This project highlights the significant contribution that the communities in Finmere and the surrounding villages made to the success of the Paralympic Movement.  By working together for a common cause, thousands of pounds was raised over a 50 year period for the Paraplegic Sports Fund at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and this money enabled teams of British athletes to attend the Paralympic and Commonwealth Paraplegic Games.  The first fundraising horse show in Finmere took place in 1959.  Then called the Sally Haynes Show, the community organised the event to help a fellow resident after a horse racing accident left her partly paralysed.  After that, at the request of Sally Haynes, the show bore the name of the village which hosted it for many years. You can read more about the history of the Finmere Show here

Find out about our other community workshops here 


The Finmere Show project is supported by AiM and the NLHF from the New Stories New Audiences grant.

Photographs of the Duke of Edinburgh at the Finmere Show

August 2022

These candid photographs of the Duke of Edinburgh have been donated to the Trust with the kind permission of Ralph Followell who was Treasurer of the Show for many years. The Duke of Edinburgh was a Patron of the Finmere Horse Show from the very beginning.  His interest was genuine and he insisted on seeing annual reports and end of year accounts, and even visited the Show when he could. 


Finmere Primary School

June 2022

As part of the Finmere Horse Show project that has been fully embraced by the enthusiastic students and staff of the Finmere Church of England School, Key Stage 2 visited the Heritage Centre where they could view first hand the collection that charts the journey that the Paralympic Movement has taken since the early days when the Finmere Show supported Paralympians to attend the Games.  The Finmere Horse Show ran for over 50 years and we are very keen to hear from anyone who has memories of the Show.



March 2022

Paralympian Sally Haynes MBE visited the school to tell the children her story and the young reporters then created their own news report under the guidance of experienced vlogger Kay Ashton MBE. Kay showed them how to develop content and work in front of and behind the camera.  The next phase of this project will be to encourage the students to interview local residents who have memories of the Finmere Horse Show; stories that will significantly enhance the impact of this legacy project.



Finmere Village Fair

August 2021

To launch the “Paralympic Heritage: Stories from Finmere” project, the NPHT were invited to take the Pop-up Museum to the Finmere Village Fair on the August 2021 bank holiday weekend.  Finmere is a small village in Oxfordshire where we are seeking to collect stories relating to The Finmere Show.  This community horse show was a huge fundraising effort that started in 1959 and continued for over 50 years, raising thousands of pounds in support of the Paralympic Games.  Paralympian Sally Haynes was behind this significant initiative.

Volunteers and staff met residents of Finmere and the local area and shared items from the handling collection with them.  Of particular interest to visitors was the sports wheelchair and the goalball. Goalball, used in the game of the same name, is for visually impaired athletes and has been part of the Paralympic programme since 1976.  A special photograph was taken of grandfather Glyn with his granddaughter Eva and the 2012 torch which was kindly leant to us for the day by torchbearer and artist Keith Jansz.  In 2012 Glyn had a similar photograph taken with his granddaughter who was then only a few months old.


Nicola and Alice, and Glyn with his granddaughter Eva with the London 2012 Summer Paralympics kit, mascot and torch

Raya trying out the racing wheelchair 


Teal trying out the racing wheelchair and Sophie with the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics kit and torch

Our volunteers and parents having a go at Goalball