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First World War history marked at York museum
John Hoyland, community co-ordinator for the Changing Spaces Project, with a First World War Vickers machine gun at the Castle Museum, York
WEAPONS, paper wedding dresses and love letters from the front are among the First World War objects going on show in York this month.
September is “1914 month” at York Castle Museum where curators and other experts will be leading a number of events looking at different aspects of the Great War including art and religion, and the effects it had on those who lived through it.
It is a chance for visitors to get close to items in the museum’s collection, from machine guns to sketch books, which capture the horror and also the humour of life in the trenches.
Details will also be revealed about a major new exhibition about the 1914-18 period which is being held at York Castle Museum from 2014.
1914 – When The World Changed Forever will be a five-year exhibition designed to change and refresh with time to mark centenaries between 2014 and 2018. It will be showcased in a newly created exhibition space on the first floor of the museum.
A lift will be installed allowing disabled access to the floor for the first time and more space will be opened up – with all office space moved to the second floor.
Amy Parkinson, learning manager for York Museums Trust, said: “We have some amazing objects from World War One in our collection here at the museum and we wanted to get some of them out now for people to see and handle. It will be a rare chance for people to get up close to these artefacts and to hear their incredible stories from experts.
“We also hope it will whet their appetite and get them thinking about our major exhibition about this incredible part of our history, opening in 2014.”
The 1914 month is part of the York Museums Trust’s new Adult Learning programme for York Art Gallery, York Castle Museum, York St Mary’s and the Yorkshire Museum. A wide variety of events and workshops are taking place over the next 12 months.
Events during 1914 month include a talk today from 2pm to 2.30pm, examining religion, spirituality and the British Tommy in the First World War by John Hoyland, of York Museums Trust; a talk on the horrors of gas warfare (September 19, 12.30pm to 1pm); and a look at the collections of the museum and what impact the development of weapons technology had on the war (September 21, 2pm to 3pm. £5 to book).
For more details visit yorkmuseumstrust.org.uk or pick up a programme at any of the four sites.