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Scratching Shed Publishing


Learning Curve

The Remarkable Story of Student Rugby League

By Dave Hadfield

Learning Curve – Dave Hadfield’s seventh book about rugby league – is devoted to one of the game’s great untold stories.

The spread of Student rugby league throughout England is highlighted by chapters on the development of league at Oxford and Cambridge – where sceptics said it would never penetrate.
Hadfield also looks at the growth of the 13-a-side code in Wales, Scotland and Ireland, as well as among students in Australia, France and New Zealand. The regular staging of Student World Cups, Ashes series and thriving domestic competitions are all covered, alongside the author’s inimitable observations of the state of play today.
From dozens of interviews with those most closely involved, rugby league’s best-loved writer captures the spirit of one of the sport’s great successes – from the dedication it takes at the elite level to the humour it demands in the lower echelons. Whether you played at university or college or not, Learning Curve is an unmissable read for anyone interested in the future of rugby league.
* Learning Curve includes forewords from David Oxley – former chief executive of the Rugby Football League and chairman of the Student Rugby League – and Brian Carney, the Irish student who went on to play with great success in Super League, Australia’s NRL and on the international stage with Great Britain.

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The Missing Trophy

And Other Rugby League Stories

By Tracy Maguire

96 pages. Illustrations by Ben Robinson

Are you ready for six original adventures featuring young players, loyal fans and club mascots – who face a desperate race against time to save the Super League Grand Final?

Or how about the dilemma of a coach who is faced with a team who have never played a game of rugby in their lives – can he turn them into superstars? Or the fan who experiences rugby league the way it used to be played in the olden days? Or the group of pals whose love of the entertainment almost lands them in trouble?
From magic boots to a special Christmas, there’s something here for everyone.
Dewsbury-born Tracy Maguire is a passionate rugby league fan and writer whose short stories for younger readers have graced Super League club programmes and websites. Here, for the first time, is a unique collection of brand new stories aimed at rugby-loving children.

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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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The Barefoot Shepherdess and Women of the Dales


By Yvette Huddleston and Walter Swan

Reprint under consideration

The Barefoot Shepherdess and Women of the Dales celebrates the variety and versatility of a dozen or more determined women who have made a distinctive life for themselves “far from the madding crowd”. The Yorkshire Dales attracts tourists aplenty to appreciate the beauties of the local landscape but most visitors return to their towns and cities, renewed by the peace and quiet of the countryside, though unable to leave their modern, urban lifestyle for too long.

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Women like Alison O’Neill, who owns her own flock of sheep and designs her own brand of tweed clothing, demonstrate that you can live a life of independence and fulfilment even in Britain’s remotest regions. There are inevitable hardships to be endured but innumerable compensations when the Dales are your doorstep. Each chapter features inspirational women who have made the choice to live and work collaboratively with the people and places of the Yorkshire landscape, What they have in common – farmers, artists, vets, publicans, entrepreneurs, artisans, academics, vets, curators and vicars – is a passion for life where Yorkshire countryside and community coincide.

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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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