We are taking part in Macmillan’s biggest fundraising event this Friday 26 September between 10.00am and 2.00pm. Macmillan coffee mornings help raise money for people living with cancer. Come along to the NIWM gallery to sample some home-made treats!
Thank you from NIWM to all those who attended our event on Friday 19 September, over 2,000 people danced and sang along with the Siobhan Pettit Quarter and the foot tapping Bellehoppers throughout the evening… it was standing room only and a memorable event ….same time next year ?
Please call into the gallery on Friday night to sway to the sounds of popular tunes from the First and Second World War. Enjoy live performances all evening from the Siobhan Pettit Quartet and dance along with the Bellehoppers. Join us for a rousing finale from 9.45pm when song sheets will be passed around for a Sing-A-Long!
Continuing our First World War Commemorations, take part in our Photography and the First World War event. Learn about the significance of photography on the front line and the the home front. See photographs of local men who served in the First World War. Try on replica uniforms and equipment, dress in period costumes provided and have your photographic portrait taken in a First World War studio setting.
Location: The Northern Ireland War Memorial Gallery
Opening Times: Saturday 12 September, 10.30am – 4.30pm and Sunday 13 September, 10.30am – 4.30pm
Actor and The One Show reporter Larry Lamb and BBC Radio Ulster’s Kerry McLean will appear at the BBC World War One At Home Tour when it heads to Air Waves Portrush on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th September from 10.30am to 6pm.
This free family-friendly event will include hands-on activities, performances and interactive sessions designed to appeal to everyone from eight to 80.
Larry Lamb will host the Briefing Room on Saturday, with Kerry McLean taking up the reins on the Sunday. They’ll be presenting a series of enlightening talks with expert contributors – leading military historian and author Jon Cooksey (Sat and Sunday), and First World War historian and author Professor Richard Grayson (Sun).
The event will offer the opportunity to reflect on the dramatic impact the war had on families and communities, as well as helping people to explore their own relatives’ links to the war with Imperial War Museums’ ‘Lives of the First World War’ activity.
Visitors can volunteer to be put through their paces on an outdoor Parade Ground and children can take on Harriet’s Spy Quest as they try to solve a series of clues around the site, an activity inspired by CBBC drama Harriet’s Army. And a supervised badge-making activity will take place, with visitors able to make their own First World War moustache badge.
People can also learn how medicine and communications were transformed during the war, including demonstrations of how carrier pigeons were an invaluable resource for sending messages. They can try using Morse code, Semaphore, Field Telephones and radio equipment with the help of The Royal Signals Museum. The Cavell Nurses’ Trust will demonstrate the role of World War One nurses.
Courtesy of the Northern Ireland War Memorial, visitors can step into a First World War photographic studio, complete with period camera and props, and learn about how important having a portrait photograph taken was. The museum photographer and his costumed assistants will help members of the audience get into character by trying on period costume, uniform and props before posing for an authentic period style portrait that can be taken home.
The poignant story of The Castleton Lanterns will also be highlighted which tells of how a box of lantern slides were found recently in a church organ loft, having been undiscovered for 100 years. The slides contained in the box told stories of young men – soldiers and sailors in First World War uniforms – photographed locally in Belfast. The team will expand on the story and visitors can view copies of the images, and see if they recognise any of the men who remain un-named.
Visitors can also discover the staple diet of a First World War soldier on the front line and see how their food was prepared. Staff in period costume from the Somme Association will be show-casing the infamous ‘Maconochie’s stew’, revealing some of its side effects and explaining why some soldiers called it the “man killer”. The team will also explain how to make the infamous hardtack biscuit, which was the last resort for many troops on the front line, and show an original biscuit which survived the First World War 100 years ago!
The ‘Living Legacies 1914-18’ Engagement Centre is a focal point for connecting academic and community researchers interested in how the First World War lives on in the twenty-first century world. A team from the centre will be on hand to offer advice on the conservation and preservation of personal legacies of the war, the state of the art equipment they use and discuss ideas for community research projects.
In addition BBC Northern Ireland will be running a live blog, featuring stories, pictures, videos and feedback from the two days of action and BBC Radio Ulster’s Saturday Magazine programme, presented by John Toal, will be broadcasting live from the event from 10.30am to Midday.
Larry Lamb said: “I’m delighted to be taking part in BBC Learning’s World War One commemorative events around the UK. As someone who finds history fascinating, I’m learning more about how The Great War touched the lives of people both on the Home Front and on the battlefields of Europe. I’m talking to a host of well-known faces from the world of journalism, literature, and television, and together with a panel of local experts we’re discovering what life was like during this unforgettable conflict.”
