Shrovetide history remembered

Steven Temple and Cyrus Pattinson being filmed at Baliffgate Museum by Harry Henderson.
Steven Temple and Cyrus Pattinson being filmed at Baliffgate Museum by Harry Henderson.

MEMORIES have been pouring in for Alnwick’s unique version of the beautiful game, as part of a social history project held at the town’s Bailiffgate Museum.

On Tuesday, a memory-sharing event was staged to celebrate the annual Shrove Tuesday football match and document its history, as part of a nationwide initiative.

The museum and Alnwick’s Gallery Youth Project have teamed up to create a special record of the ancient game – traditionally played between the parishes of St Michael and St Paul – for the People’s Record, which is supported by Arts Council England.

Scores of people, from former players to match officials, have now come forward with their memorabilia, including photographs, videos and films, as well as personal recollections spanning several decades.

Lionheart Radio presenter James Boyd, who is helping to create digital recordings of people’s memories and a DVD of the 2012 match, said: “We’ve had over 20 original photographs so far, which will be made available online as part of the project. The oldest is from 1955, when the match was played on the upper field of the Pastures.”

The Shrovetide game in Alnwick is steeped in tradition, with the earliest recorded contest taking place in 1762. There are no limits to team size and goals are scored between upright arches called hales.