EYAM: Museum to host Great War exhibition

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THE POPULAR visitor attraction Eyam Museum has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to support the curation of a commemorative Great War exhibition.

A £21,000 grant will fund research the exhibition Eyam 1914-1918: A Second Sacrifice which will reveal the impact of the war on the local area. The exhibition will open in March 2014, to coincide with the centenary anniversary of the start of the Great War.

Eyam 1914-1918: A Second Sacrifice will be based on the parish calendar of 1916 which was produced by the Rector at this time Rev. Shaw. The calendar includes the names of 72 local men- 50 of them as photographs. Research will uncover the stories of these 72 men.

The project remembers the sacrifices of 1916 and those of an earlier era. As well as the centenary of the start of the Great War, Eyam will also be commemorating the 350th anniversary of arrival of the bubonic plague in the village. Villagers sacrificed their lives at that time to contain the outbreak within the village.

Vanessa Harbar, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands, said: “This is a wonderful and intriguing project that serves to commemorate the impact of the First World War on Eyam and its residents. The village has good reason to be proud of its ancestors, their response to the Bubonic plague and their wartime sacrifices. We look forward to the exhibition and hope the project will serve to raise further the profile of this honorable museum to the community and its visitors.”

Ken Thompson, Chairman of Eyam Museum, said: “We are excited to give visitors a unique opportunity to compare both these sacrifices made by the village. The local community in Eyam and the surrounding area has a long tradition ofhonoring the past and the sacrifices made by those connected to the region. The exhibition will continue this heritage at a time when the country as a whole is commemorating this landmark event.

“The grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund allows us not only to hold the exhibition but it is funding the in-depth research that will involve many people from the local area, making this a true community project.”

As well as committee members from the museum, local volunteers and students from Hope Valley College will be involved and the research will range widely from local oral history, newspaper archives to the Imperial War Museum in London.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has now awarded over £17m pounds in funding to preserving the heritage of Derbyshire dales to date.