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Ashbrooke Heritage and Education - A New Venture

For the last few weeks the weekly blog has concentrated on the run up to the re-dedication of the stand as The Last Stand and the club’s involvement in the two World Wars of the last century. For the next few weeks the blog will be experimenting and heading in a slightly new direction. It is hoped that schoolchildren, students and teachers may be interested in what follows and if so will make contact with me as advised as the end of the blog.

As head of a large school history department in the 1980s and 1990s I started using sport history in history lessons as a method of teaching the skills of the historian with an eye to the interest that many pupils had in sport.

Eventually I produced an educational booklet based on the Ashbrooke records and this has been updated in 2012 and again recently. The idea is to produce a few sample lessons to see if there is an interest. The first is based on the opening day at Ashbrooke in May 1887

The Opening of Ashbrooke

Primary Pictorial Evidence – Photograph 30 May 1887

 What is happening in the photograph?

 How do you know it is a special day?

 How many sports can you spot?

 How is the Ashbrooke ground different from today?

 What do you learn about costume and (for fun) what does everyone in the picture seem to have in common?

Secondary Written Evidence - From To Ashbrooke and Beyond (published in 1963) page 29

‘The ground was opened on 30 May 1887 with the Whitsuntide Sports Meeting at which the first event was the 100-yards open handicap run in ten heats, and won by W Jenkins (S.A.A.C), H

Lindsley and J Summers being second and third. Despite threatening weather there was a very large attendance “so great a crowd waiting for admission to the 6d ground that it was nearly

three o’clock before the last was admitted” ’.

Things to Do

 Be a detective or a journalist and ask the key questions – Who? When? Where? What? Why? How?

 Answer some more specific questions

 What is Whitsuntide?

 What do you notice about the running distance?

 What does 6d mean and how can it help us understand costs?

 What does handicap mean?

 What was the crowd like?

 What was the weather like?

 Why are these marks “” around the last sentence?

Imagine you are one of the people on the photograph and using both the photograph and the writing complete a diary entry for the day. Try to express feelings if you can.

If you work at all the tasks you will

A. Discover and use EVIDENCE to find out about the past

B. Work out how the past is DIFFERENT FROM (and often THE SAME AS) today.

C. See HOW and WHY things have changed.

D. Improve your WRITING SKILLS.


Both a teachers’ guide and pupils’ guide for the project can be provided as well as help with the questions/answers for this first lesson – Send e-mail contact details to

For more on Keith – see

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