The Exeter City Supporters Trust has welcomed a massive boost to its plans for celebrating the history of St James Park, home of Exeter City Football Club since the early twentieth century.
A bid to document, preserve and share the history of the ground, submitted by the University of Exeter working in partnership with the Trust’s History Group, has been successful in attracting grants of £29,100 with the main contribution coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The wide ranging project will include:
* The digitisation of documents and photographs held in public and private collections.
* Fans contributing their own photographs.
* Film interviews with supporters, former and current players and staff
* Specially commissioned photographs by a leading football photographer
* Research on the early history of the ground
* Volunteer training and involvement
* Monthly community events
The products from these and other initiatives will be used in a number of ways including:
* Preserving items on the Grecian Archive website
* Permanent and touring exhibitions
* A brochure
* A series of digital trails
* A teaching pack
* Talks and tours
Welcoming the grant, Paul Farley, Club and Supporters Trust Director and Chair of The Exeter City History Group, said “This is amazing news. I am so grateful to our wonderful partners at the University and to the Heritage Lottery Fund for making this possible. St James Park, our stadium for well over 100 years, means so much to so many people – to supporters, to players, to staff and volunteers and to the local community. It is our spiritual home and the place where so many individual and collective memories have been forged. We are determined to collect, preserve and share as much as we can about the ground and what it means to people. This will be done in innovative ways with everyone who has a stake in its past and present life”.
Gabriella Giannachi, from the University of Exeter said: ’This is a wonderful opportunity to capture the tangible and the intangible heritage at St James Park from a variety of angles, including professional and mass photography, a film, a learning pack and an exhibition. This is a project about history, about community, about life itself. And, above all, this is a project about football and everything that can be understood and experienced through it. I am especially excited about the opportunity to collect personal memories, whether by staff, players, both past and present, and fans, so that they may become part of City’s fascinating history.’
Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “As new developments start at St James Park, we felt it was a timely moment to take stock and look back at the many years of sporting drama this ground has witnessed. Exeter City sits right at the heart of the local community and thanks to National Lottery players, our grant will help to preserve and share its long and distinguished history.”
The project will run until April 2017. For more information or to offer to help in any way please contact: [email protected]