An Introduction

The Old Grandstand

The history of St James Park, home to Exeter City Football Club was a one-year project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which aimed to identify, document, preserve and share the tangible and intangible history of the Club for communities of fans, staff and players in Exeter and beyond.

By tangible history we mean photos, programmes, old newspaper articles, but also footballs, boots, ephemera, whereas by intangible heritage we mean the memories, stories, and oral histories that may be associated to them.

The project involved mass photography, which took place at the end of the 2015/6 season and produced around 300 evocative images of places, people and football, now included in this archive. The photos also formed part of the exhibition that opened at St James Park on 23 March 2017 in the hospitality area.

Additionally, the project made it possible for world leading football photographer and FIFA Museum Consultant Peter Robinson to photograph a stunning set of images which formed part of an exhibition that opened on 17/11/2016 that are now shown at St James Park in the hospitality area.

To capture the intangible heritage, the project generated 60 interviews to fans, players and staff, which are deposited in the archive. These formed the basis of a film directed by Elliott Morgan, which was developed in collaboration with Will Barrett and Izaak Radecki, to illustrate the rich history of the ground.

The project also funded the creation of three trails that could be used for stadium tours or in an educational context, a learning pack, and a brochure for those further afield who may not be able to attend the exhibition.

At the heart of the project was the digitization of a substantial amount of items in both private and public collections which were gathered during a number of workshops and events and which allowed fans, players past and present, and staff to re-write with us the amazing and colourful history of Exeter City Football Club.

The project team was formed by a group of volunteers, including Lewis Jones, David Mitchell, Phil Wright, Chris Vickery, Martin Weiler, Pete Martin, Andrew Verbinnen, Izaak Radecki, Andy Bratt, Sam Marshall, Ryan Turner, Sarah Willis, Clive Harrison, David Luxton, Alyson Styles and Shaun Dyer, as well as 20 Exeter University student interns, all led by project co-ordinator Will Barrett, working in collaboration with Club Director Paul Farley, Club historian Aidan Hamilton and the project's Principal Investigator Gabriella Giannachi from the University of Exeter.

Finally, we would like to thank the following for their help and involvement in this project: Will Allan, Vic Allen, Sara-Ann Ang, Giles Ashman, Ted Ashman, Colin Atkins, Steven Ayers, Alan Banks, Phil Bater, Sue Bater, Nick Baxter-Sibley, Keith Bowker, Andy Bratt, Jon Brown, Brian Carpenter, Rose Clace, Mike Cooper, Ron Crabb, Meryl Daveshead, Elaine Davis, John Delve, Tom Denman, Olly Dernie, Shaun Devine, Devon Heritage Centre, Julie Dunlop, Express and Echo, Frances Farley, Graham Fereday, Stuart Fishleigh, Sheila Fletcher, Dick Forbes, Friends of the National Trust, Andy Gillard, Margaret Gillard, Jimmy Giles, Roger Giles, Alan Govier, Jane Gray, Aidan Hamilton, Alan Hartshorn, Peter Hatch, Nick Hawker, John Henderson, Heritage Lottery South West, John Hodge, Jenny Hogg, John Hore, Ken Hutton, Bill Jarman, Mark Jenkins, Lewis Jones, Richard Knight, Simon Larkins, Dennis Lee, Ed Lee, Dom Lodge, Dave Luxton, Trevor Marks, Sam Marshall, David Mitchell, Elliott Morgan, Scott Palfrey, Steve Perryman, Dave Phillips, Pinnacle Photo Agency, Ray Pratt, Chris Quick, Justin Quick, Izzak Radecki, Mike Radford,  Lee Rawlings, Respect Festival, Mike Roach, Peter Robinson, Sofia Romualdo De Carvalho, Frank Sealey, Norman Shiel, Signs Express, St Sidwell’s Community Centre, Emil Sokolov, Alison Styles, Julian Tagg, Caitlin Talbot, The Beacon Meet and Remember Group, Paul Tisdale, Charlotte Tregedeon, Ryan Turner, Andrew Verbinnen, Chris Vickery, Scott Walker, Barry Wedlake, Mike & Jackie Whitfield, Sarah Willis, Bob Wilson, Phil Wright.

Gabriella Giannachi and Will Barrett

An Introduction