I was excited in 2017 to see the paperback edition of my new book, A Contemporary History of Women’s Sport published with Routledge. Academic publishers can tend to price hard back copies of books, especially those in prestigious research series, at price points that assume that university libraries are their main targets. Since the Research Excellence Framework (REF), the means by which academic research is judged against similar work in the field, also supports the policy of research books coming out in hardback, before paperback then this is unlikely to change in the short term. So the paperback is a much better value for money option, at around £29.99.
However, one of the few things that people take into consideration when buying such a book is the hours, days and years of research that go into the preparation of the manuscript, along with the painstaking hours of writing. So, for this book I used archival evidence from Switzerland (where many of the world’s sports governing bodies are based, such as FIFA and the IOC); the United States of America (where I was a guest of the National Sporting Library in Middleburg for three weeks and a guest of the Fashion Institute of Technology, in New York for a week); the Adidas archive in Germany and many UK-based collections. Increasingly, outputs that aspire to be ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’ as measured by the REF, need to have this originality and to distil large and ambitious sets of source material to impress peer reviewers. Thankfully, reviews of the book in Europe and North America have been very kind and generous.
But the really exciting aspect of research that I wanted to share with jjheritage clients and collaborators was the processes that publishing can begin, rather than end. To date, several family members of Olympians I have written about have contacted me to tell their stories, many of which have lain in scrapbooks in lofts or basements and hardly thought about for several years. Suddenly an online search, or a mention in the media about the family member I have written about gives a focal point to these memories and new information comes to light. This has recently happened in relation to Leicester’s Olympic gold medal winning swimmer in 1912, Jennie Fletcher, and in the case of Margaret Wellington, ‘The Mermaid in the City’ who swam in the 1948 London Olympic Games and then toured New Zealand and the US with her competitive career. Having written about both women before, I now know much more detail about their lives and careers and this family information has been invaluable in revisiting my earlier published articles and books.
I’ve also been in touch with key members of the Manchester Corinthians Women’s Football Team. This is an incredible story that I am currently working up into an article, with a view also to holding a reunion of this very important team in the history of women’s football. Corinthian Ladies formed January 1949 by Percy Ashley, a trained referee whose daughter Doris became captain. The Manchester Corinthians not only played in front of crowds of 80,000 spectators in South America, they aimed to raise funds for worthy causes by staging games and raised £275,000 overall including one tour of Portugal raising £7,000 for the Portugese Red Cross. In 1957 second team Nomads was formed and same year Corinthians invited to tour Germany. At Stuttgart they played before 45,000 people and went on to win an unofficial European Cup in Berlin 4-0. In the following years both teams toured extensively, eventually taking in Ireland, Holland, Portugal, Madiera, Morocco, Venezuela, Colombia, Dutch and British Guiana, Trinidad and Jamaica in their history. Corinthians and Nomads had over 52 trophies and won the Deal Tournment, an important international event, in 1968 and 1969. This is all the more remarkable given that the FA banned women’s football between 1921 and 1969, forming the first England team in 1972. England strikers like Sylvia Gore therefore built up their experience in these unofficial tournaments before the FA selected female players as ‘official’ representatives. Just as intriguing, Handy Angles, from the Midlands, once beat the Corinthians in a game before taking on an all-male TV All Stars eleven led by Bernie Winters, including singer Anthony Newley and with Ronnie Corbett as striker. If you have any further news, or scrapbooks or stories relating to these or other women’s sports history, I’d be very pleased to hear from you using our Contact Us page. With patience, fascinating new stories are coming to light all the time and it makes you think ‘why don’t we know more about this?’…
What Have You Done So Far in 2017 To Challenge Yourself? Yes Chef! and The Sportised Cooking TV Show Format
Both Jo and Jean love to cook and are interested in healthy eating, and a generally healthy lifestyle. As you can see from the combined biography under the About Us tab, we also both enjoy a challenge. Having both completed the London Marathon and Great North Run, Jean also completed the one mile Great North Swim at Lake Windermere in 2015. More on Open water swimming later in the year, as Jean has applied to join the historic Serpentine Swimming Club in London, though she is waiting for the weather to become more clement before taking the plunge.
Before then, Jean entered Yes Chef! Just before Christmas 2016 and has filmed the show this February, to be broadcast later in 2017. The format of the show is a competition whereby three ‘home cook’ contestants are tested and one selected to work with a professional chef who has won at least one Michelin star in a Friday final. At the Friday final each home cook and professional chef work as a team to compete against four other pairs and the outcome is judged by triple Michelin-starred chef Pierre Koffmann.
The 2017 show is the second edition, and hosted by Sheree Murphy the former Emmerdale star, who was anxiously trying out her own culinary skills in the famous Celebrity MasterChef kitchen. Both Joanna and Jean believe that eating well and understanding the food that you consume is the basis of good health. So why did Jean enter, and what did she take from the experience?
Competitive Cooking In Front of the Cameras
My biggest influence, in terms of cooking was my Mum, since she was one of a family of nine children, and learned a lot of her skills from her mother and father. Growing up, my family was also large, there were seven of us, including Mum and Dad, plus we lived on a farm, so there was the extended family of Grandma and Grandad, Uncles, Aunts and cousins. Not only did Mum cook from scratch for three square meals a day, but, being based on a 200 acre mixed arable and livestock farm, we would grow, pick and harvest the fruit and vegetables, milk the cows, feed the chickens and all the rest of it. So the provenance of food has always been important to me.
Similarly, I have always loved animals and became a vegetarian aged fifteen, as my job before school each morning was to feed the calves. Needless to say, my Grandad, who owned the farm, thought being a vegetarian was an odd choice. Although I am now pescatarian and find that this helps with my lean protein intake for sporting challenges, I am pretty relaxed about people’s food choices because it is such a personal matter of conscience.
