History of the Museum

Many people have contributed to the setting up of the National Badminton Museum, and we have to thank people such as Herbert and Betty Scheele, Humphrey Chilton and Heather Nielsen who took an interest in collecting badminton memorabilia, etc. many years ago.  These items were being put together when the Badminton Association of England was located in Bromley, but it was not until the move to Milton Keynes in 1980 that any consideration was given to displaying items so that badminton enthusiasts could have the opportunity of sharing the information.  Volunteers took on the task of sorting, listing and generally appraising items that had been hidden away in cupboards, and it became apparent that some structure was needed to proceed in an orderly way.     

 Hm Marrett

Norman Marrett - cartoon, can be viewed in museum

Stephen Baddeley, then Chief Executive of the Badminton Association of England was the first Chairman of the Museum and Margaret Cook, Jill Brill, Heather Coupar and Lesley Selley took on the task of looking after the day to day tasks required to establish a small museum within the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes. Three display cabinets were kindly donated by Bill Andrew, Wiltshire Badminton Association and the English Schools Badminton Association, and we are pleased to record that Milton Keynes Community Foundation gave financial support.  At a later date Eric Brown kindly donated two further display cabinets.  An early project undertaken by Heather Nielsen and Kirsten Gwerder was to organise a collection of pictures and prints which are distributed throughout the lobby, bar and quiet area of the National Badminton Centre.  Further cabinets were purchased and items are now displayed in the ‘museum corridor’, quiet area and bar to tell the story of the history of badminton.  Part of the museum collection of posters, many given by Robin Metson can be viewed in the Restaurant.

The National Badminton Museum was launched in 2003 and Charity Status was granted in 2007 coinciding with a generous legacy left to the museum by the late Mrs Dance, formerly Audrey Stone, former international player.  To comply with Charity Commission regulations the National Badminton Museum now has Trustees, and a working party of volunteers are responsible for the day to day running of the museum.