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Boys get hobby up and going

When staff at Glasgow's Open Museum department were mulling over ideas for a project that would attract teenagers (particularly boys), they concluded that football would have the widest appeal.

The Open Museum is dedicated to helping the community create exhibitions relevant to their interests which can tour the city's libraries, schools and other venues. Having worked successfully with adults and young children, the museum reckoned it was time to target the hardest group: youths.

The Open Museum's curator, Laura McGugan, approached Castlemilk Youth Complex last September and the staff agreed to help. The next step was to invite teenagers interested in a football project to come to a meeting.

"More than a dozen 15 and 16-year-olds turned up," says Ms McGugan, who was helped on the project by Morag Macpherson, researcher for the Scottish Football Association's new museum which opens at Hampden on November 30.

"We said the project would entail a regular weekly commitment, not only involving work on the project but also attending 20 desktop publishing night classes which would help with the information panels, and provide a long-term benefit for them.

"There had to be a carrot," Ms McGugan admits, "and that was tickets to five football matches, including the cup final.

"Five of the teenagers - all boys - stayed with the project until the end and all of them completed the computer course."

The boys had to record interviews with a range of football fans, decide what should go on the information panels and decide what historic and modern memorabilia should go on display.

The result is The Football Fan's Bus, a colourful travelling exhibition displayed in a bus-shaped transparent case filled with all manner of football-related objects.

For more on Open Museum travelling exhibitions, tel 0141 552 2356

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