Our Sporting Life Exhibition

Our Sporting Life on tour in Surrey

In 2011 the Our Sporting Life exhibition toured around Surrey.

The exhibition

Image of Vickers Tug Of War team, courtesy of Byfleet Heritage Society

Vickers Tug Of War team,
courtesy of Byfleet Heritage Society

Our Sporting Life was a four-year, nationwide project developed by the Sports Heritage Network designed to give every community the opportunity to celebrate its sporting heritage in the build up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Our Sporting Life revealed hidden sporting histories, forgotten heroes, objects and stories in communities across the UK.

A series of  over 100 community exhibitions were held throughout the country. Built around a nationally developed model, the community exhibitions identified the sporting moments, heroes, objects, photographs and experiences that have inspired local people.

Our Sporting Life culminated during the London Games in 2012 as the worlds greatest ever exhibition of Britains sporting heritage, hosted at a major central London venue and designed to attract over 500,000 visitors.

Brooklands, Massed Start Bicycle Road Race, c.1937, courtesy of Brooklands Museum

Brooklands, Massed Start Bicycle Road Race, c.1937,
courtesy of Brooklands Museum

Highlight objects and stories from the national community exhibitions were joined by icons and treasures from our national sports such as the Ashes Urn, Calcutta Cup and the football from the 1966 World Cup Final to provide a unique insight into how sport has shaped the country, its communities and people.

Do you have any sporting stories you want to share? If so use the “Have your say” box at the bottom of this page to let us know.

Surrey can boast many sporting firsts, including:

  • A Base Ball match in Shere in 1775, mentioned in a William Bray diary.
  • Following an 1880s football match in Surrey the Football Association instructed clubs to use crossbars on goals.
  • In 1772, as a result of some very accurate bowling by Lumpy Stevens, the third stump was introduced in to the game of cricket.
  • A women’s cricket match between the villages of Bramley and Hambledon, near Guildford, was reported in The Reading Mercury on 26 July 1745.
Shrove Tuesday Street Football, 1897, courtesy of Dorking Museum

Shrove Tuesday Street Football, 1897,
courtesy of Dorking Museum

Other related websites:

Sports and Recreation in Surrey.

1948 Olympic Torch Run Through Surrey.

2 thoughts on “Our Sporting Life Exhibition”

  1. Marion Rodgers says:

    As part of this year’s local contribution to Heritage Open Days, we are staging a cricket match on Cotmandene. Two-stump, under arm bowling with a copy of an original bat and the players in period costumes. This year Dorking CC are taking on Newdigate CC on Sunday 11 September, Cotmandene, Dorking 1430-1700. For more information please contact [email protected]. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the match and admire the stunning views.

  2. Ross Vicars says:

    The Tug of War team is New Haw and Woodham, not Vickers as captioned – the puller at the front is Tommy Crossman.
    I pulled for New Haw for several years and am sure I am right.

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