Touchstones Rochdale is asking you to share your favourite Dale memories and memorabilia!
To coincide with this year’s 2022 World Cup, Touchstones, with support from Arts Council England, is launching a new exhibition that celebrates art and football. The Football Art Prize will showcase pieces selected by a panel of experts and football personalities who were chosen to judge the artwork as part of a competition.
As part of the wider exhibition, Touchstones have commissioned local artists Alan Ward and Neville Gabie to create an exhibit focused on ‘100 Objects and Memories’ to reflect on the rich history and local cultural heritage of Rochdale AFC.
Rochdale residents, keen historians and football fans are invited to share their memories of Rochdale Football Club at a special session at Touchstones on 25 and 26 February to help form the 100 Objects and Memories exhibit.
The ‘show and tell’ session will open the floor for you to share personal stories and items that remind you of your time supporting Rochdale AFC. Items can include antiques, memorabilia, personal items, photographs, and other objects of personal significance, with the strange and peculiar more than welcome.
Alongside the chosen personal relics and historic tales, the resulting exhibit will also include trophies and photographs from Touchstone’s own collection.
As part of this fact-finding mission, Touchstones is also looking for help to uncover the stories behind three images of Rochdale’s football teams from years gone by. Touchstones are specifically hoping to hear from anyone who can relay any information of stories about the images below, including details of the local women’s Sandfield football team.
The artists behind the project, Neville Gabie and Alan Ward, said: “For many, football is what roots them to towns and communities up and down the country. Each club is rich with their own particular blend of stories, personal memories and cherished objects.”
“This exhibition is an opportunity to share those with others and enjoy that rich tapestry we all love.”
Ryan Bradley, Community Director at Rochdale AFC Community Trust, added: “We are delighted to be involved in the 2022 Football Art Prize Competition. Football has a longstanding relationship with art and culture, and it is important to revisit and celebrate those links wherever possible.”
“Being able to bring football and art to the grassroots of local communities is what appealed to us and we look forward to supporting Your Trust in bringing this project to life.”
Alongside the cultural exhibition, 100 Objects and Memories, Alan and Neville are also working with five community-led groups to reinterpret Pass Shoot Goal, a 1932 song about football which was recorded by Rochdale icon, Gracie Fields.
The local groups getting involved with the musical recording include a Ukrainian choir, a Hindi group, a d/Deaf football team, a Nigerian group and a retired choir, alongside Rochdale AFC supporters. Each will translate the song into their own languages, dialects or interpretation and a performance will be filmed at Rochdale’s Spotland Stadium.
The final film, alongside the collected stories and artefacts from 100 Objects and Memories, will all form part of the evolving exhibition taking place at Touchstones with The Football Art Prize from March to July.
The Rochdale AFC Community Trust are also hosting an evening of culture at the Crown Oil Arena, headlined ‘One Town Two Codes’, which will focus on the history of football and rugby league in the town. Click HERE for full details on the event.