STFC Museum is coming soon

STFC stories and Museum Tours

One of the most satisfying things in the past month was being able to help relatives of former Town players with facts and photos about them.

One of these came through the Glen Hoddle evening at the Wyvern. Besides picking up a signed photo of Glen, I was able to help a daughter who was anxious to get a decent picture of her father Terry Powell in his Swindon Town days. Although Terry never made the first team, he appeared in a photo of the Swindon playing staff taken by Maylotts from the early sixties.

Another came from the daughter of the late Cyril Riseborough who played for Swindon in the fifties. His grandson is now on Liverpool’s books but she very much wanted to find a photo of him. I was able to give her some information and Paul Plowman managed to come up with a picture. Her response “Wonderful” should make all of us proud to be involved with the Museum and Football Club which is so supportive of it. It shows how times have changed that Cyril who was a part timer declined an offer by the manager Bert Head to become full time as he had a job with Vickers which was better paid and had more security.

The County Ground Tours have been going well and both this month were fully booked. They seem to have been well received and, although I am not quite sure exactly what social media is, I am very gratified to learn that they are showing up well on this. They often produce donations to the museum and one I will mention given the focus on 1969 on the Website is a framed and signed picture of Roger Smart shaking hands with Princess Margaret prior to the Wembley final. They also sometimes produce questions to which we don’t always have an answer but will try to find after.

One such was about John Trollope who again accompanied the tour and made a very valuable contribution as did Antony who told us about Harold Fleming and his medals. John remembered his first match which was against Halifax but could not remember the last. Looking it up in one of Paul Plowman’s excellent record books I discovered it was a 5-2 defeat at Blackpool at the end of the 1978-9 Season when only a couple of away defeats at the end of the season prevented Bobby Smith’s Town side getting promoted to the second tier and eventually finishing fifth.   

The Mayor of Swindon, Barbara Parry, came to the match with Sutton. She was impressed with the work being done by the Museum and took many photos of the Trophy Cabinets. Barbara has set up a group called Champions of Swindon which aims to raise the sometimes negative image of the town. It was through this group that I saw a presentation in which young people had been asked “What was great about Swindon”. Disappointingly the largest number of responses had been NOTHING. More encouragingly, the second largest was FOOTBALL. When the answers were unpicked, it seems that actually individuals found their own personal experiences were not too bad but social media warped their views. I fear this is happening sometimes with our football club too. Can I say my experience of talking to people around the club and who come on the tours is a very positive one. I like to think that even when things are not going right in terms of results on the pitch the Museum can show people they have a club to be proud of. Real supporters stick with a club through thick and thin and when they criticise they do so constructively and are aware that their behaviour, for good or ill, reflects on the club.                

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