ECFC Museum | Celebrating Our Heritage
The ECFC Museum was founded in 2018, to collect, preserve, share and celebrate the history and heritage of Exeter City Football Club.
The origins of this project, in many ways, go back to the foundations of the club itself, but it has been in the past decade that concerted efforts have been made to uncover the myriad of stories and narratives that make this football club so special to so many.
The 2010 Grecian Voices exhibit and film was the first of five projects with the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and was followed up with a second in 2014 with the Have You Ever Played Brazil Exhibition, which remains on display at the Park and was accompanied by a play at the Northcott Theatre and an outstanding book by ECFC Museum Historia and Trustee, Aidan Hamilton.
This work provided added impetus to further explore the club’s past and so the partnership was formed with the Centre for Intermedia at the University of Exeter to professionalise the approach of the heritage work at the football club and to create a framework of engagement that would allow for our past to have real value both now and in the future.
This partnership between the club, the Supporters’ Trust, and the University – alongside a growing cast of individual stakeholders and organisations – saw the formation of the Grecian Archive, which has grown almost exponentially to include more than 20,000 items relating to the history and heritage of Exeter City Football Club.
Throughout this time, the team, led by Professor Gabriella Giannachi (University of Exeter), in collaboration with Paul Farley and Martin Weiler (ECFC Museum Trust) and Elaine Davis (ECFC Supporters’ Trust), has delivered three back-to-back Heritage Funded projects that have seen a collection of randomly assorted materials under the stairs of the Park building evolve into a registered charity and a museum working towards accreditation from the museum’s association.
Existing online through the Grecian Archive and all across the site at St James Park, the museum takes a distributed approach to curation, that means that there is no single fixed space for our displays, and that exhibits can be found by supporters and visitors all around our historic stadium.
These exhibits include the aforementioned Hall of Fame, Historic Timeline, Walk of Fame Strikers Mural, and the Have You Ever Played Brazil display, as well as the ECFC Museum Photography and DNA Exhibit’s in the Centre Spot, the Legend’s Wall in the appropriately named Legend’s Lounge, the Looking At Football Photography Exhibition by Peter Robinson in the Main Stand, and the Fans Through The Years display in Red Square.
For our most recent project, we have also ventured closer to the pitch, creating the Welcome to St James Park, which is designed for visiting fans to see as they come through the turnstiles at the St James Road End, and also the Trust 20 exhibition, which was installed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the formation of the Supporters’ Trust and is on display for all to see between the Big Bank and the Main Stand.
Finally, this, the One of Our Own Exhibition, was created to celebrate not only the individuals on display but also one of the fundamental pillars of the ECFC ethos. He or she ‘is one of our own’ is something all fans love to sing and so the product of the tireless and committed work that has gone into our youth systems, both on and off the pitch, seemed like the perfect way to complete a project that was titled ‘Celebrating Our Heritage’.
Throughout all of this work, one aspect has remained crucial to the ethos and activities of the museum: the supporters!
Museums are nothing without people, and it has been the contributions of 100s of supporters, staff, players and managers – both current a former – that have provided energy and direction to the work, and that have brought our object and displays to life with real purpose.
The time spent sharing stories and information has been as valued as the many generous donations of objects and materials, and over the course of the last decade we have created together one of the most comprehensive and detailed records of any football club in the country, if not the world.
It is often said that this is no ordinary football club, and what has been achieved here in our community with the Grecian Archive and ECFC Museum is certainly a living testament to that statement.
Of course, the beauty of history is that it is never settled, and while we hope you have enjoyed this exhibition and guide, we also hope that you may also want to share your own stories or memorabilia with us, and should you wish to get in touch, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org