About Us / Who We Are
The Trust was established in 2006 with the assistance of a grant from the National Lottery Awards for All office in Newcastle. Following the success of this and a further grant awarded in 2007, the Trust really moved on with a grant of £47,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2010 which saw the employment of a Project Worker. The Trust also received funding from County Durham Community Foundation.

In 2008 the Trust moved into offices which form part of the Locomotion Museum in Shildon. We are grateful for the efforts of Patrick Conway and Dr George Muirhead, the Manager of the Locomotion Rail Museum, along with Phil Ball of Sedgefield Borough Council. Early in 2011 the Trust received another grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and is currently undertaking a new digital heritage and education project linking with the region’s schools.  Unfortunately, for health and safety reasons in February 2017 the Trust was required to vacate the office at Shildon and the collection is temporarily in storage until a permanent home is found.
The Trust started 2014 without any form of grant or sponsorship and no longer had the benefit of a paid worker. Activities continued and the main focus was working with the Northern League celebrating its 125th anniversary. The Northern league kindly gave a donation to the Trust in 2013 and 2014. In addition Durham County FA gave a general grant for a three year period, which has since been renewed.  The Trust received a grant from the James Knott Trust plus grants from local Durham County Councillors. The Trust acknowledges with thanks all of the financial support it has received.
In the summer of 2014, Georgina Ascroft from Auckland Castle, visited the Trust Exhibition at Beamish Museum, and on learning about the connection between the Castle and the formation of Bishop Auckland Football Club, she paid a visit to the Trust Office at Shildon, and from there  developed a major exhibition “The Birth of the Blues” which was staged at Auckland Castle from 22 May to 28 September 2015.
Geoff Wood spent 5 years on digitizing “The Pinks” and the full set is available to view by clicking on the “Newspapers” tab above.   These are a little difficult to read, please email daft.office@btinternet.com for assistance.


Jim McMillan, record four time Amateur Cup winner with Crook Town (pictured bellow), spoke of his pride in being asked to join the Trust as President in 2008, and praised the work being done to record a part of north-east history in which he had been involved.


The current Trust line-up is as follows:

Who Role
Keith Belton Trust chairman and avid Bishop Auckland fan.
Dick Longstaff Executive Committee Secretary and Editor of the D.A.F.T. newsletter, Dick played for Bishop Auckland reserves and remains a passionate supporter.
John Phelan Press and Publicity Secretary, John played for Crook Town and went on to become Chairman of Willington.
Tony Huntington Involved in securing grant aid and funding for the Trust. Tony’s father was a part of the famous Witton Park Durham Amateur Cup winning side.
Geoff Wood Trust Treasurer, Membership Secretary and ex St Helen’s Auckland player.  Geoff is responsible for digitizing 22 years of the Sports Despatch (“The Pinks”).
Bob Hull The newest member of the team, Bob played for numerous Northern League sides including Willington and Bishop Auckland.
John Atkinson Trust Vice-Chairman John, like Dick Longstaff, played for Bishop Auckland reserves.
Barbara Wood Involved in the administration of the Trust and website manager, Barbara was a successful amateur athlete and is interested in the social history side of the Trust’s work.
Bob Thursby Played for Bishop Auckland, Crook  and captained England Amateurs in the 1950/60s.

Trust members John Atkinson, Dick Longstaff, Tom Kelly, John Phelan and Keith Belton pose for a photograph after setting up an exhibition at Shildon Locomotion Museum in February 2009.