Museum marks centenary of First World War with emotive exhibition

PLANTING OUT: Defence secretary Philip Hammond planted a sunflower at Preston Park earlier this year to mark the centenary. From left Marin Callaghan MEP, James Wharton MP, Philip Hammond MP and Preston Park senior gardener Keith Hugill. Picture: ANDY LAM

PLANTING OUT: Defence secretary Philip Hammond planted a sunflower at Preston Park earlier this year to mark the centenary. From left Marin Callaghan MEP, James Wharton MP, Philip Hammond MP and Preston Park senior gardener Keith Hugill. Picture: ANDY LAM

First published in News

A POIGNANT art exhibition commemorating the outbreak of World War One has gone on display.

Battlefields of the First World War is a series of drawings and paintings by landscape artist, Robert Perry that will be displayed in a temporary exhibition at Preston Park Museum, Eaglescliffe.

The artist works exclusively on location and travelled in a mobile studio to produce his work on site at the former battlefields of the First World War.

And young people across Stockton Borough have also been getting ready to commemorate the centenary with the council’s Youth Direction service working with them on the Young Roots Project.

The commemorative project has seen a group of 13 to 25-year-olds research the contribution and sacrifices made by the people of Stockton during the First World War.

They have been working with the team to explore the events of the war and produce a film, with professional actors playing the roles of local people including former Mayor of Thornaby, Colonel Spence, who was also leader of the 5th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry and bequeathed his collection of weapons and personal items, such as paintings and press cuttings to Stockton.

Councillor Ken Dixon, Stockton Borough Council’s cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture said: “It is so important that we remember the sacrifice many people made during the war, not only the serving men and women but the families they left behind.

“The exhibition and film are a creative way of marking the Centenary and one of many events set to continue across the borough in the run up to the start of the 100th anniversary in August.”

The film also tells the moving stories of Mrs Cummins, a local woman who lost her three sons in the war and Mary-Jane Clinton, the first female porter at Stockton Station during the First World War.

The Youth Direction service secured £34,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to lead the year-long project.

The exhibitions, which are on display until November 16, are free with standard museum entry fees. Museum entry costs are £2.50 for adults, £1.50 for children and concessions or £5 for a family ticket.

For more information visit prestonparkmuseum.co.uk

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