World War One project – volunteers needed

Lowewood Museum has received £68,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, ‘Stephen Warner – One Man’s Journey Through War’.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project marks the centenary of the First World War by focusing on the experiences of serviceman Stephen Warner.

Through the narrative of Stephen’s diary, the project will explore his experiences with both the Royal Army Medical Corps and the Essex Regiment and will be presented through a series of community projects and an exhibition.

The project will enable local people to come together to preserve the memories and heritage of those who lived and served through the First World War. Design students from Hertford Regional College will create a graphic novel based on Stephen’s diary, held at Lowewood Museum, and copies of the new novel will be distributed to all Borough of Broxbourne secondary schools. In addition to this, pupils from John Warner Secondary School will read excerpts from the diaries, and finally volunteers will be recruited to help catalogue and research the Stephen Warner archive at Lowewood Museum, and material held at the Essex Regiment Museum.

The project will come together in July 2018 with an exhibition at Lowewood Museum marking 100 years since the end of the war.

As part of the project the team are looking for volunteers to help with Medical Research and Essex Regiment Research.

Here are the role profiles:

Please contact Rachel Arnold (Project Officer) on rarnold@eppingforestdc.gov.uk 01992 564993 to apply or ask for details.

 

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Stephen Warner Diaries, Volume IV, August 2017

Wednesday 8 August

“Have just had two days of fine weather in which to pass the gas course and test.”

“The ordinary drill with mask and helmet with lachrymatory and chlorine tests and the rest – the first named had a delicious stench of pineapple but makes you weak like a child if you get it in your eyes.”

Friday 10 August

“Where at Felixstone we used to have the searchlight, during the night, here on the horizon other constant plastics from the guns bombarding the Germans.”

Saturday 11 August

“At mess in the evening the now common toast was given by our colonel, “gentlemen, I propose the health of these officers who are going to the front tomorrow – we wish them good luck and Godspeed!”

Monday 13 August

“They had been training at Etaples and Woody told me that the Portuguese were admitted to be very unsatisfactory and that owing to their quick temper, there had been more than one fracas involving bloodshed.”

Saturday 18 August

“On Thursday came the order for all officers of the 35th brigade to go up the line and I was told off to take up a draft of 30 royal Berkshire – a mixed lot of small drafts were joined up to us and we started off at 1.30pm on our 10 mile march into Arras.”

“Yesterday we went up to the battalion HQ about a couple of miles behind the firing and we were told that as they had so many officers at the moment we shall remain in Arras more or less for a time and begin some jobs somewhere.”

“and now into Arras itself! Well, to start with I think I may say that, on the whole, the place is not quite so battered as depicted – of course evidence of the bombardment meets the eye at every turn – a house here which has no roof, a house there which has a great gaping hole in the side and another nothing but a heap of rubble, but the majority are all standing and appear capable of being made habitable in the short term.”

“The houses immediately surrounding the Hôtel de Ville are absolutely obliterated except for a few heaps of grass grown rubble – the petite place has been so roughly handled that I could not see one single whole façade and on one side about 6 houses in a row had been entirely demolished – I do not see how this place can ever recover itself.”

“The cathedral, museum, library and student’s college all practically one enormous building are hopelessly gutted.”

Sunday 19 August

“As I write this at 11:45pm on a still and starlit night the flashes and booming of the guns are very evident and the Germans seem to be sending over some heavy stuff which is falling in or near the town but so far not at our end.”

Tuesday 21 August

“Our Battalion is in the 12th division and our distinguishing division mark is the ace of spades.”

Sunday 26 August

“I duly went up to the firing line and returned safely after spending about two hours there being shown round by Wardle, the officer on duty. And so I saw my first real life trenches – pretty much what I expected except that our front line in this sector has been much knocked about and so is in a bad condition.”

