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HATS OFF TO THE HOME GROUND PROJECT

24 February 2016

Home Ground Project launched at Kenilworth Road

On Saturday we welcomed organisers and participants from the Home Ground Project to Kenilworth Road for the official launch of project in Luton. 

The project, which has been organised by the Devon Guild of Craftsmen, celebrates the cultural heritage of six National League Football Clubs that originated from a local crafts trade tradition. The football clubs involved have long-established nicknames from the local craft industries that have shaped the community and locality. Macclesfield Town – “The Silkmen”, Walsall Town – “ The Saddlers”, Crystal Palace – “The Glaziers, Sheffield United –“The Blades” from the city’s worldwide reputation for steel production. Stoke City, “The Potters”, reflects one of England’s greatest industries having been the centre for ceramics production since the 17th century and of course Luton Town - The Hatters.

As part of the project a small travelling exhibition will be in place in the Eric Morecambe Lounge featuring a short film demonstrating some of the trades associated with the Clubs. During the stay in Luton, which continues until the beginning of April, the project is also offering Luton supporters and local people in general the opportunity to join in with some fantastic Hat Making workshops. The workshops will be lead by Milliner Valerie Corona, who is based in the town.

Speaking at the launch, Erica Steer, chief executive of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen said "We're delighted with the response to the project here in Luton, with lots of people coming forward to take part in the workshops, and lots of interest in the project in general. The aim of the project is to help people engage with some of the historical crafts which are associated with their local football clubs. Luton Town has a particularly strong link with the hat trade, so it's great to see people getting involved. We'd like to thank Luton Town for their support with the project."

Luton Town marketing manager Ed Smith said "We're only too pleased to welcome Erica, Patricia and the Homeground participants here today. Looking back to the early days of the Hatters, many prominent people from Luton's hat trade held important positions here, and it's a great opportunity for us to remember our roots as a Club. Although the hat trade in Luton is much smaller than it once was, there are still several hat manufacturers and other artisan tradespeople operating within the town, and that's something we believe should be celebrated."

If you'd like to attend one of the workshops or find out more about the Homeground project, call 07500 805235 or email homegroundproject@icloud.com. If you would like to arrange to visit the exhibition in the Eric Morecambe lounge please email Ed Smith at the Club.




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