Manuscripts, oral history and pictures catalogue
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  • Title
    Viv Thicknesse tour diary, scrapbooks, and photographs, 1931-1934.
  • Creator
  • Call number
    MLMSS 9713
    PXD 1410
  • Level of description
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Physical Description
    0.6 metres of textual material (4 boxes)
    1 poster - 47 x 75 cm - colour

    Vivian (Viv) Thicknesse (1910–1986) excelled at a variety of sports, including water polo and rugby union, before turning to rugby league in 1931. He represented Australia and toured England with the Kangaroos in 1933–1934. Thicknesse maintained extensive records of this tour, including a diary, scrapbooks, and photographs.

    Library correspondence file.
  • Scope and Content
    BOX 1
    Viv Thicknesse diary ‘Kangaroo Tour of England 1933-4’. Bound exercise book, 120 pages. Entries from 4 July 1933 to 24 February 1934. Subjects include: voyage from Sydney to Melbourne; activities and sightseeing in Melbourne; varying financial arrangements for players in Melbourne and Adelaide; activities and sightseeing in Adelaide; activities on board ship; arrival and exhibition match at Colombo; sightseeing in Colombo; boredom on ship; arrival at Suez; arrival and shopping at Port Said; exhibition match at Sporting Club de Port Fuad; arrival and activities at Malta; death of Ray Morris, 10 August 1933; unanimous decision that extra player not needed; arrival and reception at Southampton, and London; meeting with cricketer Sid Hird; training at Wembley; sightseeing and strolls around London; training at Arsenal ground; train from London to Leeds; Australians in Leeds acquiring English accents; civic reception in Ilkley; being allowed to smoke in theatre; becoming more used to new way of putting ball in scrum; seven-a-side match played at Leeds; signing autographs; match against St Helens Recs; cricket match against Ilkley; match against Leigh won 16-7; road trip to Scarborough; giving ‘war cry’ at various locations including the steps of Oldham Town Hall at civic reception prior to match, 9 September 1933; cable for Les Mead that he was father of a baby girl, and ensuing celebration; match against Yorkshire at Headingley won 13-0; inspection of shipbuilders Vickers Armstrong; dances, dinners, and picture theatres attended; meeting with Douglas Clark, English forward and champion wrestler; match against Bradford Northern lost in the last minute; post match and after dinner activities at Warrington and Blackpool; decision not to train the day before test matches; seeing Gracie Fields in the flesh; being unlucky to lose 7-5 to Northern League; receiving clock as gift from team mates on 23rd birthday, 18 November 1933; inspection of Stuart Surridge cricket bat factory; training under floodlights at White City; gorgonzola cheese in Joe Pearce’s pocket; swapping ties with Harry Dawson, President Huddersfield Old Boys Rugby Union Club; heavy fog obscuring view of match during third test; broadcasting from BBC Leeds to Australia, 23 December 1933; travel via charabanc from Hull to London; New Year’s Eve and sightseeing in Paris; tea in Gateshead Town Hall with the mayor; picture shows, dances, deck tennis, fancy dress balls, concerts, pillow fights, playing cards, and sunbaking on return voyage; stopover at Colombo; pub crawl in Fremantle and Perth.

    Scrapbook titled ‘Football career of Viv. Thicknesse’, containing newspaper cuttings, match reports, articles, and photographs, some loose, relating to career of Thicknesse in rugby union with Easts and the Waratahs, as a representative water polo player, and his conversion to rugby league with Easts, NSW, and Australia. Cover reads ‘So this is football. R.U. Water Polo 1931 - R.L. 1933-1934’. Loose inside are three photographs: rugby match in progress; ‘Varilly Thine Bart, a Nice 1933’; team photograph ‘Easts in N. Zealand. Training at Carlaw Park’. Also contains postcard of R.M.S. Wanganella, Huddart Parker Line.

