For the first time, photos of some of the historic artefacts in the Table Tennis England collection have been put on public display online.

A new collection on Flickr shows hundreds of photos of equipment which have been collected, donated or purchased throughout the history of the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) and Table Tennis England.

The bats, balls, nets, boxed games and other items were photographed by Graham Trimming of Cippenham TTC, who is also a member of the Archives, Museum and Records Committee.

The photos are divided into three albums – one containing items dated up to 1920, before the formation of the Association; one showing photos from 1920 to the present day; and one showing mementos and awards. Each individual photo includes a description of the item which can be read when clicking on the photo.

It is intended to add more albums to the collection in due course, including trophies, event souvenirs and documents including tournament programmes.

While great care has been taken to ensure the information in the albums is correct, if anyone notices an error or omission, please contact Diane Webb, Chair of the Archives, Museum and Records Committee or email [email protected]

If you have any items you would like to offer or donate, please also contact Diane Webb or Table Tennis England.

Below, Graham Trimming details how he became involved in the project:

My interest in historical table tennis artefacts began at the English Open Championships of 1992. There was an exhibition by the late Gerald Gurney of a small part of his extensive collection. I was amazed that such artefacts, many already then 90 years old, still existed and I resolved there and then to start collecting myself.

Gerald became a bit of a mentor to me and I joined his collectors’ society. Over the following decade or so I acquired quite a collection for myself and have carried on since.

We all have stories of lockdown projects that we embarked upon and one of mine found me photographing and cataloguing the many boxed sets, battledores, other bats and various other physical artefacts that I had amassed.

Once the photographs had been edited, I uploaded them onto a specially created Flickr site accessible for any other interested parties to view.

In late 2022 Table Tennis England advertised for two people to join its Archives, Museum and Records Committee. I applied and, to my delight, was accepted.

One of the first tasks that Committee Chair Diane Webb asked me to do was to photograph and catalogue the physical artefacts in Table Tennis England’s possession, just as I had done for my own collection. I readily accepted this task and arranged to visit the storeroom in Hastings where I met up with Diane. Having driven down in my wife’s car (a large hatchback with easier access for loading than my car), I loaded it top to bottom with as much as I could physically fit in.

Over the next few I months I photographed and cataloged all the various bats, boxed sets and other paraphernalia and then, when completed, arranged to return the carload to Hastings.

Diane made me aware that there was also a small number of artefacts at head office in Milton Keynes, so I arranged for a short visit there and photographed them on site.

I hope that readers will enjoy looking at the photographs and perhaps learn a little about the history of our great sport. However, if you are so enthused and start your own collection, please don’t bid against me on Ebay!