My abiding memory, apart from how freezing cold potato picking was in the October half-terms, was that Mum would begin making the Christmas puddings and cakes just before Halloween and then would let the fruit mix mature until December. We’d make at least twelve Christmas puddings and Christmas Day itself was always about twenty people, or more, sitting around on that odd assortment of high and low chairs that only happens at that time of year, working their way through the feast provided by Mum over several hours. So cooking has always meant friends and family and hasn’t been competitive. Until now.
I guess I applied for Yes Chef! Because 1. I watch all the cookery shows 2. the format was a bit warmer and friendlier than the high pressure shows and 3. I think I am a reasonable home cook 4. cooking is an important life skill that should get more attention in school and these programmes help popularize ‘cooking from scratch’ even though viewers cant taste the food and 5. The format interests me professionally. Academics who write about sport have theorized that many television shows have become ‘sportised’. What they mean by this is that the jeopardy introduced to the format by turning everyday activities into competitions make them more compelling viewing. So on Yes Chef! there is the rivalry of competing against other ‘home cooks’ and then against other teams, the race of trying to complete your task against limited time and in front of cameras, catching your every mistake, the struggle to improvise with unseen ingredients, trying to match and exceed the skill of other contestants and the award of an eventual winner, with the benefits that this might bring after the competition. Just like the sporting contests I like to challenge myself with, this was both a physical challenge (it seemed to take 20 minutes to skin, peel, de-seed and chop one tomato), a challenge of skill, managing nerves and emotions under a totally new environment and reacting to new situations.
I really enjoyed the experience and if you are considering applying for a similar experience, I would encourage you to have a go because, regardless of the result, the process of seeing how these programmes are made is really engaging. I’ve done some media work for the BBC television and radio, Sky Arts, Channel Four and local radio but this was entirely different because I am usually asked to speak because of what I know, rather than what I can accomplish in a timed challenge. The camera crew, the professional chef and Sheree were also very supportive because if you can do your best under the circumstances, it will make a better show. Or the theory goes anyway! On reflection, I realized that when I cook it is at home, in my own environment with some of my favourite music and the prospect of good company with which to share the results-however they turn out. I am perhaps best to stick to my ‘army-style’ cooking of epic crumbles, generous curries and ‘come and join us’ barbecues. So Yes Chef! was definitely out of my comfort zone and one of my challenges for 2017. I do hope that the water in the Serpentine is balmy in July. Have you challenged yourself this year yet?
Since the launch of the National Lottery and the Heritage Lottery Fund in 1994 20% of good cause money has been invested in Heritage. That’s around £7.1 billion into 40,000 heritage projects over the last twenty three years, including large infrastructure projects and small educational visits. Over that time, Jean has worked with multi-disciplinary teams to obtain Heritage Lottery Fund grants as large as £9.1 million. Jean has worked with museums and archives to obtain grants as large as £330,000 and consulted for community groups on small projects worth £45,000, amongst many other bids. She has also obtained funding from the world governing body of football, FIFA and the European football confederation UEFA, on large international comparative projects. This advice comes from expertise of bidding across a range of funding schemes. Most recently, Jean has obtained funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for a Collaborative Doctoral Award, worth over £60,000 to supervise a PhD student who will be working with The Hockey Museum and its archive to develop oral histories of leading female international players from the 1950s onwards. So it is safe to say that Jean will have at least one ‘active’ bid developing at any one time.
However, if you are new to the process, there are much smaller Heritage Lottery Funding projects too, that have taught young people about history and heritage in innovative ways or developed their skills and employability.
Generally, Heritage Lottery Fund projects tend to fall into the following categories: 1. land and natural heritage 2. museums, libraries and archives 3. buildings and monuments 4. cultures and memories 5. industrial, maritime and transport 6.community heritage.
So, what do you need to know to shape your bid? These are the key questions to ask yourself and your team:
Is it a project?
Does the project have a clear heritage focus?
Is there a need or demand for it?
What people and audiences will it reach?
Can you include volunteering, such as groups or project partners?
Is the planning and management financially realistic?
What difference will it make?
Why now? What is the urgency? An anniversary or match funding might help here!
What is the benefit to the public and communities?
Your project outputs need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound (think of the acronym SMART).
Some of the outcomes might seem obvious but it is important to show that the funding will make a clear difference. So don't be afraid to spell out the evidence.
Some key phrases might be:
‘Heritage would be identified or better managed, conserved in better condition or better interpreted.’
‘People, especially across generation, might learn or develop skills, change their behavior or volunteer time.’
‘The heritage will reach more people or a wider range of people.’
So the next step is to familiarise yourself with the different schemes. All information has been fact checked at the date of publication but please note that schemes and project guidelines may change. The following is advisory rather than definitive, so please refer in the first instance to https://www.hlf.org.uk
Sharing Heritage is a specific fund for small community projects £3,000-10,000.
There is a specific fund for First World War ‘then and now’ projects worth £3,000-£10,000.
For larger projects, Our Heritage funds between £10,000-100,000 and is a very competitive scheme, as are the Heritage Grants scheme for projects over £100,000.
The Young Roots project targets young people and heritage projects between £10,000 and £50,000., while Kick The Dust aims to change the way that young people engage with heritage and is a large scheme worth between £500,000 and £1 million. There are specific schemes for places of worship, building skills, and transforming urban and rural landscapes. If you have an existing organization that needs help to build resilience or to develop entrepreneurial expertise, there are also schemes for these skills.
Have a great idea? Why wait? Start writing that bid? Good Luck!
Posts written by Jean or Joanna.