Gloucester Rugby Football Community Heritage Project
The Gloucester Rugby Football Community Heritage Project aims to capture, preserve, celebrate and share Gloucester’s rich rugby heritage, revealing its impact and importance for the City and the County.
The foundations of the Project lie in work to build a new grandstand at Gloucester Rugby Club’s ground at Kingsholm. Preparations for demolition of the old South Stand brought to light 31 boxes crammed with old photographs, papers and other memorabilia, dating back to the 19th Century. Saved from the skip by Gloucester Rugby Club Community Marketing Manager Gary Little, the boxes’ contents were handed over to Gloucestershire Archives and it was decided they should form the basis of a Gloucester Rugby Archive. As a member of Friends of Gloucestershire Archives and longstanding rugby season ticket holder, Malcolm King took up the role of Project Manager.
The next step was to secure funding. Gloucestershire Archives, Friends of Gloucestershire Archives and Gloucester Rugby Club (all partners in the Project) donated resources. However, with such a range and quantity of material to collate, and the Project’s aims becoming ever more ambitious, it was decided to bid for finance from the National Heritage Lottery Fund. In late 2008 the good news came through – the Project had secured nearly £50K, to be spent in 3 years, spread almost equally across capital and activity costs. This brought funding to a total of £88K. This finances the delivery of this web site, permanent static displays at the Gloucester Rugby Club, educational materials for the National Curriculum and temporary displays for events around the County.
Material has also been donated by BBC Radio Gloucestershire, the Gloucester Citizen, players past and present and members of the public. Although the Project is very much focussed on the Gloucester Rugby Club, its remit also encompasses Gloucestershire and England rugby where Gloucester players are involved.