham and all points beyond. Surveying the history of the game from the vantage points of Moors, Dales and Wolds of England’s largest – and proudest – county offers a unique perspective.

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