Blogs and WWI

By Judith Phillips

I’m not a natural blogger or blog-user (is that the right word?), so it’s not surprising that I hadn’t realised there are some very interesting blogs with WWI connections on the museum’s website.  You’ll find the blogs on www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk under About Us/Museum Blog.

I was trawling through the museum’s website for something completely different when I discovered the wealth of information and images in the blogs.  It’s not that I didn’t know about the blogs, I had forgotten about them as I just hadn’t got into the habit of checking them.  I was idly scrolling through the titles and images when my eye was caught by ‘A WWI Officer’s Tunic: conservation Report’ dated 23 July 2015.  It was fascinating to read about the work that went into dealing with insect damage, cloth deterioration, staining and surface dirt and then putting the tunic on display.  An earlier blog on 7 June 2015 (which I found a little later) showed how the tunic was selected to form part of the museum’s response to the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition Style is Eternal.

Buoyed by this success, I trawled further back and found a blog by project volunteer Jane Wilson about the Toby jugs on display outside Café Bowes!  I had completely forgotten about the blog and it brought back some good memories of installation day.  The jugs are still on display and I hope to talk more about them as part of the programme of events and activities we’re putting together to complement the exhibition (mentioned in the previous piece in the newsletter).

And that wasn’t the end.  I kept on looking, and I was rewarded with a blog on 10 August 2014 – almost a century to the day from the beginning of the First World War.  The objects highlighted were a wedding costume worn by a war bride and I was reminded that I had been intrigued to see this on display.  I now know a lot more about the bride, groom and their families and how they were affected by the war.  I’ll write it up for the next newsletter.

So, if ever you have a quiet moment and wonder what to do, I suggest trawling the museum blogs – you never know what you’ll find.