Wednesday 29 May 2013

Latest News from bantamspast

How to reflect such an unforgettable season? That will be the task in hand for the small bantamspast team this summer. We are delighted to have been invited to work closely with Mark Lawn to produce a new 2013 Suite at Valley Parade. Although we are at a very early stage of developing ideas, the overall vision is an exciting one and we hope we will produce something that will capture the magic of this remarkable season and its historical context. As the project progresses we will post further details, but with a major Cup Final and a Play-Off Final victory to reflect on, we are not short of content and artefacts – including a large shiny trophy.

On Thursday 30 May the annual bantamspast trip to the battlefields of the Great War gets underway. This year the focus is Belgium and in particular the infamous Ypres Salient. Several City players met their deaths near the Belgian town. The FA Cup captain and goal scorer Jimmy Speirs was killed during the terrible Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. We are planning to visit the location where he was killed and of course his final resting place. The man of the match in the FA Cup Final replay Robert Torrance was blasted into oblivion in 1918 and his body was never found. We will remember him at the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing where his name is inscribed. At nearby Poperinghe is the grave of City’s amateur centre half Gerald Kirk. He was killed in the wake of the first use of poison gas in warfare in 1915. Leading his company in a counter attack trying desperately, and successfully, to defend a gap in the Allied lines. The Dalesman paid with his life. The centre half who replaced Gerald in the Bantams’ team was James Comrie. Another man with no known grave his name is inscribed among the 56,000 of the Menin Gate at Ypres. Of course, this terrible litany is only a tiny fraction of the huge losses suffered at Ypres. Many of the people on the trip will be bringing stories of their own family’s loss with them, as well as that of the wider City of Bradford. If it proves practicable David Pendleton will provide a daily blog of the trip which takes place between Thursday 30 May and Sunday 2 June.

We are also collaborating with the Bradford based theatre company Northern Lines in the writing of their production ‘City Stories: It’s Only the Cup. War, Love and Football’, which will be staged at the New Bradford Playhouse, Little Germany, 27/28 June.

Finally, we will be adding around a dozen new framed images to the displays in our museum in exile at Bantams Bar on the Kop. At the moment admission is only available to holders of Bantams Bar season tickets and individual match day tickets. However, we have also added a couple of new images to our museum in exile display at the Corn Dolly public house on Bolton Road in the city centre. Admission is open to all – for the price of a pint!

No comments: