The archive at Ashbrooke Sports Club is one of the most complete and historically valuable sporting archives in the country. It covers the history of Sunderland Cricket Club which is recognised by experts as the oldest continuous sporting club in sports-mad Tyne and Wear. The club has records running back to the 1830s. It also covers the story of Sunderland Football Club (later Sunderland Rugby Football Club) which was formed in 1873 and is one of the longest lasting rugby clubs in the north east of England. The pair of clubs united and came to Ashbrooke in 1887 as Sunderland Cricket and Football Club and by 1900 had added in Sunderland Tennis Club, Sunderland Hockey Club and Sunderland Bowling Club. In the 1960s Sunderland Squash Club was set up within the overall club framework and Sunderland Strollers began its involvement in club life in the 1980s. By the 21 st century the over-arching club had achieved charitable status as Ashbrooke Sports Club. With all constituent clubs still around and a thriving social life, Ashbrooke Sports Club is a rare and remarkable survival.
The Ashbrooke Archive is packed with hundreds of photographs and documents – many of them unique and of national and international interest. Over the years a succession of club members have ensured that the archive has survived in one form or another and now is the time to ensure both their preservation and their accessibility. I am the Club archivist and historian and have published a number of books and articles on the club’s history over the years. I am looking for others who might share my interest in the archive and in developing methods of ensuring its preservation and availability to future generations.
I can be contacted via my website: www.keithgregson.com
Stay Tuned For More
In the next few weeks and months I will be blogging some of the highlights from our archives, and publishing some of the best stories this club has to tell. Follow this site for more!