“meals: dinner last night – soup, stewed beef, potatoes and cabbage – a kind of bread pudding made in a basin with Jamades black coffee. The whole washed down with whiskey. Breakfast this morning – tomatoes and bacon with toast, bread butter, jam and tea. Lunch – tinned herrings (very good although they were tinned fish!) cold ham and hot potatoes, and to drink beer.”

Tuesday 28 August

“Last night was some night! Slithering and sliding about, dropping into shell holes full of water, slipping and launching against the sticky sides of the trenches, up to the ankles in liquid mud, squeezing past other parties in the narrow way, all amid drowning rain and ever strong wind.”

Stephen Warner Diaries, Volume IV, July 1917

Thursday 5 July

“The exam has been and come and I have passed with 199 marks out of 270. I have left Gailes (I trust for ever!) I’ve had a weekend at Oxford – I have acted as best man to ‘Lizzie’ Walpole and married him off safely.

“I’m now and given to understand the word Bughty so common on everybody’s lips nowadays is a corruption of the Hindustani word ‘bilat’ or ‘bagati’ which means house.”

Tuesday 10 July

“The great event has taken place and I am informed that I am now a tempy second lieutenant attached to the third special reserve Battalion of the Essex regiment I report on the 17th to the station at Felixstone!”

Monday 23 July

“We had just done with offertory when at 8:15am the anti-aircraft guns began firing followed quickly by loud explosions here and there which ____ the falling bomb.”

“Every night after dark the sky streaked is all over with searchlights – narrow bright beams of light piercing the darkness in all directions – it was a strange effect.”

Monday 31 July

“The great adventure has as good as begun! We are off on leave today as soon as we can get away and then report at Folkstone at 10.00AM with a view to joining armies in France.”

“I go overwillingly to strike my little blow at the Germans for what it may be worth – knowing that as I do so I am last doing my duty upon which I have more than once insisted in earlier pages of this diary.”

Culture without Borders Development Trust

Become a Trustee for our new…………..

‘Culture without Borders

Development Trust’

Created to support Epping Forest District & Lowewood Museums and Spotlight Theatre, Hoddesdon.

If you live in Epping Forest District or the Borough of Broxbourne, or have a passion for culture, history and learning and believe that you have the relevant skills and expertise to offer this exciting new development trust, we would love to hear from you.

We are establishing a Charitable Trust to assist us with our ambitious development plans and  further promote the knowledge and appreciation of our shared history and culture, not only on a local, but on a regional and  indeed, national level.

The trust will play a key role in developing funding strategies, including individual giving and legacies, to assist with the future development and help attract or create new exhibitions and events, building on the strong body or work already undertaken.

Trustees skills:

We welcome applications for Trustee positions, from those who are not only committed to ensuring that the museums’, culture and theatres futures are secured and that they go from strength to strength, but also have specialist skills in the following areas:

Finance     –     Fundraising     –    Philanthropy    –    Marketing    –   Communications    –    PR  –   Arts   – Heritage    –    Leisure and Culture    –     Retail, hospitality and tourism   –   Charity & Social Enterprise

There will be an open evening for all those interested in becoming a Trustee on Tuesday 13th June 2017 at the Epping Forest District Museum, 4 to 7 p.m.

This will be an invaluable opportunity to learn more about the new charity and your potential role as a Trustee, it will, also, be a chance to see the new exhibition space and displays in Epping Forest.

For an informal discussion or for an information pack, please contact:

Tony O’Connor

Epping Forest District Museum

39 – 41 Sun Street

Waltham Abbey.EN9 1EL

Tel: 01992 564986 Email: aoconnor@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Would you like to help shape the future work of Lowewood Museum?

 

As part of the ground-breaking ‘No Borders’ museum resilience project, Lowewood Museum is looking for local residents to take part in two museum focus groups this summer. The aim of these groups is to involve the community in ensuring the work of the museum is accessible and relevant to all, and to help us engage with audiences who are currently under-represented at the museum.

