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Four years in the making The People’s Collection arrives at The Hive

31st October 2018

The People’s Collection arrives at The Hive and runs until 12 November, having visited venues across Worcestershire since May 2018. The exhibition features letters, photographs and objects loaned by people across the County and has been four years in the making.

The Worcestershire World War One Hundred programme received the largest Heritage Lottery Fund grant for a World War One commemoration outside London, to tell the stories of Worcestershire people, their involvement with and personal legacy from the war. Throughout this time people from across the county have been invited to share their family stories about the contribution the county and its people made to the First World War and it is these contributions which will be on show in The People’s Collection.

The touring exhibition has visited Bromsgrove Library, Redditch Library, Malvern Library, Bewdley Museum, Number 8 and The Almonry Heritage Centre before coming together at The Hive in Worcester from 30 October. Each exhibition has featured stories relevant to that specific location as well as information relevant to the County as a whole.

Gillian Roberts, Worcestershire World War One Hundred Project Officer said: “The people of Worcestershire have been hugely generous in sharing their family stories with us and we have created a fantastic record of the impact World War One had on our County from what was happening at the Front to developments back home in medicine all with personal insight.

“There has been an incredible response to the exhibition in each of the different parts of the County and we are delighted to bring all these stories together at The Hive to coincide with Armistice. We hope that people across Worcestershire and beyond make time to visit The People’s Collection and experience Worcestershire War for themselves.”

From Bromsgrove the exhibition features stories on what it is like for VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) Nurses through the letters of Rachel Lyttelton. The letters she wrote through the war years give a unique glimpse of life during the war. The Redditch exhibition includes information about the Royal Enfield motorcycles used at the front and the military tribunals which reveal the lives of conscripted men.

The trench shovel featured in the exhibition was from Malvern and belongs to the Purser Family of Welland. In Bewdley, with help from the Bewdley Historical Society, the exhibition gathered information about people from the Wyre Forest and uncovered the mystery of a WWI army issue spoon found in a back garden in Kidderminster, and includes the story of the three members of the Tarrant family who served in the army, navy and munitions.

From Pershore the exhibition includes the Sladden family of Badsey and the Belgian refugees who found sanctuary in the area. The exhibition also features Voluntary Aid Detachments hospitals including the one at Evesham Abbey and the role of German Prisoners of War in the surrounding farms.