Radcliffe U3A WW1 Exhibition 2014
The Radcliffe U3A WWI exhibition, held at the Royal British Legion, Radcliffe on Trent from August 2nd to 10th, 2014, showcased the impact of WWI on the village. It incorporated a poster display, research documents, talks, films and a choral and poetry concert at St Mary’s Church.
The exhibition was spread out over the ground floor of Radcliffe Hall, an elegant late eighteenth century house. Large posters, written by project group members, explored what Radcliffe was like before the war, what happened to those who served, how local people coped, the introduction of war hospitals to the village and what happened when the war was over. A highlight was the Radcliffe Roll of Honour, uncovering for the first time the names and service details of 370 local men who enlisted.The project team’s research documents were available for all to read in the dining room. Artefacts, photos and costumes loaned by local residents added atmosphere and period touches. It was very much a community event with local groups contributing floral and knitted poppies displays, the Grange Art Group contributing a frieze of drawings, South Nottinghamshire Academy loaning a large model trench and members of the U3A providing a continuous supply of tea and biscuits for visitors. Memories of the past were shared by many visitors attending the exhibition. Old stories were retold and in some cases long ago family disputes rose to the surface! Visitors particularly enjoyed discovering familiar faces in the photos displayed and reading about aspects of the village they remembered from the past. Several people brought their children and grandchildren along to show them the part their families played during the war.
The successful exhibition was the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work by the project team, assisted by other members of the community. It was visited by over 1650 people. The accompanying evening events of talks and films were attended by packed audiences. A fitting finale was a combined choral concert and poetry reading, organised by Radcliffe Male Voice Choir and Radcliffe Drama Group, introduced by a half muffled peal of bells from St Mary’s Church bell ringers. There was not a spare seat in the church and the event is remembered in the village with much pleasure.
Smaller exhibitions were held at Radcliffe Library from July 21st to 31st 2014, at The Grange on November 8th (Remembrance Sunday), 2014 and at Radcliffe Junior School from November 10th to 14th, 2014.