Tag Archives: four heatons

A Soldier’s Dream


I’m really excited (and honoured) to be taking part in an art exhibition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

The exhibition is being organised by ARC (a charity I do quite a lot of voluntary work for).

The exhibition is being held at Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery from 11th November.

After the war, residents of Stockport, rather than erect a traditional war memorial to commemorate the dead, decided to build an art gallery so that future generations may benefit from their sacrifice. Which I think is a brilliant idea.

The theme of the exhibition is ‘A Soldier’s Dream’.

Because, all of these soldiers were, once upon a time, civilians who worked in factories and mills, merchant companies and railways. They had wives and children, brothers and sisters. Mums and … well, you get the picture.

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Scale model of the exhibition.

Instead of focussing on what they did in the war, the exhibition aims to show them as ordinary everyday people who had hopes, dreams and aspirations. Rather than just one aspect of their lives which was to give it in service of their country.

The part that I am involved in is to create a ‘Soldier’s Dream box’. This takes the form of ten 40cm x 40cm wooden crates and each one will ecapsulate the dreams of a soldier who lost his life.

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I can’t tell you what mine will be about yet as I am still in the research stage. I have been finding out about people local to my area in the Four Heatons who lost their lives.

I have always loved history, in particular, the First World War, so I was really excited and passionate about getting involved. (I even did a tour of the Somme a few years ago. I know, I’m a great laugh to go on holiday with.)

As part of my research, (provided by the brilliant website www.stockport1914-18.co.uk), I have been reading brief biographies of soldiers from the Heatons who died. Of which there are many.

But, reading about where they worked, who they married, their children’s names, what team they played for, makes it all the more personal. They aren’t soldiers anymore. They are real people who lived real lives. And I guess that’s the whole point of the exhibition.

Some of the biogs even give their address! These are houses I pass every week. The stories that must be contained between their walls must be incredible.

Well, that’s all for now. I’ll keep you posted when I have something new to tell you.

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#65/365 – Libraries


65 down 300 to go.

Well, seeing as though it’s World Book Day I thought I’d give a shout out to my local library in Heaton Moor.

It’s not a very big library, but that doesn’t matter, because if you want something they don’t have, they just order it in for you.

And, there must be close to a score of computers in there for people to surf the net or look for jobs. You also see lots of groups of people meeting up for coffee mornings and that sort of thing. (To discuss what, I have no idea. But some of the wrinklies get a tad tetchy if you’re sitting on their sofa when they come in.) So it’s not just a place to borrow books, it’s part of the community.

I take my children there quite a lot. Kids can take as many books out as they like and they don’t get fined for late returns. (Unlike me, who gets fined all the time.) They don’t just go to borrow books, there’s a small area for kids where they can sit and draw or even choose a DVD. My kids really look forward to going. (Which makes me both happy and proud.) Last week they borrowed nine books (all for free) and two DVDs (small fee). How cool is that? They even have visiting kids’ authors from time to time.

Imagine how many children there are in the world who don’t have access to books…

I feel very privileged to have all of these treasures on my doorstep and at my fingertips for absolutely nothing. (Let’s just hope the Tories don’t get wind of it.)

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