The Foundation has spent four weeks working with a group from Age UK in West Denton, all aged between 70 and 90. The group of 12 women and one man have been recounting their memories of Newcastle United as part of the Toon Times project. While some admitted they were not football fans, it was evident from their memories that their lives had at some point crossed with the club.
Ann, who grew up in Newcastle, said she remembers "being sent to queue for hours and hours, right down the street to get Cup Final tickets for my Dad, but I have never been inside the stadium".
Paddy added "the saying goes 'Pigeons, Football and the Wife', or it's something like that, I can't remember, but the wife is always last!"
As part of the process of unlocking memories, Foundation staff held reminiscence sessions with the group. A series of postcards from places around the region helped to stimulate the discussions and a 20th century domestic loans box from the Discovery Museum, contained objects that many of the group were familiar with, like a liberty bodice, a Bakelite telephone and a flat iron.
The group was shown images of footballers from the fifties and sixties and could all recall names of players such as Jackie Milburn, Bob Moncur and the Robledo brothers.
Margaret said "I went to register my son for his ration card at Hood Street and I was sat in the reception chatting away to this bloke, just waiting my turn, and I suddenly realised who it was, it was Jackie Milburn! I told my husband and he kicked himself for not coming with me."
Objects from the Newcastle United handling collection were also used throughout the sessions, objects such as a replica 1969 Fairs Cup shirt, steel toe capped football boots, a rattle and a leather case ball. The case ball caused a particular stir for Paddy, who told us about a raffle she had entered at the West Denton Association, where she used to go dancing. She won a football signed by the Newcastle United first team, with autographs from players such as Alan Shearer and Gary Speed. She said "I have five grandsons and I could only give it to one, it didn't seem fair so I've kept it for myself and they can fight over it when I'm gone". Next week Paddy brought her football in for us to see.
The final week was a trip to St. James' Park. The group had tea and biscuits in an executive box with a view of the pitch, and then a short tour of the stadium.
Toon Times is funded by the Premier League Charitable Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund and North East teaching agency, First Class Supply.
To share your memories contact Gavin Ferry firstname.lastname@example.org.