The No Borders project

‘No Borders’ is a partnership project between Lowewood Museum and two Essex museums – Epping Forest District Museum and Chelmsford Museum. Supported by funding from Arts Council England, this project aims to support the three museums to develop sustainable, inspiring services for the future. Attracting new and more diverse audiences and increasing accessibility for all is an important part of this work. Improvements will be made to various visitor services including a redesign of the gift shop, the introduction of a pop-up café and better accessibility for disabled visitors. It is also planned for the museums to establish new, charitable Development Foundations to undertake fundraising in support of the work of the museums.

The Focus Groups

 

Access focus group: This focus group will look at issues surrounding access to the museum’s services, including physical, sensory and intellectual access. Please get in touch if you are a resident of Broxbourne living with health or impairment related issues or represent or work with residents with additional access needs and would like to help us improve access for all.

BAME focus group: The second focus group is looking to bring together Broxbourne residents who define themselves as being of Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic in background. This focus group will help the museum ensure its future exhibition and events programming and its collection of objects reflects the diversity of local residents.

Both focus groups will take place at Lowewood Museum and will each last two hours. Each focus group will be limited to 10 people. Before the meeting, participants will be sent the current museum events programme and pre-visit information to review. This should not take more than 30 minutes. All participants will receive a £15 ‘Love2Shop’ voucher, which can be spent in thousands of high street stores, to thank them for their time.

To find out more or to register your interest in taking part in the focus groups please contact the museum by email on museum.leisure@broxbourne.gov.uk or call 01992 445596.

Please let us know whether you would like to attend the Access focus group, the BAME focus group or both, your preferred contact method and usual availability.

Stephen Warner Diaries, Volume IV, April, May June, 1917

Sunday 8 April

“The company is discovering (as trained men on the front will do very quickly) that the officers in charge of us do not know their work very well. They are not masters of their subjects and this instruction is therefore rather halting. Our COs chief wish is that we should play games and clean our leather gear with “kiwi” (an ox-blood polish which turns the leather a horrible purplish colour!) and that seems to weigh more with him than anything else!”

Saturday 19 May

“Rations are gradually getting shorter and shorter and with all our brain and body work it means that more often than not we go hungry – one hard boiled egg, a spoonful of hard hardly cooked peas, 2 spoonfuls of rice and a piece of bread are hardly a decent lunch for a healthy man.”

“A little while back there were some German submarines in the firth and two ships from somewhere fell victims just after they had left the harbour one day.”

Sunday 3 June

“We have the loss of the field behind the hospital to which I referred last year as being one glorious case of Viper’s Bugloss, Lichen vespertine and poppies – this is now become a training ground where hoarse voiced Sergeants case and drill the unfortunate Tommy and when they can think of no more objectives wind up with saying, “Well, thank God we got a navy.”

Sunday 10 June

“Today I’ve had my first bathe and very nice it was.”

Wednesday 20 June

“Battalion sports on Saturday – i’m not very keen although in the others that were held three months ago I came second in the bomb throwing with 43 1/2 yards and so I am obliged to enter for the event again.”

Family Science Fun coming to Lowewood Museum

To mark British Science Week the museum is holding a special day of free science and craft activities for all the family on Saturday 18 March.

Inspired by the current exhibition on garden landscape design firm James Pulham & Son, the activities and experiments will explore the wonderful plants, rocks and mini creatures that make up our gardens. The day will run from 11am to 4pm and all activities are free.

Visitors can get up close with nature and discover what lives in our ponds by taking part in pond-dipping in Barclay Park. Pre-bookable one hour sessions are available at 11am, 1pm and 2.30pm.

There will also be a number of drop-in activities including experiments with rocks and sand and pavement art. Visitors can also plant bulbs to take home with them. These activities are all available on a drop-in basis.

science-saturday

For more information or to book the pond-dipping sessions please call the museum on 01992 445596. For more information visit www.broxbourne.gov.uk/lowewoodmuseum