Introducing… Toon Times
Toon Times is a three year heritage project funded by the Premier League, Heritage Lottery and First Class Supply.
The project has focused on making the rich history of the football club more accessible to generations of supporters through various forms of delivery.
Free, two hour history workshops allow Key Stage Two pupils the opportunity to explore the club’s past from its Victorian origins through to the present day Premier League team.
Through the use of artefacts, videos and photographic evidence pupils can bring the past to life and see how important Newcastle United is to the region.
Community sessions have also allowed for the project to engage with supporters at a range of community venues across the region. Such object handling sessions have provided supporters of all ages the opportunities to share their memories of the club and how it has changed over the years.
With recent sessions being delivered with dementia patients as part of their care provision and encourage conversation and improve their health and well-being.
To date 12,122 pupils have engaged in Toon Times educational sessions across the North East.
In partnership with Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, Newcastle United Foundation curated the first ever exhibition at Discovery Museum, Newcastle.
The exhibition included exhibits from the clubs archives as well as loans from supporters, many of which are on show for the first time. Held between February and October 2014 the true success of Toon Times lies with the thousands of football fans who visited the exhibition, leaving their memories on the memory net, shared images on social media and engaged in activities, highlighting the importance of the club and its supporters to the history and heritage of Tyneside.
The exhibition was also accompanied by a range of educational and community sessions as well as family fun days, allowing generations of supporters to get involved and celebrate the rollercoaster ride that is being a Newcastle United supporter.
Record numbers saw the exhibition break a number of records for Discovery Museum with 350,000 visitors in total.
Gavin Ferry, project coordinator for Toon Times reflected on his heritage project:
“Toon Times has allowed Newcastle United Foundation to provide fans with an opportunity to be a part of the clubs history through sharing memories and loaning items to our exhibition.
“The amount of visitors to the exhibition not only exceeded expectations but the feedback received from this and our educational and community work has shown the need for such a project and how much the football club means to generations of supporters.”
A teacher from Cheviot Primary spoke of the Toon Times session they received:
“The children developed their knowledge and history of Newcastle as a place and as a club.” She said.
“Having the costumes and encouraging the children to draw each piece of information kept the children engaged and motivated. They were allowed to ask questions, which was great to see as their teacher. The level of interest was apparent for every child in both classes.
“The link to Newcastle and Newcastle United was excellent as it link extremely well to our history topic at the time, the children were able to apply the knowledge they already had and found out a whole lot more which made the whole topic very worthwhile.
“It was a fantastic workshop and I would highly recommend it to other schools. It is a subject that many children, boys and girls, will thoroughly enjoy. “
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