IN 2006, Heighington was named as one of the UK’s most perfect villages by a BBC4 programme due to its history, architecture and community – but what about its hockey?

When Karen Leech, who lives in the village, bought this glass slide from ebay, she imagined it would be a depicting a game of football, and so a perfect present for her Leeds United-supporting husband, Mark.

The Northern Echo:

However, when the slide arrived, it was clearly a game of hockey that was being played.

Above the image is written the words: “School v Heighington”. There’s the date, January 30, 1932, and the score: “Lost 7-1”.

The seller is certain that the game was being played in Heighington, County Durham, and not in the other “high place” of Heighington, which is a village in Lincolnshire.

(Heighington in Lincolnshire has a population of 2,918 so it is a big bigger than its Durham namesake, which had a population of 2,395 in the 2011 census. Heighington in Lincolnshire also has the only pub in the country called The Butcher and Beast.)

And if the match were being played in County Durham, Heighington’s natural opponents would be School Aycliffe, just down the road.

So might hockey have been played in Heighington in the 1930s?

Hockey is an ancient game, perhaps played by the Egyptians 4,000 years ago. It came to Britain in the mid 18th Century, and was largely associated with public schools. However, in the late 19th Century, town teams were being formed – in Yorkshire, for instance, the oldest clubs are in Halifax, formed in 1891, and Bradford, formed in 1894.

The Northern Echo: Heighington archive

And the website of Darlington Hockey Club says it was formed in the early 1900s and it “began to thrive during the Twenties and Thirties”.

So perhaps the School versus Heighington derby was played during this heyday of hockey.

If you have any clues, we’d love to hear from you: