Then, Now, Forever
WOULD you like to hear what Fred Everiss has to say about the move from Stoney Lane to The Hawthorns?
Or what Jesse Pennington felt like when he picked up the League Championship trophy in 1920?
Or how it felt to be an Albion supporter at Wembley in 1931?
Sadly, you can’t. That history has gone, and all we’ve got left is second hand news.
The 1954 team has gone, the fans from that era are going, and soon even 1968 is going to be a fading memory.
But it doesn’t have to be that way any more, because, in conjunction with the Albion Assembly who have been the prime movers on this idea, we’ve got a cunning plan.
We can save Albion’s history, as told by the players and officials who made it, and by the fans who supported it.
The technology is there, but time is moving. Last year we lost the potential participation of Don Howe for instance, but how many others who have made their contribution, on either side of the white line, have we also lost?
Not any more. We can grab history, we can keep it and we can give it to the next generation and every generation to come. A living, breathing, growing, interactive library that tells our story.
For the first time, history isn’t restricted by the size of a book or the cost of a TV series.
The limitless scale of the internet, its capacity for infinite inventory, enables us to interview anybody and everybody, the great and the good, the most humble and the most illustrious. Those who created the Albion, our story can be told, preserved.
The process and concept is simple. This is about a unique, long term commitment to our club, our players, our supporters. Over time, we will interview players, officials, supporters and host the results on a public access website that can expand to include written articles, references, images, along with a video and audio archive, building a complete picture of the Albion.
Online, in print, in vision, in sound, and available to anybody in the world at any time of the day or night, this will be a comprehensive Albion education for those who weren’t privileged enough to see it happen, yet know it did. And the preservation of our days, the here and now, for those yet to come who will be following this club, our club, 50, 100 years from now.
This is going to be an across-the-club initiative, welcoming help and support from all, the kind of all-embracing project that was always a big part of the thinking behind the creation of the Albion Assembly, as joint vice-chair of the Assembly, Hannah Weaver, points out.
“The Albion Assembly is delighted to hear the plans for the Albion Archive are beginning to take shape. This is a very exciting and important venture and one which the Assembly has been passionate about.
“We are determined that the history of this great club of ours will not be forgotten, and, with the advances in modern technology, this venture will bring the heritage of this club to the fore, while ensuring that, as we make more history with each passing day, that too is preserved for the future."
Work will begin in earnest at the end of the season and, over the coming weeks, we will be issuing regular updates on just how this will take shape, what it will look like and just what you can all do to help. It’s going to be the ride of our lives, their lives and those future lives.
For the first time ever, the opportunity exists to make this happen. Nobody else is doing it so once again, our club will be at the forefront, breaking the mould.
We will not waste another day, for every day, a part of our history disappears forever. Some things are just too important to be left in the past.