    Scrapbook, approximately 100 pages, titled ‘Easts-1931-32. NSW v QLD 1933. Aust. Tour England 1933-34’ containing newspaper cuttings of articles and photographs relating to rugby league and rugby union career of Viv Thicknesse. Subjects include: matches played by Eastern Suburbs; match reports and previews; East Sydney Winter Swimming Club; various players switching from union to league; NSW vs QLD; Jack Thicknesse hitting century for Paddington CC in Poidevin-Gray Shield match; selection of Thicknesse for Kangaroo tour; Combined Sydney Firsts vs Combined Country Firsts; photographs of Kangaroos giving the war cry; photographs of Kangaroos training; Kangaroos send off; articles written by Thicknesse for the Truth newspaper; admission to hospital of Ray Morris at Malta; match performances of Kangaroos on tour; funeral of Ray Morris; warm reception at Ilkley; tense relations due to Bodyline series recently played in Australia.
    Scrapbook also contains three photographs: ‘Easts v South Sydney’; ‘Easts - St George’ with Joe Pearce; ‘Paris Sprint training’, autographed picture of Dave Brown, and cover of ‘Rugby League Annual and Souvenir 1928’ with cutting stuck to reverse ‘League’s Lure for Public’.

    Scrapbook of newspaper cuttings, subjects including: visit of Waratahs to Grafton, 28 May 1931; Jack Thicknesse’s 78 not out for Paddington vs Gordon in the Poidevin-Gray Shield; various match reports of Eastern Suburbs rugby union matches; various match results for first, second, and third grade cricket matches in Sydney ca 1930; team photograph of The NSW Schoolboys; article titled ‘Meet one of our juniors, No. 20: Thicknesse Wants Experience’; announcement of East-West water polo teams; match programme for New South Wales vs Queensland match; match programme for New South Wales vs Clarence River match, 27 May; Regal Cup interstate water polo competition; team sheets for Australia vs The Rest, and Metropolis vs Queensland, played at Sydney Cricket Ground; Alex Ross cartoon; ‘Manly v. Easts at the Cricket Ground’ cartoon; Easts club championship victory over Manly, 1931; Paddington Cricket Club annual 1931-1931; Eastern Suburbs rugby union premiership win, 1931; Viv Thicknesse changing from rugby league to rugby union; letter to Thicknesse explaining why he was not given any match time at NSW union trial; First rugby league match played by Thicknesse, for Eastern Suburbs Reserves; conjectures about amateur swimming and water polo status of Thicknesse; rugby league debut of Thicknesse; Eastern Suburbs League team tour of New Zealand, 1931; team photograph of Eastern Suburbs League team to tour New Zealand, 1931; match report for cricket match Paddington vs Kippax’s XI in which Stan McCabe hit 91 runs in 70 minutes; cuttings of match reports and photographs from New Zealand newspapers related to the Eastern Suburbs 1931 tour; Thicknesse swimming 100m in 2 min 7 sec as 8 year old, 17 November 1920.
    Also contains photograph of Thicknesse, coach A. Halloway, and other players in front of car during 1931 tour of New Zealand, photograph of Thicknesse playing for Eastern Suburbs, and tongue-in-cheek document addressed to the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand stating that V. Thicknesse is ‘Declared to as Dangerous Cargo … disguised as a footballer … wound on cones and twisted (round the nearest thing he can find on deck)’, signed ‘Soccer Joe’.
    ‘Raw Materials’ ledgers ruled in to back of exercise book.

    BOX 2
    Scrapbook titled ‘1933-4 Kangaroos English Papers No I’, containing English newspaper cuttings relating to the Kangaroos tour of England. Subjects of articles include: Kangaroos arrival in London; Kangaroos performing the war cry; reception of Kangaroos at Ilkley and various other northern English towns; articles written by Kangaroos trainer Norman Potter; first rugby league match to be played in Paris; cartoon ‘Monk takes a look at the Aussies’; Turog bread advertisement featuring the Kangaroos; match reports from the test matches; cuttings of articles written by Viv Thicknesse for Sydney newspaper Truth.
    Scrapbook also contains pamphlet ‘Souvenir of the Australian Rugby League “Kangaroos” World’s Tour 1933-34’, including player autographs; text of ‘The Kangaroos’ War Cry’; team photograph; telegram from Darcy Gardner to Viv Thicknesse; illustrated envelopes sent to Thicknesse from Australia.

