The Bowes Museum > Exhibitions > 2012 > Our Sporting Life

Our Sporting Life

Our Sporting Life was a unique and ambitious national celebration of British Sport, with 100 exhibitions being held all over Britain to salute sport from the grass roots to the Olympic podia. Its aim was to raise the profile of the UK’s sports heritage through a programme of nationwide community exhibitions showcasing objects, stories and photographs that relate the development of Great British Sport in the lead up to the Olympics that summer.

Our exhibition highlighted Teesdale’s sporting activities and achievements, from the many local clubs and teams to outstanding individuals who were born, lived or were educated in the dale. Starting from early recreational pursuits of the 19th century such as bicycling, quoits and Knur and Spell (a classic game), to 21st century achievements in triathlon, bobsleigh, rugby and football, amongst many others, the exhibition showcased our community’s involvement in sports and honours the resulting sporting heroes of the past, present and future.

Featuring memorabilia, equipment, trophies and photographs, the display covered all kinds of sporting activities from several decades. Highlights included the replica of the football World Cup won by West Auckland in 1909/1911, Karen Straker’s Silver medal in equestrian team eventing at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, and medals won and honours bestowed on cricketer Sir Ian Botham, OBE. The display also featured objects and stories relating to the great adventurers Teesdale has produced, such as Bentley Beetham and Robert Swan, OBE.

This eclectic and colourful exhibition held something of interest for everyone.


The Bowes Museum grounds are open!

Due to the government announcement on Thursday 17 December, that County Durham is to remain in COVID tier 3 restrictions, The Bowes Museum unfortunately will remain closed to all visitors. However, the grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 - 4.00 daily, and we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, two spring trails and outdoor guided tours are available from 29 March 2021.

As we have already been shut for a number of weeks and there is much uncertainty around possible further restrictions, we have decided to use this period to undertake some work in Café Bowes, alongside performing some much-needed structural repairs to the building, notably to the windows. January and February are usually quieter times for the Museum, often due to severe weather, so we believe that this is the best time to carry out such works with the least amount of disruption to our visitors.

We have therefore decided to remain closed for a period of four weeks following any near-future tier 2 announcement from the government, as this will allow us time to deep clean the Museum prior to reopening our doors once again. We will, of course, keep you updated as the guidelines change.

Your ongoing support during these unprecedented times is hugely appreciated and we very much look forward to welcoming you back into the building as early as possible in 2021.

We hope to be able to offer a few COVID-safe outdoor events over the coming months, about which we shall make further announcements as soon as possible.