To coincide with the launch of the LSH heritage project touring exhibition in February 2018, I have been working with Alex Service, historian from St Helen’s R.F.C. or ‘Saints’. Alex kindly agreed to be part of the LSH heritage project committee and we have certainly learnt from his experiences when working on our book and touring exhibition.
To strengthen the links between the two clubs it was previously decided to work together on an exhibition; giving LSH an opportunity to showcase items from their archive. The focus of this joint exhibition is cross code players. I soon realised that this term describes players who may have played rugby union and later in their sporting career ‘switched codes’ to play rugby league or vice versa.
Alex provided me with a list of names; eight men who had represented St Helen’s RUFC and then gone on to play for Saints. After searching the LSH archive I was able to find material relating to seven of these players. I have selected photographs, programmes, membership cards, a scrapbook and a telegram.
At present we have a 2nd Year History student on placement from Edge Hill University; Jack worked on the captions for the team photographs while I wrote descriptions for all the items, along with a short introduction.
The next stage was to pay a visit to the Conservation team at Liverpool Central Library. Team Leader, Annie, offered guidance on how the items could be arranged together in the case, while looking at what support each individual item would need. (Many thanks to Val for making surrogate programme covers, photographs and mounting the exhibition captions on acid free board; and to Mark for making customised supports for the items)
Now all I have to do is carefully transport the items and install them in the heritage alcove. This sounds like a simple task, but positioning items can actually be quite time-consuming; a ‘wonky’ caption will stand out!
If you want to know which particular dual code players feature, please visit our exhibition in the Saints shop at the Totally Wicked stadium. The exhibition will run throughout February and March 2018.
Vicki Caren, Project Archivist