Exhibition and Afternoon Tea to Commemorate the beginning of WW1 

Over 200 people, aged 9 – 99, discovered how the local landscape changed forever in a fascinating exhibition, held over the 2014 August Bank Holiday weekend, to commemorate the beginning of WWI.

The event in Aberthin Village Hall, reckoned by one visitor to be “as good as a museum”, highlighted the changes to village life, as well as the challenges faced by farmers across the country to feed the population.

    

The exhibition was put together by Frank Hartles and Keith Edwards who were pleased that after months of hard work the event had been so well received:
“We had no idea if people would be interested, but several returned three times in order to take it all in. It was very much a ‘hands-on’ exhibition, with youngsters trying on a sailor’s hat whose original owner, the grandfather of a village resident, was torpedoed twice in one day!  Boys in particular were interested in the bayonet on display and visitors could handle medals and 100 year old postcards. Probably most poignant of all was the diary of a soldier whose last entry was made on the day he died. That really hit home,” Frank said.

    

Many visitors to the exhibition were surprised to learn how rationing was enforced in 1917 as food supplies dwindled, with at one point only enough wheat to last six weeks. There was much interest in the vital role played by women and the dependence on horse power before the introduction of ‘tractor machines’.  Other displays included a hand written book with instructions for building, manning and defending trenches, and how to deal with a range of German hand grenades.

    
A memorial tea was held on the Sunday alongside the exhibition when a full house of villagers sat down together to commemorate the beginning of WWI. Tea was served as it should be, in china cups and the Welsh Cakes were freshly made in the Village Hall kitchen. A big thank you must go to the ladies of the village for providing a lovely selection of home made cakes and trifles.

The exhibition was free to visit but donations were welcomed and along with the tea time raffle, a total of £175 was raised for the British Legion.







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