Last Friday, 2 October, the London Museum of Water and Steam hosted the premier of the new documentary film “Push Up Brentford: An Oral History of Brentford Football Club”. The film was made as part of a project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and put together by Sav Kyriacou and Matthew Rosenberg from arts and education organisation digital:works. The Project explores and records the history of the club mainly from the perspective of the supporters but also from some of the key figures at the club.
It was announced in 2019 that Brentford FC and Brentford FC Community Sports Trust had teamed up with educational charity Digital Works to develop an oral history project. The project was designed to record and preserve the history of fans, players and staff of The Bees as the Club prepared to leave Griffin Park after 116 years and move to a brand-new stadium. And the final film is below.
A team of volunteers, many of them Brentford supporters themselves, were trained in oral history techniques by the team at digital:works and conducted in-depth interviews with fans. Those fans told of stories going back to the 1950s and with family histories at the club going back much further. The resulting interviews are an amazing archive of the club with stories of crowds of 30,000, wonderful tales of chipped goal keepers, of being passed down over the crowds as a child to get a good view from the front railings, of knitted bobble hats, scarves and rattles. There is also an exploration of the fans' responses to existential threats the Club has faced over the years.
These interviews form a crucial archive of the club’s history and are being given to the Brentford History Group. They are also being deposited in Hounslow Archives, Gunnersbury Park Museum and Bishopsgate Institute. Fans can listen to the extended interviews which have been edited to make a serialised podcast. All of the full interviews are also available to listen to on the Push Up Brentford website here.