For a full list of BBC World War One At Home Tour dates and venues as well as World War One programming on the BBC visit bbc.co.uk/ww1.
How to get there
For members of the public wish to attend Airwaves Portrush, head toward the East Strand Beach car park. The First World War Home Front event is situated on a large hockey field, located near the other stands for Airwaves Portrush, the official address is Causeway Street, Portrush.
From a pivotal year of the Home Rule Crisis in 1913 to the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and the Engineering Strike of 1919, 100 Years On is a trilogy of short plays intended to offer a quirky ‘view from below’ on some of our most important historical events at a time of huge social change, both locally and internationally.
What did the signing of the Ulster Covenant mean to a maid and a butler working in a “big house” in 1913?
What went through the postman’s mind as he brought the dreaded Standard Army Form B104–82 to his neighbour’s door informing her of the death of his childhood friend, her husband, at the Battle of the Somme?
Can a soldier woo a suffragette at the picket line during the Belfast Engineers’ strike?
Blending drama, humour and song, 100 Years On uses these three questions as a backdrop to exploring some of the key events in the period 1912 to 1922 and their legacy today.
Production of the trilogy of plays has been funded by the PEACE III Programme which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body and delivered locally through the CAN PEACE III Partnership. The trilogy is presented by Partisan Productions, a well-known professional theatre company committed to creating socially engaged art, and there are two performances only at the Old Courthouse, Antrim on Friday 5 September.
All of the roles across the three plays are performed by two local actors – Jolene O’Hara, fresh from Bruiser’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at The MAC, and Stephen Clarke, a graduate in Drama at University of Ulster, Magee who has recently appeared with Partisan Productions and OffTheRails Dance Company.
Fintan Brady of Partisan Productions who scripted and is directing the plays said:
“In this decade of centenaries it is important to take a step back and view these iconic moments in our history from a different angle. We hope these play encourage reflection on the ‘truth’ of history by taking a look at characters who are more or less peripheral to the major historical events of this period and whose understanding of those events is conditioned by their own experience, aspirations and delusions.
“It is our hope that the production will offer audiences some unexpected food for thought and that it will make some contribution to an open and positive debate about our complex, contentious and shared history.”
Mark Glover, Chair of the CAN PEACE III Partnership that commissioned the plays said:
“The 100 Years On Trilogy helps us to reconnect the momentous events of 100 years ago with the lives of ordinary people. This helps us to better understand our own lives today.”
Partisan Productions receives annual funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to support its work. Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development at the Arts Council, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for audiences to get out to their local theatre and experience a quality, live theatre production for free. In this the centenary anniversary of The Great War, 100 Years On explores the universal themes of love and loss through a series of personal stories which will still resonate with audiences today.”
There are two performances of 100 Years On at the Old Courthouse, Antrim on Friday 5 September at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Both performances are free of charge, but should be booked in advance by phoning 028 9448 1338, online at www.antrim.gov.uk/boxoffice or in person at the Old Courthouse, Market Square, Antrim.
The Northern Ireland War Memorial will be closed on Monday 25 August for the bank holiday, however we will re-open on Tuesday 26 August at 10.00am.
The Northern Ireland War memorial will be opening half an hour earlier for visitors from today. Visitors are now welcome to access the gallery Monday to Friday from 10.00am.
(Shown on the left is the Royal Air Force Sector Clock. This type of clock was used to record the position of both friendly and enemy aircraft during the Second World War. The position of the sighted aircraft was recorded with the colour of the triangle beneath the minute hand at the time of the sighting.
Carrickfergus will host a number of events this weekend to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
First World War Centenary programme
Exhibition: The Antrim Artillery
Saturday 2 August – Saturday 4 October
An exhibition exploring the captivating history of the Antrim Artillery Militia and the people who served in it.
Talk: Carrickfergus and the Great War
Friday 1 August, 7.30pm
Join local historian Philip Orr as he explores the impact of the Great War on the coastal communities of Carrickfergus and Whitehead.
Workshop: Morse Code – Fast and Fun!
Saturday 2 August – 12 noon and 2pm
join storyteller Billy Teare to learn Morse code in a fun and creative atmosphere REALLY quickly. All ages welcome.
All events are free.
To book your place please contact:
Carrickfergus Visitor Information Centre
T: 028 9335 8049
President Michael D Higgins speaking at the unveiling at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin yesterday. The Duke of Kent, president of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, also spoke at the event to commemorate Irish soldiers.
(The Irish Times, 01.08.14)