Saffron Walden Museum’s new exhibition explores the impact of the two world wars on people in Uttlesford

Saffron Walden Museum Saffron Walden Museum

Friday, August 1, 2014
11:25 AM

This year sees the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War.

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To commemorate these anniversaries, Saffron Walden Museum is showcasing a new exhibition.

‘North-West Essex at War’ will explore the impact of the two world wars on people in Uttlesford.

From men and women working on the Home Front to protect their neighbours, to soldiers staying in the schools, houses and hospitals, and families waiting to hear news from the Front, the exhibition will tell the stories of ordinary people whose lives were changed by the wars.

These stories will be told through a range of objects, including a baby’s gas mask, a sculpture created by a prisoner of war, uniforms worn by volunteers on the Home Front and personal letters and photographs.

Leah Mellors, collections officer (human history) at the museum, said: “It has been a privilege to uncover and share the personal stories of people in Uttlesford, who contributed so much to the war effort from home.

“Many of the objects in the exhibition have not been displayed before so this is an exciting chance to see something new.”

The museum is keen to collect memories from people living in Uttlesford during the world wars. There will be a memory book in the exhibition for visitors to record their local stories.

The museum will also be running a ‘Music and Memories’ event in the museum’s grounds on the afternoon of Friday, August 8, from 2pm until 4.30pm. The event will bring visitors together to share memories of daily life in Uttlesford during the two world wars.

Staff will be on hand to help visitors document their experiences. Residents who would like to contribute photographs can take along copies (scans where possible) so that all of the information can be added to the museum’s archive.*

To entertain visitors during the event, singer Alexandra Jones will perform popular songs from the time of both world wars, while dancers ‘Savoy Hop’ will take centre stage during the interval and perform numbers from the inter-war period.

There will also be a vintage pop-up tea room selling refreshments and cakes, plus toys and games from the period for children to play with.

Cllr Vic Ranger, Uttlesford District Council‘s cabinet member for Communities and Partnerships, said: “The exhibition and the memories event provide opportunities not only to mark these important anniversaries but also to capture memories for future generations, so that wartime experiences and sacrifices are not forgotten.”

Entry to the outdoor event is free, but donations are encouraged.

Entry to the museum, to see the North West Essex at War exhibition and other displays, will be charged at the usual rates: Adults £1.50, Concessions 75p, young people 18 and under FREE.

The exhibition will run from Saturday to Sunday, February 1 2015.

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