FORMER QPR favourite Andy Impey returned to W12 at the weekend as the Story of QPR opened its doors for the first time to the public on Sunday.
Fans flocked to Loftus Road armed with photos, lucky charms and other memorabilia for the ‘What’s in your Loft?’ exhibition as supporters young and old celebrated the history of the club.
Impey – who made over 200 appearances during a seven-year spell with Rangers – was the special guest amongst a panel which included Rabbi and former club photographer Ariel Friedlander and Open All R’s representative Paul Finney alongside QPR in the Community Trust CEO Andy Evans.
The event, organised by 12 young project volunteers, formed one part of the Story of QPR’s youth multimedia project being delivered by the Octavia Foundation in partnership with the Trust. The heritage aspect, funded by a £52,300 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, aims to identify and celebrate the history of Queens Park Rangers Football Club and the surrounding community.
Meanwhile, the exhibition allowed supporters to reminisce over yesteryear from photos and objects providing a never-seen-before insight into the club’s history.
Impey was honoured to play his part and enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane, telling www.qpr.co.uk
: “It was a great day learning and viewing some of the history – not just QPR’s but of west London. It brought back some great memories as well as seeing some brilliant memorabilia on show.
“It was a wonderful event run by the Story of QPR’s enthusiastic and knowledgeable team, allowing us to view and learn all about the life and times of the club and its local area. I look forward to seeing what’s around the corner!”
Guests enjoyed an array of activities during the day including talks from the speakers and a raffle, as well as an exclusive sneak preview of the upcoming documentary film being produced by the young volunteers.
Event co-ordinators Emily Williams and Abigail Bernard were joined by club historian Gordon Macey, who was on hand to offer his expertise on a variety of items unearthed on the day.
The project is working with young people aged 16-24 years old, many of whom are not currently in education, employment or training – equipping them with both skills and experience, which has ranged from researching old artefacts to interviewing key figures from the present day including Joey Barton and manager Harry Redknapp.
“What made the day special for me was being able to spark conversations with guests from the items and photos we collected for the exhibition,” project manager Serena Williamson added.
“We only scratched the surface, but I hope we were able to cement the club’s rich heritage within west London and beyond.
“I want to thank Emily and Abigail, who oversaw and coordinated the event and a special thanks to our experts, panellists, staff and project volunteers who, for some, have been on a journey from the beginning of this project back in September 2013.
“I’d also like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund, without whose support this event and much of the wider project of which this is a part, would not have been possible.
“There is a lot more to come so we hope this was just a taster.”
The young people involved in the project are also producing a range of other multimedia in addition to the documentary film, which is due to be screened in early 2015.
Visit www.octaviafoundation.org.uk/StoryofQPR for more information.