Capturing and documenting the history of Birchfield Harriers since 1877.

Since 1877 Birchfield Harriers, the club "of the people, for the people" has been the home of thousands of aspiring athletes, with almost 100 Harriers having represented their countries at the Olympic Games.

The team will gradually document the histories of not only some of the greatest athletes but also of those who have served in the wars of the 20th century and those whose contribution to club teams, coaching and administration is documented in the club archives.

The team.

The project team is headed by Stuart Paul, with Ray Physick as chief researcher, Holly O'Meara as community manager & Ruth Lockley the club archivist.

  • Project Coordinator

    Stuart Paul

    Stuart has been in charge of Birchfield Promotions for many years – this means he organises home fixtures, recruits technical officials, helps run the club shop, sits on committee, and in 2011 he got involved in the club’s first Heritage project. The club worked with the Beth Johnson foundation on BH Sporting Tales, which looked at the club’s past and gathered many of the resources now on display at the club. He retired in 2013 partly to spend more time on club projects and his role as a Technical Official, in which he has worked at the recent Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth games.

  • Chief Project Researcher

    Ray Physick

    Ray has a background in researching sporting heritage. In 2007 he published the landmark Played in Liverpool for English Heritage, followed in 2008 with the publication of Liverpool Boxing Venues for Trinity Mirror. In addition Ray has also managed two Heritage Lottery projects on behalf of the Merseyside Former Boxers’ Association (2007-08) and the London ex-Boxers’ Association (2010-11). Currently he is a part-time lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire where he teaches sport history. Ray has also written several academic articles the most recent being an analysis of the abandoned Olimpiada Popular, which was organised in Barcelona in 1936, as part of the campaign to boycott the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

  • Community Engagement Officer

    Holly O'Meara

    Holly started her connection with Birchfield Harriers 20 years ago at the Junior Academy and still competes for the club on the road and cross-country. She has degree in Contemporary Fine Art and has worked on various heritage projects across the country. She has been recruited to work as Community manager for this project – raising awareness of the people involved, engaging the local community, and promoting the findings with young people. She was involved in and contributed some of the audio-visual elements to the Sporting Tales project.

  • Club Archivist

    Ruth Lockley

    Ruth has been involved with Birchfield archives since 2013, when she researched and wrote the text for the "Sporting Tales" exhibition on the first floor. She regularly researches and responds to queries coming in from the public and relatives, about past members of Birchfield Harriers, and meets relatives to show them around the club and explore the archive with them when they are visiting the city. Ruth has also been involved in other local history projects and volunteering roles.