This month saw the Centenary of the start of WWI, and I became involved with a commemoration project created by two local men; Paul Young, an illustrator, and member of Prestatyn Living History Society – and Jerry Bone, local WWI historian and collector, who I met when I started researching for Flintshire War Memorials.
A group of us spent twelve days transforming an empty shop – building a trench and dugout area, then setting up the rest of the shop as a museum, filled with some of the vast collection of WWI memorabilia that Jerry has amassed over the last twenty five years.
Over the course of three days, more than one thousand people came to view the exhibition, and we raised £1105.89 for the local War Memorial Restoration Fund. There was great feedback from everyone who came, and it was a brilliant weekend – we got to hear lots of wonderful stories that people shared with us, of family members who went to war, and I helped with research for people who didn’t have a lot of information.
We ended the weekend with Lights Out. Everyone who had been involved with the project sat in the dugout with just one flickering candle, it was a sombre moment of reflection, and a sense of pride and satisfaction at what had been achieved.
I would like to thank the people and organisations that provided educational resources for us to use and distribute to people that visited the exhibition:
- Thomas Walker at Historic Newspapers sent some wonderful booklets, packed with interesting and informative newspaper articles from the time of WWI – he also has many great resources available for download on his website.
- SGM Lifewords sent one hundred of their replica WWI bibles – these are copies of the bibles that every soldier was given when being sent to the front line. They are beautiful and poignant little things and my son enjoyed handing these out and explaining all about them.
- We also received leaflets from CWGC and the War Memorials Trust.
You can view a wonderful collection of photographs from the event, by local photographer Chris Porteous, and we also have a WWI Trench Exhibition Facebook Page.
A couple of weeks later, we took part in the BBC WWI At Home event, held in Rhyl Events Arena. It was a really busy day, with lots of interesting things to see and do, and topped off with a great airshow display.
Whilst out wandering today, we picked this lovely lilac, which smells gorgeous. Lilac reminds me of summer as a child, wearing my favourite dress (coincidentally, lilac coloured), climbing the large lilac tree we had in our front garden. It reminds me that summer is well and truly on the way, it makes me very happy indeed!
I’ve had some lovely finds lately – lots of pretty vintage gloves (for all the posh afternoon teas I may one day attend, of course!) and a lovely (vintage, but reprinted) book full of tips and tuition for the domestic goddess (I can always use a bit of extra knowledge in this department!) – I love the ‘Dressmaking at Home’ section, and look at that date – 1895!
My favourite find by far is a box full of love letters – over a hundred – written in the 1950’s, by a young man in the RAF, to his sweetheart. They begin from when they met as friends, and over the course of a year their story plays out through these letters. I’m sure there must have been another box, as the box is absolutely packed with them, but the story hadn’t ended – I wish I could read the rest!
Alongside the letters were some photographs, and also a medal from WWI. A bit of research showed me that the medal had belonged to the grandfather of the man who wrote the letters. What a lovely box of family history. Not my family, granted, but I love it nonetheless, and it always surprises me (and saddens me a little) when things like this turn up at car boot sales.
We spent our day yesterday in the garden, tending our veg, mowing our lawns, digging our pond, and most importantly – loving our frogs 😀
I remember collecting frog spawn as a kid, keeping it in an old washing up bowl in the garden, being thrilled to see the transformation from spawn, to tadpoles, to frogs, then finally releasing them back into the stream we found them in.. Am so hoping our own pond will be used by the frogs next year, and that my little one will get to see the cycle for himself 😀
Today was a very special day, and it didn’t fail to live up to expectations..
Even if it started at 4.30am – it just meant we could pack more into one day!
(Almost) everything that was wanted was received, the smiles on small faces will remain with me forever.
A special, precious, fabulous day.
We spent the afternoon at our local castle, watching ‘The Vikings’ battle.
You can find out more about the group >Here<
“Rhuddlan Heritage Society with the support of CADW are staging a celebration of the events that took place in the year 1075 AD. The conflict between the Norman Lord Robert of Rhuddlan (a veteran of the Battle of Hastings) and the Welsh Prince, Gryffydd ap Cynan. Over the Bank Holiday weekend (Sunday & Monday) you will be able visit both the Anglo-Norman and Welsh/Viking encampments. The Battle finale, on both days, will see the Anglo-Norman army take up defence on the original battlefield site at Twt Hill Motte & Bailey. Prince Gruffydd will then march his Welsh/Viking army out of the Edwardian Castle to give battle.”
We wandered around the castle, marvelling at the sites, wowing at the walls, staring through the windows/arrow slits at the beautiful scenery beyond..
We live in such a beautiful place, with mountains, and beaches, and fabulous scenery, we’re so lucky. We may not appreciate it enough, we really should..
I am proud, honoured, grateful, happy, fulfilled, content.
And really tired 😀
And I wish I hadn’t bought MouseTrap. Setting it up sucks.
Sunny today, so working in the garden. Pots are running short, so as soon as anything gets slightly bigger than weedy seedling I bung it in the ground and cross my fingers, today the tomatoes got a chance to progress on, well, 29 of them did, the other variety will have to wait a while 😀
While we were happily getting all composty, we spotted a strange – rather large – creature we had never seen before. Off to trusty Facebook to upload the photo and within minutes lovely friends had informed me it was a cockchafer, also known as a Maybug. The Boy has been enthralled with it, but very sad that they apparently live for only one day.
We then noticed a little group of eggs on one of our plants (cabbage/sprout or cauli – I’d obviously run out of sticks to tag them). We will sacrifice this plant, and keep it somewhere safe so that we can watch the caterpillars emerge, did I mention the extreme bug love that goes on at our house..?!
And here’s a quick look at a couple of new things I’ve been working on, the poppy piece on green and cream will become a clutch, and the other is a brooch 😀
After mainly doing pyrography for the last couple of weeks, it appears my sewing mojo is returning.
Edit: After reading a bit more, it seems that it’s Mayflies that only live a day, and the beastie we found can live a month or more. The Boy is going to think it’s a miracle if it’s still going strong tomorrow! Yay!
It’s been really cold here lately, with plenty of rain and a touch of hail, and although it’s doing my new plants the world of good, it’s also stopping me from getting out in the garden and doing more. I thought I’d put up a couple of photos I took a few weeks ago, photos that make me smile to look at them, and make me long for a bit more sun!
We’re looking forward to get started on planting the vegetables. Last year we planted potatoes, onions and tomatoes, but only really had any luck with the tomatoes – I think I put the others in too shady a place, so we’ve moved things around, and the semi-shaded area is now being dug to create a wildlife pond, to hopefully accomodate the frogs we always see in the garden, and we’ve put up window boxes for kitchen herbs, and will be doing hanging baskets for strawberries, and containers for everything else. Hopefully it’ll all work out!
In the meantime, we’ve been doing a lot of reading, drawing, sewing and baking. I love this photo of the cakes, though I can’t take any of the credit for them, from stirring, to spooning, to decorating and finally to eating, they are all the work of a very proud little one 😀
And would you look at our new book stash that was delivered today! 😀