After 3 days of hard work, students from both Barnard Castle and Teesdale School came to the end of their time here at The Bowes Museum.
Having been given the opportunity to dive into the Museum’s own archive, as well as using the online database here on the project website, each student has begun to craft their own creative response to the discoveries they have made. It was a unique opportunity for students to step away from the history books and start to uncover aspects of the First World War that they perhaps hadn’t heard of before.
Esia Forsyth chose to look at the experience of the Belgian Refugees, many of whom came to Teesdale (of which you can read more about here). Her discoveries in the Teesdale Mercury of articles relating to locals preparations for the arrival of the refugees led her to learn more about their plight.
Other students learnt about conscientious objectors, the process of conscription, the lives of men from named on the Roll of Honour and on the memorials here in the Bowes Museum grounds. There were some that uncovered information in regards to the role that both The Bowes Museum and their own school (then called The North Eastern County School) played in supporting both the local and national war effort.
In bringing the workshops to a close, many students were wanting to know if it was possible to continue using the library and archive space here at the museum throughout the summer holidays – which we of course were delighted to say “Yes!” to – and now as such these students are forming another new group of volunteers, helping to continue the project’s research whilst also completing their pieces of creative writing.