Thanks to National Lottery players, new heritage displays focusing on key events in Barnsley FC’s history from 1887 to the present day have been created for the Oakwell East Stand Concourse.
Reds in the Community, a registered charity delivering community and charitable activities on behalf of Barnsley Football Club, celebrated the club’s 130th anniversary throughout 2017 by involving supporters, local organisations and the wider community in exploring the story of Barnsley FC and its home ground, Oakwell.
Highlighting the ‘living’ nature of the heritage of the Football Club, local people and supporters called for the story of Barnsley FC to be told through players’, managers’ and supporters’ stories.
With support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust the ‘Our Club, Our Ground, Our Past, Our Future’ heritage project saw volunteers getting involved in a range of tasks from interviewing players, staff and supporters, past and present, to undertaking research and (digitally) collecting Barnsley FC photographs, documents and stories.
Barnsley-based video production company, Deadline Digital, worked with Reds in the Community to create a number of short films in which players, managers and supporters, past and present, spoke about their memories of the club:
Reds in the Community has also been working as a creative partner with the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust on the ‘Sharing Memories of Barnsley FC’ aspect of the project, through which reminiscence activities have taken place within NHS and other settings, enabling participants to explore and share their Barnsley FC related memories.
As a Creative Minds partner, Reds in the Community is part of a strong, growing infrastructure of community organisations who are working with the local NHS to provide creative projects for people who use Trust services.
Through a new collaboration with the Sporting Memories Network, a charity dedicated to Sports Reminiscence & Physical Activities, this work is set to continue as a legacy of the ‘Our Club, Our Ground, Our Past, Our Future’ project.
Manchester-based design company, The Office of Craig, was appointed by Reds in the Community to work on the design and production of the heritage displays for Oakwell.
The Office of Craig’s Creative Director and Founder, Craig Oldham, who hails from Barnsley (and is a huge Barnsley FC supporter), said of The Office of Craig’s involvement in the project:
“The community and club we come from, and love, is a massive part of us—a fundamental part—and we’re excited by the opportunity to represent this spirit through collaborating with Reds in the Community (and the wider stakeholders) on the ‘Our Club, Our Ground, Our Past, Our Future’ project.”
The ‘Our Club, Our Ground, Our Past, Our Future’ Project Advisory Group, which includes Barnsley FC’s Club Historian, David Wood, along with members of the Barnsley FC Supporters Trust and other interested supporters, has involved volunteers in working with Reds in the Community and the Office of Craig to shape the new heritage displays.
New educational resources focusing on the history of the Football Club have also been developed by Brian Heywood of Sports Inspire Educational Publishing through the ‘Our Club, Our Ground, Our Past, Our Future’ initiative.
Commenting on the project, Wayne Bullimore, Chief Executive of Reds in the Community, said:
“We are so excited to be launching our heritage displays. This project has been in the making for 18 months and has been driven forward and shaped by a group of talented and committed local individuals. At the very heart of all football clubs is the supporters and this project has put them, quite rightly, at centre stage with valuable contributions from our Barnsley FC legends providing a sprinkling of stardust.
“As with everything that happens under the banner of Reds in the Community, it is the people at the forefront of our work that deserve all the credit. My particular thanks go to the Volunteers and Project Advisory Group, the Project Coordinator Sarah Hughes and designer Craig Oldham. They are all local people and supporters who kick every ball on Saturdays too! I hope that throughout the coming weeks the spotlight shines very brightly on all of their talents and contributions. They should all feel very proud.”
Project volunteers, contributors, partners and supporters gathered to officially open the displays at Oakwell on Thursday 24th January. Barnsley Football Club and Reds in the Community will be inviting supporters and the wider community to come along to see the new ‘Our Club, Our Ground, Our Past, Our Future’ displays over the coming weeks. Please check the Barnsley FC and Reds in the Community websites for further details.