Tale-Enders: Gathering the narrative heritage of Welsh Cricket

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glamorgan
Department Name: Creative and Cultural Industries

Abstract

The George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling at the University of Glamorgan, in association with Glamorgan Cricket Club, has conducted innovative new research into the heritage of Welsh Cricket and its influence on the community. One of the project's leaders, Professor Michael Wilson, writes that 'a study of sport opens the window onto the social history of the age'[1], a fitting testament to the new Museum of Welsh Cricket opening shortly at Cardiff's SWALEC Stadium. The project coincided with Cardiff's hosting of the England-Australia Test match and celebrates the rich cultural gains that cricket offers both players and community members alike. Cardiff's role as host makes for pertinent research into the evolving relationship between a sport and its fans and 'TaleEnders' is a project that aims to commemorate Wales' oral cricketing heritage and make it accessible to the wider community.

With this in mind recent American Studies and Geography graduate Sophie Leslie, under the supervision of Professor Mike Wilson, collated stories and memories from six diverse Welsh clubs ranging from players to tea ladies to groundsmen, and collected their testimonies in the forms of video interviews, audio interviews, written accounts and digital stories. The team also built up a photographic record of Welsh club cricket from the late nineteenth century right up to the present day and put it into the public domain of Flickr.com. 'TaleEnders' was driven by the understanding that everybody has a story to tell, and that one story invariably leads on to another. To this end researchers approached people directly and displayed their findings digitally, both at the museum and online. It encouraged direct personal responses and ensured an organic evolution to the greater 'story'. 'TaleEnders' not only benefited the wider community but involved it, and continues to do so by encouraging new stories and comments.

Through 'TaleEnders' Wales has become more aware of its close personal ties with Glemorgan Cricket Club and has a wider appreciation for the community aspect of sport. There are plans for six more cricket clubs to get involved next year, future Knowledge Transfer links to be established, an online training programme to be set up along with tools for self-archiving and co-curating to ensure that the project continues to evolve.

Publications

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Wilson M (2008) 'Tale-enders: Gathering the Oral Narrative Heritage of Welsh Cricket' in Journal of the Inclusive Museum

 
Title Taking the Field Digital Stories 
Description Digital Stories created for Taking the Field, follow-on KTP with MCC. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2011 
Impact Good responses from museum visitors. Helped influence policy development in MCC Museum. Led to future collaborations with MCC and Leicester University. 
URL http://www.takingthefield.com/
 
Title Tale-Enders Digital Stories 
Description Digital Stories produced as part of the project. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2008 
Impact Used for exhibition in Cardiff during 2009 Ashes. Also used by cricket historians as resources. Led directly to KTP with MCC - Taking the Field. 
URL http://storytelling.research.southwales.ac.uk/taleendersfilms/
 
Description 'Taking the Field: the everyday stories of cricketing folk' - Storytelling: Global Reflections on Narrative (4th Global Conference), Prague 
Form Of Engagement Activity Scientific meeting (conference/symposium etc.)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation paper presentation
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Attended by all conference delegates. Generated much positive discussion and questions.

Developed good international networks with scholars/practitioners around applied storytelling.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description 'Tale-enders: Storytelling, Technology and Sports Heritage' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Scientific meeting (conference/symposium etc.)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation paper presentation
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Refereed paper presented at International Conference on the Inclusive Museum, Leiden, Netherlands, June 2008. A mixture of museum and heritage professionals and academics.

Good set of questions and discussion from delegates. Request to develop paper for publication.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description 'TaleEnders and the Heritage of Welsh Cricket' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Scientific meeting (conference/symposium etc.)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation keynote/invited speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Invited presentation/paper for Sport and Oral History Conference, University of Huddersfield

Good responses and discussion. Excellent networking amongst sports historians.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description 'The Ashes Coming to Cardiff' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Contribution to exhibition at Cardiff Old Library to coincide with the First Ashes Test in Cardiff, 2009. Open to general public and also visiting cricket fans.

Visitors contributed their own responses and stories to the project. Excellent profile for the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009