Marking war centenary

A ration book from 1918
A ration book from 1918

The final exhibition of the year at an Alnwick museum continues the venue’s contribution to marking the centenary of the First World War.

While the Lamps Were Out: Life in Alnwick and District during the years of the Great War, is on display now at the Bailiffgate Museum.

It tells the moving and fascinating story of what it was like to live in our area during the years of the First World War.

Drawing on materials from the musuem’s collection, some of which have not been on public view before, it shows how different life was a century ago, and how that world changed forever.

Some, but not all, of these changes were due to the impact of the war.

Mick Grant, volunteer, said: “Visitors can find out about the men who volunteered, and those who were exempt from military service. There will be lots of local connections, while we also explore the impact of a huge influx of soldiers and workers from all over Britain and the Empire, on the area.

“The war affected people in a variety of ways, from the news of the loss of loved ones to a Zeppelin raid closing a school for a day.”

Jane Mann, volunteer, added: “We look at the big issues that concerned people, but also some odd little facts about life at war. For example, why did a local councillor compare childhood in Alnwick to life in the trenches?

“Why was it safer to walk on the right of the pavement?

“What happened to the money in our pockets in these years?

“We also tell the story of four young teachers from a local school and how refugees were welcomed into the area.”

Visitors will be able to find out why bread tasted different in 1918, what people were entertained by, and much more about life during the Great War.

The exhibition runs until March 2017.

For more information visit www.bailiffgatemuseum.co.uk