To the sensitive soul, nostalgia is brought about by certain scents, songs, places and even objects…
Two weeks ago I decided to tackle the daunting task of clearing out my storage unit. Sifting through one of the various boxed chapters of my life, I came across an extremely heavy sealed envelope. Through the paper I could feel bubble wrap and metal; suddenly a jolt of realisation struck me – I had found some of my Dad’s old Cheltenham member badges. They had lived in this particular box since I carried them like they were a baby to the Undertakers in the hope that I could place them in my Dad’s coffin, I learned that day that you are not allowed to put metal objects in coffins that are set for cremation.
When I had lovingly wrapped them for what I thought was their final journey, I was too lost in the melee of grief to fully appreciate the stories that they held. So, right there in the dusty, poorly lit unit, I sat on the floor, took the badges out and placed each one out in front of me. Looking at each of them in turn provoked so many memories. Right from 1988 when Kribensis won the Triumph Hurdle, thus kick starting my love affair for flashy hurdlers – through to 2005 which was the last Festival that my Dad attended, where we had absolutely cleaned up with Contraband, Trabolgan, King Harald, Thisthatandtother, Kicking King, Sleeping Night and Fota Island. As I put the badges back in the envelope it was Gold Cup day 2005 that was the enduring thought, the last hurrah for the man that set me on my life’s path.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, strangely enough I unearthed the badges around about the same time that Cheltenham launched a video depicting how their annual members’ badges are made. If you love Cheltenham and you love jumping, which if you’re reading this the chances are fairly high that you do, you should definitely take a look at it.
The badges are hand made in the exact same way that they were 181 years ago. In this ever changing world where technology and innovation reign supreme, it’s wonderful to see the same process in use today.
When you get your Cheltenham member’s badge through this season, think of this video and think of the memory that your badge will hold in years to come.
If you wish to buy Cheltenham annual membership or tickets for the 2013/14 season visit the Cheltenham Racecourse website.