This event is held every year in the village of Wray in the Lune Valley. It is an extremely well organised and jolly occasion which attracts visitors from all over the region. Local people show a great deal of creativity and humour by erecting scarecrows, which represent the year’s chosen theme, outside their houses. I did not produce a scarecrow, but placed a small exhibition on the festival field during the final Sunday and Monday of the event. My aim was to share my artefacts and research with the public in order to stimulate interest in and conversations about the Great War and to publicise my military and genealogical research services.
The table was covered in artefacts, documents and food and attracted a lot of interest. I was surprised by the number of former and serving soldiers who stopped to talk, at least two of whom had recently been posted to Afghanistan and Iraq and who openly discussed their sometimes shocking and bloody experiences. Some older men described their lives as National Servicemen and one gentleman talked about his time in the Falklands. My trench biscuits inspired him to tell the story of how he had to burn a huge pile of army biscuits, which contained so much butter that they immediately exploded into a furious conflagration, causing him and his comrades to run away in shock.
Children were attracted to the artefacts, especially the deactivated .303 SMLE dated to 1918 and its bayonet. Boys in particular kept coming back to dress up in the tunic and cap and to hold the rifle. I must have given out about 150 business cards and described my research services to tens of people. I hope that many seeds have been sown and that people will contact me with requests for work.
A reminder of my services:
Great War Ancestral Biographies
General Family History Research
General Historical Research
GCSE and A Level History Tuition
Have a look at the respective pages listed at the top of the screen which describe these services. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you to everybody who showed an interest. Here are some images from the weekend:
I thank the following people for their help:
John Gordon, Simon Carruthers, Dick Forsyth, Alison and Bill Ashby, Sandra Hadwin, Eleri Berry and Evie Baines.