Exhibition: From Monday 22nd February…

In a change to the published schedule, from Monday 22nd February 2016, the touring exhibition will now be on show at Loughton Library (open from 9am – 5pm Mon – Fri) until around 17th March. It will be brought to Chelmsford in time for our concluding showcase of works produced during the project, on Wednesday 23rd March at Chelmsford’s Civic Theatre. The evening of poetry, dance and music will be a fitting ending to an insightful project. Tickets are free but must be ordered through the Civic Theatre box office on 01245 606505.

 

Inter-school poetry competition winners!

Essex County Council’s Inter-School Poetry Competition

September this year saw launch of the first ever county-wide Inter-School Poetry Competition, organised by the Cultural Development Team at Essex County Council.

Pupils interested in representing their school were asked to submit a poem relating to the Great War to link in with the council’s First World War project – Now The Last Poppy Has Fallen, funded by a grant of £65,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Thanks to National Lottery players, the project has been be running since September 2013 and includes a touring exhibition, education sessions and two artists (singer/songwriter Georgia Strand and renowned poet Luke Wright) who were commissioned to write new material relating to impact of the war on Essex.

The council received over 35 entries from a number of different primary & secondary schools which were judged by Luke who picked out a winner for each year group along with an overall top three. Each top 10 winner will receive a prize of a £25 book voucher and each school in the top three with also receive a poetry workshop from Luke.

Greensted Junior School, Basildon, who were one of the Top 10 winners, with a Year 5 group entry, even made a short film of their entry, which can be viewed here:

Greensted Junior School on YouTube

Cllr John Spence, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Finance, with responsibility for Heritage, Culture and the Arts, said: “Now the Last Poppy has Fallen focuses on the lives of individuals, families and communities in Essex during the First World War. We were really pleased to be able to involve so many young people in the project and were very impressed by the standard of entries. We were delighted with the response and pleased that so many schools took the time to engage with this competition given their busy schedules.”

Luke himself commented that there were “some lovely, accomplished stuff among the winners, especially the top three”. It is hoped that there will be a celebratory event for schools in the Spring Term where these poems will be showcased.

Winners included:

Other Top 10 winners were:

  • Cherry Tree Primary School – Bethany (Year 3)
  • Greensted Junior School – Group entry: Frankie Curran, Chevy Quirey, Tom Holland, Grace Collins, Ellie Morgan and Blaine Harding (Year 5)
  • Philip Morant School and College – Georgia Lockerbie (Year 11)
  • The Sweyne Park School – Anna Wilson (Year 8) and Lucy Wilkinson (Year 9)
  • Holt Farm Junior School – Elizabeth Ware (Year 4)
  • St Nicholas CofE Primary School – Ronnie (Year 2)

 Poems can be read on our Inter-Schools Poetry Competition Winners page

Essex at War programme

We are excited to share with you the Essex at War programme.

Don’t forget that it’s this Sunday, 14th September from 10am – 4pm, at Hylands House in Chelmsford.

Essex at War programme-page-001

 

The official exhibition launch is at 12:45 and will include performances from project artists Luke Wright, Georgia Strand and Vo Fletcher, with Ric Saunders. The exhibition will be opened by Lord Petre.

Included in the programme:

Essex at War, 1914 – 1918

We are delighted to announce that the launch of the Now the Last Poppy has Fallen touring exhibition will during the Essex at War event, at Hylands House on Sunday 14th September at 12.45pm.

Essex at Ear event poster

Click on the poster to see the details, or open up a PDF version below.

The event will feature activities for all the family including re-enactors, talks and craft activities for children. There will also be a tea and cake tent, similar to those held during the First World War to raise money for injured soldiers. 100 years later, monies raised will go towards Help for Heroes.

You can download a PDF poster or a flyer if you wish to share this event.

Researching the impact of World War I on Braintree District

Taken from the Braintree Museum website (with permission)

Written by Curator, Jennifer Brown.

Braintree District Museum is one of the partner museums working with Essex County Council on their project ‘Now the Last Poppy has Fallen’. This project aims to research the impact of the First World War on the lives of individuals, families and communities in Essex. It will result in a touring exhibition reflecting on stories from the Essex Home Front, develop museum education sessions for schools and reflective school performances and commission artists to produce performances relating to these stories. The museum is very excited to be a part of this project.

The project group look at Braintree District Museum's World War I archive. Left to Right - Carl, Tony Morrison (Essex-on-Tour & Last Poppy Co-Ordinator), Mike, Jackie, Hannah and Chris

The project group look at Braintree District Museum’s World War I archive.
Left to Right – Carl, Tony Morrison (Essex-on-Tour & Last Poppy Co-Ordinator), Mike, Jackie, Hannah and Chris

Yesterday, Tony Morrison, Co-ordinator of the Essex-on-Tour programme and Project Manager of the Last Poppy project, and five local volunteers visited the museum to view our World War I archive. The group enjoyed looking through the highlights of our collection, including a nationally significant collection of documents and photographs relating to the East Anglian Munitions Committee. Led by Francis Crittall and Mr Stokes of Ransomes and Rapier Ltd., this committee steered a group of 42 local industries who between 1915 and 1918 produced a total of 5 million shells as well as many other important products for the war effort, and dramatically drove down the costs of production. This high turnover at low prices made a massive contribution to the government’s shell supply and helped to save the lives of many troops on the front line. Prior to the establishment of the Committee each gun crew was limited to 5 shells per gun, which led to the death of many of our troops. Below is a photograph of volunteer Chris holding one of the 18lb shells produced at the Crittall factory at Braintree. Other highlights include postcards sent from many different World War I battle zones, and ID papers of men enrolled on vital war industries locally and who were therefore exempted from military service.

Chris with a Crittall 18lb shell

Chris with a Crittall 18lb shell

Seeking Home Front Stories

The volunteers have chosen some exciting initial research topics, including first-hand accounts of the Zeppelin raid on Braintree in 1916 and the voluntary war work of Margaret Mercer, Ariel Crittall’s mother, behind the lines in France. However, we are still looking for more stories about life on the Home Front and the impact of the war on the people of Braintree District. If you have any information, artefacts, or stories to share please do get in contact with us.

You can contact the museum by phone, 01376 325266 or by email, info@braintree.gov.uk.