University’s exhibition to stimulate cricketing memories

An exhibition of caricatures of cricketing legends was recently hosted at the University of Worcester as part of the city’s Active Ageing Week.

The free exhibition took place at the Art House on Castle Street, and was put together following sessions at the Worcestershire Cricket Memories Dementia Café.

Credit: Dave Wallace

It featured caricatures of sporting stars, mainly cricketers, including former University of Worcester graduate Daryl Mitchell and current captain Joe Leach, created by local artist Dave Wallace. Also on display was a poem by 1960’s cricket commentator John Arlott called Cricket at Worcester. There was also a chance to look through former Worcester student Richard Bentley’s book A Celebration of New Road, Worcester – “A Special Place”, an anthology of people’s memories of cricket at New Road over the decades.

The exhibition was designed to stimulate cricketing memories of days gone by at New Road and was put together following the success of the Worcestershire Cricket Memories Dementia Café, which university sports staff have been running for the last 12 months with support from Worcestershire County Cricket Club, volunteers and Worcestershire County Cricket Supporters’ Association. Many participants are local cricket members, some of whom have a diagnosis of early onset dementia, and the café helps with reminiscence therapy.

Ex-county players, including Alan Ormrod, Martin Weston, Neil Radford and Stuart Lampitt, have given up their time to lead a session at the cafe, bringing medals, cricket bats, photographs and programmes to stimulate memories. Recently university staff ran a catching and movement activity workshop. At another session, artist Dave Wallace took along caricature images he had produced of former cricketers, which provoked much discussion. Inspired by this, sport colleagues teamed up with illustration colleagues at the university to create the exhibition.

Glyn Harding, Principal Lecturer in Sports Coaching Science at the university, who has led the project, said: “Art can be a great medium for expression and there’s lots of ways that sport and art can overlap so it’s great to be able to combine our expertise. The literature around dementia shows that people with the condition can continue to live well but need to be socially included, do exercise and be stimulated cognitively. The reminiscence sessions we have been running contribute in this area and have had a positive response from participants.”

People attending the exhibition were also able to find out more about the Wednesday morning dementia cafe sessions, which start on 9 October, running 11.00am and 1.00pm at New Road.

The University of Worcester has partnered with the International Council on Active Ageing for the week-long event (1–7 October), with a host of free workshops, public talks and physical activity taster sessions.

To find out more about Active Ageing Week or book a place visit www.worcester.ac.uk/activeageing.