REVIEW: No Sand Dunes in Featherstone: Memories of West Yorkshire Rugby League, edited by Robert Light

No Sand Dunes in Featherstone, edited by Robert Light

No Sand Dunes in Featherstone, edited by Robert Light

No Sand Dunes in Featherstone is a wonderful collection of nostalgia for those old enough to remember some of the moments recalled.

For those born more recently, it provides some vivid imagery and misty-eyed romanticism to dwell on in direct contrast to the modern era of Super League and full time professionalism.

Editor Robert Light interviewed dozens of rugby league personalities to put together this work.

The list of contributors is more than impressive; Great Britain legend Mick Sullivan, referee Billy Thompson, Leeds president Harry Jepson OBE, Ikram Butt, Trevor Foster MBE and BBC commentator Dave Woods are just some of those to have shared their memories.

These recollections first came to the fore while Light was managing the University of Huddersfield’s oral history project ‘Up and Under’.

Light has done a superb job in editing them into a highly-readable and fascinating book that is likely to interest anybody who can remember rugby league as it once was – particularly in West Yorkshire.

But No Sand Dunes in Featherstone also offers a remarkable and compelling insight as a broader social commentary.

As Light himself notes:

“I knew it would be an incredible opportunity to talk with some of the great plaeyrs and coaches from the past I had read about or watched from the terraces, and hear the experiences of spectators with whom I had so much in common. But I wasn’t fully aware of how far the interviews would reach beyond the game’s history and offer deeper insights into life in Britain during the past 80 or so years.”

For those interested in the history of rugby league – where the game came from, where it has been and where it is heading – No Sand Dunes in Featherstone is sure to be of interest and well worth the tenner or so it will set you back.

No Sand Dunes in Featherstone: Memories of West Yorkshire Rugby League, edited by Robert Light, is out now. ISBN 978-1903659533, published by London League Publications Ltd. It is available to buy here.

Comments

  1. John Firth says

    Hi, I have just read “No sand dunes in Featherstone”. which has brought back many happy memories for me. Having followed rugby league since the late 1940’s it was good to look back at those times.
    I am now hoping that someone will write about the great ‘hard men’of rugby league. There must be many stories about the likes of Frank Whitcombe, Arthur Clues, Vince karalius, Derek (Rocky) Turner, Frank Foster, Alan Prescott, Vince Farrar, Jim Mills, Tony Fisher (worth a book on his own), Karl Fairbank and many others.

    Best wishes, John Firth.

    • Neil Barraclough says

      Hi John, great to hear from you.

      Of those players you mention I think Karl Fairbank was the only one I got to watch live – perhaps some book publishers out there can produce these tales and fill in the gaps for us young ‘uns!

  2. john firth says

    Hi, Neil, thanks for the response. What would be needed would be to interview players , old and new, for their stories. It would also be interesting to find out who they believe to be the hardest. I think there would be some surprises there.

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