Museum pays tribute to Wisbech Town centenary with online exhibition

Wisbech Town FC centenary exhibition 1920-2020

Wisbech and Fenland Museum have launched an online exhibition to mark 100 years of Wisbech Town FC, featuring photos from before and after the Second World War. - Credit: Archive/Gordon Smith

A museum has paid homage to 100 years of Wisbech Town Football Club by putting together an online exhibition. 

Wisbech and Fenland Museum got in touch with the Fenmen’s supporters' group to mark the club’s #FENtenary year in 2020, which was dampened by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Sarah Coleman, project officer and Robert Bell, curator, then contacted club secretary Spencer Larham and Fenmen historian Gordon Smith to find out more. 

“Research into the history of the club began in early 2021 and continued through lockdowns and the museum being closed due to building works,” said Sarah and Robert. 

Wisbech Town FC with 1932-33 Hinchingbrooke Cup

Wisbech Town FC with the Hinchingbrooke Cup for the 1932-33 season. - Credit: Wisbech & Fenland Museum

“In 2020, we received a collection of scrapbooks and programmes collected over 50 years by fan Alan Balding, and these helped us to unlock stories in the photos the museum had already.” 

The exhibition is part of the New Conversations project, which looks at developing how the museum tells stories and creates engaging co-curated content for the community. 

Crowds outside Wisbech Standard offices

Crowds gathered outside the Wisbech Standard offices. - Credit: Archive

Wisbech Town FC vs Watford 1938-39

Wisbech Town FC's first team (left) who faced Watford FC (right) in 1938-39. - Credit: Archive

From Wisbech Town’s birth in 1920, to the success of its walking football team, the exhibition boasts cuttings, photos and videos for Fenmen and general football fans to see. 

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“In the 100 years, I think we’ve had an interesting journey,” said Spencer. 

“As it’s online, the exhibition can change and evolve and hopefully it’s something people will enjoy. 

“Even those of us who thought we knew all there was to know have been surprised by some of the items.” 

Wisbech Town FC 1946-47

The Wisbech Town FC squad of the 1946-47 season. - Credit: Archive

Wisbech Town FC players vs Brentford FA Cup

Jesse Pye speaks to his Wisbech Town FC players ahead of an FA Cup tie with Brentford in the 1960s. - Credit: Archive

Spencer added: “Look out for the Paul Gascoigne hoax, and the letter from the Mayor of Manchester thanking the club in the year of the Munich air disaster.” 

Famous cup runs, including when Wisbech played in the FA Cup first round three years running in the 1990s, and Eastern Counties League wins are also documented. 

Wisbech Town FC matchday programmes vs Worksop and Bury

Old Wisbech Town FC matchday programmes used in the exhibition. - Credit: Wisbech & Fenland Museum

Details from books that Gordon Smith wrote were used in the exhibition, which according to Sarah has “unearthed some amazing stories. 

“So many people have helped us, from members of the public, the Wisbech Standard and the team from ITV News Anglia and our community co-curators Gordon and Spenny.” 

Sarah added: “We cannot thank them all enough.”   

Ray Clemence opens new Wisbech Town FC grandstand

Ex-England international goalkeeper Ray Clemence (centre) opens a new grandstand at Wisbech Town FC. - Credit: Archive

Wisbech Town FC 1996-97

Wisbech Town FC during the 1996-97 season. - Credit: Archive

Wisbech Town FC 2009-10

Wisbech Town FC first team in the 2009-10 season. - Credit: Gordon Smith

Storm Ciara does damage to Wisbech Town FC stand

One of the supporters stands at Wisbech Town's Fountain Fresh Park ground was damaged by Storm Ciara in 2020. - Credit: Wisbech Town FC

To mark the launch of the exhibition, we will be publishing more photographs in a series of articles marking a century of Wisbech Town FC.

Do you have any memories of Wisbech Town FC during its history? If so, get in touch with us. 

Send in your memories by email to: Daniel.Mason@archant.co.uk or through the Wisbech Standard Facebook page.