by Jo’ Vincent.
Volunteers of The Rye Museum Association put on a magnificent display
of memoirs of World War Two on Saturday 9 March at the Further Education
Centre. Patrons were required to have a National Registration Identity
Card which was duly filled out with the help of an assistant dressed
in the fashion of the time, complete with her headscarf tied in “turban”
style at the door. They then found themselves thrust into the era
of World War Two complete with jitterbug music and dancers jiving
on the floor at one end of the exhibition or entering the deep, dark
and dank original air raid shelter at the other end. In between one
could stop to visit the many stalls of World War Two artifacts and
examine gas masks, a Morrison Shelter, an incendiary bomb disposal
kit and demonstration, sand bag filling. In the War Time Canteen there
were war time recipes to taste and enjoy, such as mock apricot pie
made with carrots and plum jam served by women in 1940’s dress and
There were lots of children who were occupied at The Children’s Corner
with various games of historic interest such as, “Having a Go at Hitler,
Pin the Medal Where You Like-MAKE IT HURT!, Find the Doodle Bug game,
Throw the Grenade, Colour Art which featured pictures of Landgirls
and Lancaster Planes and Make A Soldier”.
Shirley Brinkhurst, a member of The Rye Museum Association for seven
years, was very instrumental in the successful Father Christmas Grotto
at the Ypres Castle last Christmas.
Shirley thought of the idea for “The Home Front” when she heard the
original wartime shelter at the Centre was at risk of demolition.
Since then the Lion Street school has become the subject of a Preservation
Act and alterations are unlikely, which is a great advantage to the
Community and functions such as the one today which took many hours
of research and preparation by Shirley and a band of hard working
helpers can continue to be offered and enjoyed.
“Rye’s Own” April 2002
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