    Bound copy of The Rugby Football League Official Guide Season 1933-1934, inscribed on cover in gold lettering ‘V. A. Thicknesse’. Annotated in black pen. Newspaper cuttings of match reports glued in.
    Printed team list from exhibition match between Kangaroos squad at Colombo, 24 July 1933, including Thicknesse’s handwritten match report on reverse.
    ‘Welcome Home Dinner’ card menu, Restaurant Annexe, Farmer & Company Limited, Pitt St, Sydney, Monday 26 February 1934.
    List of toasts for the Austrtalians at Marlborough House, Ilkley, printed on luggage tag, tied with green and gold ribbon. Tag has picture of H Flegg, President, NSW Rugby League Football.
    Dinner card menu for the Australian Kangaroos, MV Manuda, Wednesday 5 July 1933.
    Telegram addressed to Vivian Thicknesse, ‘Congratulations of your vice captaincy. Harry’, 24 April 1934.

    BOX 3
    Scrapbook titled ‘No.2 English papers’, containing English newspaper cuttings with subjects including: the Kangaroos tour of England; previews of second test; photographs of team training, playing matches, and posing for photographers; suggestion that England adopt a more open style of play; match reports from second test at Headingley; ‘Finance of the Australians’ Tour’ article by Harry Sunderland, The Sports Post, Saturday 11 November 1933; Janet Thicknesse on front page of newspaper, January 20 1938; Rugby League Council’s play-the-ball rule; victory of England in the third test; Whitehaven match incident; rugby league match in Paris; ‘Tourists receipts down’ article by Norman Potter, The Sports Echo, Saturday 23 December 1933; telegram from Harry Connie; article titled ‘Kangaroo “Eats” Leek’; French Rugby Federation ban on playing of amateur rugby matches at the Stade Pershing; cuttings from French newspapers of articles relating to Kangaroos match played in Paris; rugby league ‘drop-out’ rule; last match played by the Kangaroos vs England at Gateshead; departure of Kangaroos; profit of £9,000.
    Scrapbook also contains: copy of ‘Bond for the payment of compensation’ document, signed by Viv Thicknesse, 1 July 1933; illustrated envelope sent to Thicknesse from Australia; cartoon ‘Mr Sutherland presents the “Kangaroos”’, published in the Huddersfield Examiner, 18 November 1933; telegram from Lou Brown; invitation to Farewell Dinner at Farmers, Sydney, Monday 3 July 1933; two pages of handwritten notes ‘1933-4 Kangaroos: notable features of English rugby’; letter of congratulations from A M Smairl (Treasurer, Eastern Suburbs District Rugby Union Football Club); letters from New South Wales Rugby Football League regarding travel arrangements, income tax, and medical examination; copy of ‘On Ilkla Moor baht ‘at. A dialect song from the West Riding of Yorkshire’; photograph of team in recording studio; picture card ‘A handful of Australians. Rugby League Pioneers 1907’; handwritten account of match played in Paris.

    Kangaroos player contract, ca 1933, between the Australian Rugby League Board of Control (ARLBC) and all players, signed by Viv Thicknesse, dated 1 July 1933.
    Letter, account, and receipt, from ARLBC to Viv Thicknesse.

    ‘Souvenir of the Australian Rugby League “Kangaroos”: The Official Touring Combination of the Australian Rugby League Board of Control’. 16 page booklet including pen and picture portraits, fixture list, team photographs, and advertisements.

    8 photographic prints:
    ‘Kangaroos Touring England 1933-4’. Kangaroos Australian rugby league team aboard ship Kookaburra, ca 1933-1934. Signed in ink by 29 players and officials. Inscribed at bottom ‘Cabin 48. Jervis Bay. Vic Hey. Dave Brown. Viv Thicknesse.’
    Postcard of R.M.S. Wanganella, Huddart Parker Line.
    Australian Kangaroos team members on field with trophy after match at Halifax, 30 September 1933.
    Halifax rugby ground covered in snow. Inscribed on reverse ‘Fancy baring your knees in this!! Makes rum taste good though. Halifax Ground. We used a BLACK ball this day!! Tha’s a good ‘un’.
    ‘The “Kangaroos” - Australian Team 1933-4’ team photograph postcard inscribed on reverse ‘Bobby, Kind regards from Marlborough House, Ilkley, 9/10/33, Viv’.
    Photograph studio group portrait of Australian Kangaroos 1933.
    International rugby league players and members of the Bondi Icebergs Joe Pearce, Tony Brown, Reg Ferguson, Jazzer Byrne, Viv Thicknesse, and Maurie Tate.
    Team photograph of wartime rugby league team captained by Viv Thicknesse.

