This week local residents and school pupils took part in letterpress workshops at the Univeristy of Gloucestershire, led by Andy Kinnear. Letterpress posters based on headlines found in ‘The Balkan News’ were created as part of the Holst Birthplace Museum’s WW1 programme. The posters will be on display in North Place car park from Wednesday 18th July.
A new WW1 exhibition at the Holst Birthplace Museum was opened by the Mayor of Cheltenham on Friday. The exhibition focuses on the time composer Gustav Holst spent travelling around Salonika and Constantinople with the Y.M.C.A. teaching music to soldiers in Greece and Turkey.
You can see original letters and diary entries written by Holst, experience a recreated Y.M.C.A. hut and see the piano at which he composed The Planet Suite during 1914-16. There are also slideshows and video footage which will bring to life the stories as you explore. Visit holstmuseum.org.uk for more information about their programme of centenary events.
Read this fascinating article about the contribution of local Cheltonian women during the First World War. Reproduced with kind permission of by Neela Mann (author of Cheltenham in the Great War) and the History Press.
How the well-organised women of Cheltenham contributed to the war effort
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.” – Robert Laurence Binyon, 1914
11th November 1918 is a date that has gone down in history; marking the cessation of fighting and leading to the end of the First World War. The Armistice agreement was signed at Compiègne in Northern France, between the Allied forces and Germany. When the fighting was over many British troops began to be bought home to be reunited with their loved ones. The walk home from Cheltenham railway station marked the transition back into civilian life for many returning servicemen. For others it would be several months or even years before they were demobilised and allowed to return home.
In order to commemorate the lives lost during the 1914-1918 war, Cheltenham Town Council commissioned Messrs R L Boulton & Sons to create a memorial that would enable the people of Cheltenham to remember the bravery of the 1284 Cheltonian men that gave their lives for their country.
H.H. Martin was a Cheltenham based company that originally specialised in architectural decoration. During the First World War, the company developed; and in early 1918 the Gloucestershire aircraft company was formed. Thus beginning the thriving aviation industry in Cheltenham.
By April 1918, approximately 45 aircraft were being made in Cheltenham every week. Much of this productivity was due to the hard work of local women who were called upon to fill the gaps on the workforce.
St Peter’s War Memorial was recently featured in new online video created by Historic England to give advice to professionals about the conservation and repair of war memorials. St Peter’s War Memorial was rededicated on Sunday 17th June following this work. For more information please see the press release and images from the ceremony.
Exhibition 10 July – 15 December 2018 at the Holst Birthplace Museum, Clarence Road
An exhibition exploring how Holst taught music to soldiers in Salonika and Constantinople during WW1. The story will be told through letters, diaries, photographs and archive film, as well as a reconstruction of Holst’s own room in the Salonika YMCA. Pop into the YMCA hut in the Holst Learning Space for children’s activities throughout the exhibition.
A year-long arts programme of community engagement is focusing on the significance of World War One. As part of this the ‘Listening Stations’ are being created throughout June and July and are situated at locations including The Wilson, Leisure Centre, Cheltenham Library, The Town Hall and Hester’s Way Community Centre.
These photos were taken at the re-dedication ceremony for St Peter’s war memorial, following resent repair and conservation work. During the ceremony music by local composer local Gustav Holst was performed by Gardeners Lane School and the Big Local Gas Green choir in partnership with the Holst Birthplace Museum. Crosses with poppies were planted and there were also displays and images of some of the soldiers who are listed on the memorial.