archive picture of football team

And the Crowd Goes Wild

1st January 201929th February 2020
Portland

In 2019 b-side was awarded funding from The Heritage Lottery Sharing Heritage fund to work with artist Laura Hopes on a film and publication celebrating the history of the Portland Stadium.

The majestic site of the Stadium, closed to the public, is monumental and surprising in its scale.  Hidden from view in a former quarry, and behind locked gates near to the present day YOI, the site is unknown to many. During b-side Festival in 2018 the site was opened to the public for an art installation by Laura. Her work featured an astonishing sound work – the deafening roar of 5000 invisible football supporters emanating from the surrounding trees and bushes that now replace the terraces. The event was popular, emotional and awe-inspiring.

The football theme was a natural fit for the site as it was regularly used until the nineties by residents of the YOI on Portland, and in fact was converted to that purpose (from quarry pit to sports stadium) by their forebears, in the 1930s, under the guidance of a Borstal PT instructor, Burt Bridges. Laura was struck by the grandeur and emptiness of the site - known as the Bowl, in comparison with its heyday, filled with cheering fans, and this seemed to reflect the stories of those that used to play there. She wanted to reanimate the site, and turn this slightly forlorn corner into an exciting, awe-inspiring and dramatic place to be.

The result of Laura's research has been a publication and film celebrating the installation piece which includes recordings of conversations with visitors to the installation who had memories of the site. In addition, she conducted interviews with current residents of the YOI and collaborated with Professor Rosie Meek, whose research centres upon the rehabilitative power of sport behind bars.

Many of the images used by Laura for the publication and film have come from the incredible archives of the Grove Prison Museum with the support of Jon Hutton, a former Borstal Officer.

You can download a pdf version of the publication below.

 

 

In primary school, Mum watching from the fence and I scored, I could hear my mum’s voice above everyone else’s and I felt pride – it engulfed my heart

Douglas Gyte

Project resources

Resource
Document

And the Crowd Goes Wild Download

Project events

b-side Festival 2020 launch
Event

FESTIVAL 2020 PROGRAMME LAUNCH

29th February
St Georges Centre, Reforne
Portland

b-side festival is back 05 - 13 Sept 2020 come and find out more and how you can join in

Project artists

Artist