Ellen Atkinson enjoys the weekend's activities at the Sir John Moore Heritage Centre. © Mel Atkinson
Villagers in Appleby Magna in Derbyshire were invited to a wartime extravaganza at the Sir John Moore Heritage Centre on Saturday May 17 as part of Museums and Galleries Month 2008.
‘Appleby During the War’ is a new exhibition showing what life was like in the 1940’s as the school building was transformed into the local Home Guard headquarters.
Built in 1697, the grade I listed building welcomed 120 people through its doors to see photographs and exchange memories from days of old.
“Everybody seemed to really enjoy it, especially the tank rides around the village. Even the 120 portions of traditional rabbit stew went down well,” said Deana Morris, manager of the Heritage Centre.
For the price of £5 visitors were treated to food and entertainment, which came in the form of Jill Daniels who impersonated Dame Vera Lynn.
Visitors were encouraged to dress to impress and dance the night away until the event came to an end at midnight. The following Sunday was more family orientated and kids played educational games - and climbed around on the tanks.
Sir John Moore was an entrepreneur who commissioned designer Christopher Wren to create a school for his local village.
For more information about the Sir John Moore Foundation, the Heritage Centre, and forthcoming events log on to www.sirjohnmoore.org.uk or contact Deana Morris on 01530 273629.
Phillipa Davies is one of our three Renaissance East Midlands arts writers, reporting on MGM 2008 events all over the region for the whole month of May. Renaissance is the groundbreaking initiative to transform England's regional museums, led by MLA, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council