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Birmingham City University researchers hit gold with unique Olympic find
21 August 2012
Birmingham City University
Researchers at Birmingham City University have been delighted by the discovery of unique memorabilia from the 1912 Olympic Games.
Their excitement was sparked after century-old medal, scroll, sepia photographs and the original ‘Team GB’ uniform were discovered, hidden at the back of a family wardrobe by Claire Edwards, part of Birmingham City University’s marketing team.
Claire’s great-grandfather Robert Murray competed in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm where he took part in three events in small-bore rifle shooting, winning gold and silver medals.
Robert Murray’s Olympic Collection is now on temporary display at the University’s School of Jewellery at Vittoria Street in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. For more information contact 0121 331 6735 or view at BCU’s own news channel: http://www.bcu.ac.uk/news-events/news/100-year-old-olympic-hoard-on-display-at-birmingham-city-university
The University’s exhibition coincides with many of Team GB’s modern heroes - such as double gold medal winner Mo Farah, long-jump champion Greg Rutherford and 400-meter silver winner Christine Ohuruogu - coming to the city to compete at nearby Alexander Stadium for the Birmingham Aviva Grand Prix athletics meeting on Sunday.
Paul Glennon, Associate Dean of the University’s Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD), said researchers from across his faculty were poring over the collection. He added: “As academics we have also hit gold with this fantastic find.
“Our fashion and textile tutors will be very interested in the double-breasted tunic and to discover how a garment was designed and constructed a hundred years ago. Even the design of the 1912 logo on the breast pocket is fascinating when compared to the modern 2012 Team GB design.”
Also, technologists from the University’s School of Jewellery have examined the 1912 medal to see how it was constructed.
A hundred year ago Robert Murray was part of the 38-strong British shooting team which took part in the Games of the Fifth Olympiad. Office manager Claire said about the Olympic find: “This is a proud moment for our family and an exciting discovery.
“We knew about the medals and the scroll but the jacket was a completely new find which I found in a plastic bag at the bottom of my granddad’s wardrobe - it did smell a little musty but I am pleased to say it is all in one piece.”