The Bosley Wood Treatment Tug of War team were founded after the Second World War in 1947. The club since then has had a colourful and successful history.
Bosley Wood Treatment were originally founded by Alex Brown. Born on 31st March 1915, Alex first got involved in tug of war through a local young farmers team at the age of 17 before going on to set up his own team with some neighbouring farmers. The team were known as the Bosley Farmers, before changing their name to Cookies Eight for a few years, before changing their name back to Bosley Farmers. The team later appointed Sam Holland as trainer and coach, who was a school master before moving to Bosley to work in the transport and garage trade. Training originally consisted of putting a rope around a huge oak tree, fixed through a system of pulleys, and attached one end of the rope to 18 milk churns filled with sand, which the team lifted up and down. After two years with Sam Holland in charge, the team had won every competition in the North Midlands, and then affiliated to the Amateur Athletic Association. Alex Brown is pictured here lifting the European Championship Trophy in 1969 in the Republic of Ireland. The club donated this trophy to the Tug of War Association and is awarded annually to the winners of the 720 kilos national championship.
Affiliating to the AAA’s meant that the team had to abide by official rules, and took training more seriously. The time soon came when it became too expensive to run a successful tug of war club, so in 1957, they adopted Wood Treatment Limited as their patrons and sponsor. The team then changed its name to Wood Treatment Bosley tug of war club. In 1958, the Tug of War Association was formed, and Wood Treatment Bosley was one of the founder members of the Association. In 1959, Wood Treatment Bosley won its first AAA’s catchweight title at the White City Stadium in London, overcoming defending champions New Haw and Woodham in the final, which was Wood Treatment Bosley’s first title in what turned out to be a long and successful era for the club, which saw the club win 20 consecutive AAA’s titles from 1958-1978. Wood Treatment Bosley won its first national catchweight title in 1960. Pictured above is the Wood Treatment squad of 1960.
The first European Championships were held in Malmo, Sweden, in conjunction with the Baltic Games in August 1964, and Wood Treatment Bosley were invited to represent England at 720 kilos. This was the first international event organised by the Tug of War International Federation, and consisted of teams from England, Holland, Sweden and Denmark. England won the gold medal without losing an end, and started another long line of international success for the team. Trainer and Coach Sam Holland then retired from full time coaching, but remained involved in the club in an advisory capacity. Alex Brown then became coach, and won national and AAA’s titles in his first season. Wood Treatment Bosley then went on to represent England at the second European Championships held at the Crystal Palace stadium in London, overcoming Switzerland, Sweden, Holland, and Northern Ireland to win their second European title. The club then went on to win a further 9 European titles whilst representing England, the most recent coming in 1999. Pictured above is the team which won the European 720 kilos title in 1965.
Bosley won its first of two world titles in 1975, when the first world championship took place in the Netherlands. The team was now coached by John Hollinshead, and then added a second world title in South Africa in 1976. Bosley won the 1981 European Title in Folkstone, England, but sadly did not appear in the 1982 season, as many of the original pullers were getting older, and went on to retire. Fortunately, the club re-established itself, winning the national championships at 680 kilos in 1985, and then went on to win the 1985 UK title at 680 kilos. Wood Treatment Bosley continued as a team since, but did not win another national title until 1998, winning the 680 kilos and catchweight titles. Starting another run of recent success up to the 2001 season.
Bosley then had to re-build again after the 2001 season, and won national titles at 680 kilos and 720 kilos in 2007, before going on to win a bronze and silver medal at the 2007 European Championships held in Minehead, England.
Credit for some of this history must go to Alex Streeter (publisher of Tug of War World Magazine until 1993) who compiled a magazine titled ‘The Tug of War Career of Alex Brown’