Earby remembers war centenary with exhibition

An emotional but entertaining experience was had by all who attended Earby’s special war exhibition.

The exhibition was the culmination of months of work by the Earby and District Local History Society funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Pendle, Coun. Graham Roach and Joanne Sagar take a look at the exhibits at the Earby WW1 exhibition.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Pendle, Coun. Graham Roach and Joanne Sagar take a look at the exhibits at the Earby WW1 exhibition.

Hundreds of people poured through the doors of New Road Community Centre on Saturday and Sunday to see memorabilia, photographs, artefacts, posters, display boards, uniforms, weapons, kit, films, audio clips, diaries and much more.

These related to the efforts that men and women made, but dogs and pigeons were also remembered for the roles animals played in the war effort.

There was a performance by Earby Springfield School choir on Saturday morning and re-enactments of life in the trenches and a frontline war nurse in the afternoon.

On Sunday, wartime poems were read out and Earby Brass Band played tunes from the era, including some written for the exhibition, and some by Earby-born cornetist Edwin Firth who’s music career was cut short by his death in the war.

History Society members are proud of their efforts with many positive comments received about the content and presentation of the event.

Chairman Bob Abel said: “I think it was a fantastic weekend from start to finish. We had a lot of interest and input from local people and those not so local.

“We have had so many positive comments, we are still getting them now. We have been amazed by the brilliant response.

“One person was saying it is such a shame that we can’t keep it together as one exhibition for longer because it looks like a professional display.

“The Mayor of Pendle Coun. Graham Roach said a few words and Barry Blood, the Vice President of the Skipton Branch of the Royal British Legion opened the exhibition.

“He is a former Duke of Wellington Regiment man and was based in Halifax. The regiment has a strong connection with West Craven as a lot of men joined it from the area. In some ways it was the local regiment.

“There are too many people to thank for donating artefacts and memorabilia to the exhibition, but to those museums and individuals who did, a big thank you from the society.

“I would also like to thank the Earby Development Group for putting on refreshments and lunches on both days and we are very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

Earby’s commemorations throughout 2014 have been recorded by Barnoldswick’s Reverb Factory to ensure the milestone is not forgotten.

Part of the exhibition will be on display again in New Road Community Centre after the Remembrance Sunday service at Sough Park War Memorial.