one ring online

The ‘One Ring To Bind Them’ project is drawing to a close. It’s been quite a year to run a project, and it’ll probably come as no surprise to hear that the arrival of a global pandemic took my eye off the ball a little in late Spring. But we got it back on track, and I’m pleased to say it’s been really successful, and met all of the goals we hoped it would when we first set out. Which is some kind of minor miracle, all things considered.

If you’re wondering what it was all about… the ‘One Ring’ exhibition featured interviews with, and portrait photos of, professional wrestlers in Walsall, and has been shown at three different locations across the Black Country – the third and final exhibition took place at the Creative Factory community centre in Walsall from late September through till late October. All the photos and interviews are now available in an online archive on the Creative Factory website, and if you’ve ten minutes spare (and who hasn’t during lockdown?) you can have gander at them here.

I’m now busy writing up the evaluation and collating the paperwork to send to National Lottery Heritage Fund, who so generously supported the project. Which means it’s time for a short list of ‘thank yous’: to Creative Factory for all their assistance in making the project a success; to Nicole Lovell for some truly wonderful photography; to Mad Dog Maxx for his help in setting up the interviews and for sharing his encyclopaedia-like knowledge of the history of wrestling; to Wolverhampton Central Library and Darlaston Town Hall; to all the wrestlers who took part and the wrestling fans whose passion is so important to the sport. It’s been a privilege to meet you all.

edit: On November 19th, 2020, the sad news that Walsall wrestler Cam Wellington (seen in this photo climbing out of the ring) died in hospital after contracting Covid-19. He was just nineteen years old. RIP.