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Cheshire museum holds WWI ‘Letters Home’ exhibition
On Saturday 20th July, the Lion Salt Works Museum will launch a poignant World War I exhibition called ‘Letters Home – Communications on the Front’.
To mark the opening, there will be a free talk about the exhibition and museum tour between 2-3.30pm given by curator and award-winning volunteer, Nigel Meyrick. He will offer insights and background stories about the exhibits and the people who have felt moved to lend these evocative items to the exhibition. No booking is required but normal museum entry charges apply. The exhibition lasts until 16 November. For more information call 01606 275066 and for further information go to www.westcheshiremuseums.co.uk
The exhibition is based on WWI letters, postcards and personal items and tells the story of love and endurance in the face of hardship. For four years, a series of World War I roadshows across Cheshire has unearthed letters and memorability that brings to life the human stories behind what life was like for people at the battlefront and for those who remained behind. For instance, the letter from a Cheshire soldier containing two pressed daisies he picked from the trench wall. The exhibition is pleased to combine these items with unseen material from private collections, including material translated from French Welsh and Suetterlin (a form of early German).
The exhibition is curated by Nigel Meyrick, North West winner of the Marsh Trust Volunteer Award, in conjunction with dedicated volunteers and Museum staff. He said: “It is an intensely personal experience reading another person’s first-hand account of the First World War. You realise afresh that each person caught up in the war was someone just like us and this is particularly humbling when, from our viewpoint in history, we know the huge personal sacrifices that were made by this generation.”
“My interest in WWI stems from my wife’s great grandfather, an artillery gunner, who died in the infamous Battle of Passchendaele. The family still treasures the bible that was sent home after his death containing a pressed flower from his from his wife’s wedding bouquet and a paper leaf from their wedding cake. Earlier this year this bible was featured on ‘Antiques Road Show’”
Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, Cheshire West & Chester Council, said: “I am enormously grateful to Nigel Meyrick for organising and curating this exhibition and to everyone who has helped, loaned or donated material. In the centenary year of the end of World War I, this is an important exhibition that reminds us of the sacrifice, hope and resilience of this war-time generation. Many of these items will never be displayed or brought together again. This is a fascinating and unrepeatable insight into history and even after a hundred years, the voices from history can be heard loud and clear.”
The Lion Salt Works Museum has won nine awards since opening in June 2015 after a four-year £10m restoration. This includes winning the hotly contested National Lottery Award ‘Best Heritage Project’ in 2016 after a public vote and last year being awarded Northern Soul’s ‘Museum of the Year’.