Retirement of Elise Naish

May 29, 2024, 2:24 PM

Since June 2022 a group of up to ten Hatters’ Heritage volunteers has descended on Wardown Park museum in Luton each Friday.


The task was to go through around 1.5 million glass plates and negatives, the property of Luton News, to identify any relating to Luton Town FC.  The job was finally completed in autumn last year and over 72000 images have now been digitised, cropped and captioned, the best of which have started to be uploaded to the site.


Subsequently, the team has pulled together all the bound volumes of local newspapers previously stored around the town with the intention of digitising match reports and newspaper photos to provide better copies than those already on the site.  This task will be completed over the summer.


None of this would have been possible without the help of Elise Naish, Head of Heritage and Collections at Luton Culture Trust who welcomed and trusted us from day one and allowed access to the photos and newspapers.


Her enthusiasm for and interest in our project was brilliant and she became a superb sounding board for what we were trying to achieve.


We were sad to learn that she would be retiring at the end of April 2024 and returning to New Zealand.  At her retirement event we presented her with a framed New Zealand v Luton programme from 1977 due to her becoming an honorary Hatter.


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Chairman Roger Wash presents Elise with a framed New Zealand v Luton programme


One of the Hatters’ Heritage volunteers, Chris Stokes, sadly lost a good friend last year and a group of his pals got together to buy a cup which was to be named the Bryan Gannon trophy.


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The Bryan Gannon trophy


This was offered to Hatters’ Heritage and it seemed perfectly appropriate that Chris should make the inaugural award to Elise due to her outstanding contribution to our charity.


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Chris Stokes presenting Elise with the trophy.