Memorabilia collection destined for Gallery Oldham

The Oldham Rugby League Heritage Trust Memorabilia collection to be handed over to “Gallery Oldham”.

The Oldham Rugby League Heritage Trust has been awarded a generous grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The money will enable the Trust’s superb assortment of Rugby League memorabilia to be made more accessible than ever before. After work to catalogue and digitise the collections is complete they will be donated to Gallery Oldham who will safeguard the collection for future generations. The project is titled: “Pass it on!” Preserving Oldham’s Rugby League Heritage for the next generation.”

This unique collection has been brought together by the Oldham Rugby League Heritage Trust over many years and is recognised as being one of the most important rugby club memorabilia collections in the world in either code of the oval ball game. Objects include an array of caps, shirts and medals some of which date way back to the Victorian era.

The collection will first be prepared for storage using packaging materials designed specifically to aid against deterioration. But that is not all… the items will be professionally photographed with the images added to a new, revamped website along with digitised copies of the Trust’s extensive collection of programmes, booklets, yearbooks etc. This undertaking will be a lengthy exercise and the Trust will soon be seeking volunteers to aid in the packaging and scanning of documents.

Anyone interested can contact the ORLHT – tel: 01457 810197 or email:

Michael Turner of the ORLHT said – ‘The ultimate aim of this project is to make these items more accessible for the people of Oldham in particular and rugby league fans in general. The collections will be fully catalogued and available online. And they will also feature in the new Oldham Heritage & Arts Centre with a selection of items on display. Our plan is that these displays will be regularly rotated to ensure that, over time, the whole collection will be able to be viewed by visitors to the gallery.’

Sean Baggaley, Senior Curator at Gallery Oldham said – ‘This is a fantastic project and I’m delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has supported it. It will enable the Trust to make one of the most generous donations to Gallery Oldham in our history. This will make an important addition to our collections and help to tell the story of the lives and passions of Oldhamers.’

The Trust has recently been active promoting their latest book “The Roughyeds’ Kitbag”. Published last October to rave reviews, the book focuses on the club during the World War One period of 1914-18.

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