Last Saturday saw the first rugby league Heritage Forum take place at Heritage Quay.
With such extensive collections about the history of the game, the archive is of course the natural place for rugby league enthusiasts to get together, share what they’ve been up to and do some good networking. So we thought we’d organise something to do just that.
Representatives of clubs or heritage projects came from across the country to explore Heritage Quay, meet each other and enjoy a full day of talks, chat and biscuits. We welcomed people from Huddersfield, Warrington and even Featherstone.
The day kicked off with a lecture from noted historian Tony Collins. Using archive footage from the first half of the 20th century, Tony unpicked the evolution of the game from 1895 onwards, in particular focusing on the ways in which try scoring and fast play was encouraged through rule changes. A lot of the footage he used is available online including this footage shot by Mitchell and Kenyon
The morning was rounded off with a talk from Stephen from the Swinton Lions Tales group. This excellent project seemed to interest and inspire everyone and is well worth checking out. The final talk of the day was from the Leeds Rugby Foundation, who described the work they’ve been doing connecting the club and community with their rugby league heritage before sharing some great old photos which had everyone in the room taking a trip down memory lane.
One of the most popular parts of the day took place in our searchroom and was great for the archive! Our Collections Access Officer Rob had prepared a table of photos from the collection that we needed help identifying. Throughout the day the attendees came along to pick out players, teams, grounds and even officials – information that we will be able to add to our archive to help researchers of the future. From what we could see doing it was addictive so expect us to run something else like this in the future! We reckon we got through over 200 pictures which was a-mazing
There were also some gems from the collection on display to highlight how Heritage Quay can help researchers with useful and diverse sources.
Overall it was a great day and I’m already looking forward to next year!