Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Work Munitions worker copy

Munitions worker (photo with permission Ann Kramer).

Out Of The Doll’s House: What did the women do during the First World War?

Following last year’s successful Women’s Pop-Up Museum, Hastings Museum, in conjunction with Women’s Voice, is running an exciting new project that aims to explore all aspects of women’s lives during the First World War. Based at the museum, the project seeks to recreate women’s wartime lives through creative writing and artwork. It kicks off on Tuesday 7 July and will ultimately lead to a pop-up exhibition at the museum in mid-October. Project co-ordinator Ann Kramer explains what it’s all about.

Work on the buses

Work on the buses.

“Many people know something about what the men in their families did during the 1914-18 war, but we know far less about what the women did. What did our grandmothers or great grandmothers do? Were they nurses or land girls? Were they munition workers or secret agents? How did they cope with families and work, while their sons, fathers and husbands were away fighting in the trenches? How did they survive rationing and the loss of their menfolk?

Recruitment poster

Recruitment poster.

“On the project, we’re going to try and find out what we can about what our foremothers did during that so-called ‘Great War’; if possible we will try and unearth family photos, memorabilia, letters, diaries and so on. But where there isn’t any memorabilia, we are encouraging women to empathetically recreate the experiences of women through creative writing, such as diary entries, poems and letters to the Front – and artwork, like knitting, photographs, collages and so on. We will also be exploring and using some of the Museum’s own resources that focus on local women. There is no need for anyone to have family knowledge; they can just come along and help to recreate the women’s experiences. It will be fun and exciting.”

The first session will take place at Hastings Museum on Tuesday 7 July from 10am to 12 noon, when people can meet the facilitators, learn more about the project, bring along any memorabilia they may have and express their particular interests. There will be 10 sessions in all, including creative writing and artwork sessions, culminating with the creation of the pop-up exhibition. The first three sessions are fixed for Tuesday 7, 14 and 21 July, after which the group will fix further dates, according to summer holiday commitments. All sessions are free and tea and coffee will be provided.

For more information or to book a place, please contact Ann on (01424) 429795 or 07904777476 or

Last year's event at the museum

Last year’s event at the museum.





Posted 17:31 Monday, Jun 22, 2015 In: Community Arts

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