    BOX 4
    Scrapbook titled ‘1933-1937, Retirement’ containing newspaper cuttings with subjects including: the Kangaroos tour of England, 1933; rugby league matches played in Sydney; articles by Harry Sunderland (Tour Co-Manager) published in the Newcastle Herald and Miners Advocate including ‘Life on Board the Jervis Bay: How Players Keep in Trim’, ‘Features of Match at Colombo’, ‘The Australians see London’, and various match previews and reports; articles by Claude Corbett published in the Telegraph and The Sun including ‘Kangaroos Staggered by Queer Rulings of Referee’, ‘Remarkable Rush For Seats at First Test’, ‘Kangaroos’ Policy Is To Rely on Best 13’, match previews and reports, articles relating to lack of open play, opinion on referee in match versus Lancashire, experiment moving Vic Hey from five-eighth to centre, selection of Thicknesse as five-eighth for match against Widnes, Australian managers’ letter of complaint against one referee and touch judges, Kangaroos victory over Widnes 31-0, injuries sustained by Kangaroos players, English journalists' opinion that despite losing Australia played better in the second test, Kangaroos match played in France; rugby league referees grading, 1937; R E Savage replacing S G Ball as Chairman of Rugby League management committee; two separate competitions conducted by the New South Wales Rugby League; articles written by Viv Thicknesse, 1937; Thicknesse handed captaincy of Easts; cartoon ‘Circus Days’ about Easts; Thicknesse on front cover of ‘The Rugby League News’, 26 April 1937; retirement of Thicknesse, May 1937; article by Thicknesse ‘Football now no pleasure’, 25 May 1937; match report of last match played by Thicknesse.
    Scrapbook also includes handwritten player and team statistics on League teams Balmain, Canterbury-Bankstown, Eastern Suburbs, Newtown, North Sydney, St George, South Sydney, University, and Western Suburbs, 1937.

    Scrapbook containing newspaper cuttings of match previews and reports, articles relating to matches, engagements, and activities during the 1933 Kangaroos tour to England, and photographs of matches played on tour; previews and match reports of rugby league matches played in Sydney 1934; Blues vs Maroons match; articles relating to the use of Sydney Cricket Ground for rugby.
    Scrapbook also contains Warrington Football Club Official Program; 26th, 27th, 28th Annual Reports of the Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club, 1934-1936; letter advising selection of players to represent NSW, 16 April 1934; NSW Rugby Football League registration of player papers; flyer for Eastern Suburbs vs Grafton and South Grafton Combined, 26 September 1934; match reports from Kangaroos tour to New Zealand, 1935; letter advising Thicknesse of his entitlement to £2.11s.4d. as his share of the profits from the tour of New Zealand; player retention fund; decision by Thicknesse to become licensee of Grand View Hotel, Park Road, Paddington, 12 April 1936; Blues vs Maroons 1935 and 1936; England tour of Australia, 1936; Thicknesse not selected for third Test against England, 1936.
    Loose in scrapbook are photographs of Viv Thicknesse running with the ball during Easts match; Easts vs Manly rugby union match 1931; Thicknesse running with the ball during NSW vs QLD match; Thicknesse being tackled by opponent during Easts match; Thicknesse passing and being tackled during Easts match; Eastern Suburbs vs Balmain; Thickensse with ball during Easts match; NSW vs QLD.

    PXD 1410
    Eastern Suburbs Poster ca 1936: fixture poster for Easts tour of Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Maclean, Lismore, Casino, Tweed Heads, and Murwillumbah. Includes photographs of Dave Brown, Viv Thicknesse, and Ray Stehr.
  • Source
    Purchased from Ravenswick Auctions, Botany. Bradmania, 14 December 2012, Lot numbers 147-149, 152, 154, 156, 159, 161-163, 165-166, 178-179, 183.
  • Access Conditions

    This material is held offsite and can take up to four days to retrieve. - Applies to MLMSS 9713
  • Copying Conditions
    Copyright status:: In copyright - This collection has multiple rights owners
    Research & study copies allowed: Applies only to material in which the author has been deceased for more than 50 years
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