The Great War
Personal Responses by Cheshire Artists

Tuesday 25 February - Monday 7 April
Castle Park Arts Centre
off Fountain Lane
t: 01928 735832
Opening Times:
Monday - Saturday - 10.00am - 4.00pm
Sunday: Gallery 1.00pm to 4.00pm 

Representing personal responses to the conflict, seen through the filter of collective recollection, documentary accounts and family histories. This exhibition by members of Cheshire Artists Network, will be a mixture of painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, photography, film, installation & fine art, textiles & glass.

The Exhibition includes Parlour Games produced as part of a Co-operative Community Fund DAN project.

Castle Park Arts Centre

The Wait - Sam Houston
Cloaked in a Warm Blanket of Quiet - Jo Jenkins

Northwich Guardian Article on related Art of War Lecture on Monday 24 February
Before the Battle - Somme 1916 by William Harold Hutchings
Gas by William Harold Hutchings
 See more of William's Sketches here.
or the complete archive at the Cheshire Archives Office here and here.
Click to see What's On in Cheshire
Thomas Fredrick (Fred) Littler
March 18th 1916
Signed my articles, received my Pay Book and made my Will. Ie. In the event of my death I leave the whole of my property and effects, to be disposed of by my mother as she thinks best, Sarah Ellen Littler, 41 Flower Street, Castle, Northwich, Cheshire, Signed Thomas F Littler, 2795, Cheshire Regiment.

October 1st 1916
We advanced again along with the French who were in touch with us on our right, we took four lines of trenches from the Germans, captured Combles and I sustained a severe cut on the leg with barbed wire, and it bled badly but I had to carry on.

April 25th 1917
I left hospital and went home on ten days sick leave and I started courting Kate Barlow of 21 Park St, Castle. She had written to me in hospital, and my leg was on the bad side the whole time.

November 6th 1918
Feel worse, and my temperature has risen to 103.2, and my complaint is called the 'Flue' which is raging over the whole of Europe, in the afternoon I was put on the 13th Ambulance Train and conveyed via Ypres, Poperinghe and Hazebrouck to Boulogne, placed on a car and taken to the 54th General Hospital at Wimereux, arriving here at 6a.m, the train stopped, many times on the way to hand out men who had died on the journey.

November 11th 1918
We had news in hospital that the enemy had pleaded for an armistice and that terms had been handed to him, which he accepted as armistice terms, and he is thoroughly beaten, it is a day of rejoicing and everybody seems happy and glad, bands are playing outside and guns firing salutes, but I feel too ill to take much interest in it.

February 8th 1919
Arrived at Prees Heath at 3a.m and handed in kit and rifle at 5a.m, got all my papers by 6a.m, had breakfast and boarded the train at 11a.m for Crewe, waited for a train at Crewe, got to Northwich at 6p.m, home at last.

February 9th 1919
Months leave started today.

February 10th 1919
Put on my civilian clothes.

February 24th 1919
Started work at Brunner Mond and Co.s Winnington.

March 9th 1919
Months furlough expires today.

June 28th 1919
Peace was signed at Versailles (France) at 3-12p.m.

Read more of the Wartime Diary of Thomas Fredrick (Fred) Littler here and  here.

Troops Returning From the Front 1917 by Sir Muirhead Bone
Erecting Aeroplanes 1918 by Sir Muirhead Bone
Dead Tank by Sir Muirhead Bone
Piccadilly Circus by Night by Sir Muirhead Bone
 Find out more about War Artist Sir Muirhead Bone (buried in Whitegate Cemetery) here.

Click here to see World War 1 Memorial Book
from St Helen's Church, Northwich
Contains names, ranks, regiment, service numbers, civilian addresses and date of death of all 294 from the Parish of St Helen Witton who died in the First World War.

Click to launch the full edition in a new window
Online Publishing from YUDU

J9962 Joseph Wilkinson of 24 Bond Street, Winnington, Northwich was born on 21 January 1894. He was a telegraphist on HMS D2, a submarine commissioned in 1911. It took part in the Battle of Heligoland Bight on 28 August 1914, but was rammed and sunk by a German Patrol Boat on or about 25 November 1914, with no survivors. He is one of 5 lads from Bond Street who were killed in WWI.

Order your free BBC/Open University Booklet here.

Click here for more details and how to purchase a copy.

Northwich Heritage Society publications on World War 1 here.

 Search 5 million Military Records here (subscription required).

Art of War Lecture plus CAN Great War Artworks on display
IWM Film of The Cheshire Regiment here.

Diverse Narratives of WW1 by Chester University here.

First World War Journal (Northwich) here.

Print and Painting Sale

There is a sale of paintings and prints at the VAC Gallery in Brunner Court.
The works are by Philip Dobson and Patti Harrild.
Click on the images to enlarge.

Patti Harrild - "Sheep" (watercolour) - £12.00 - SOLD

Patti Harrild - "Folk Singers" (collograph) - £25.00
Click image to purchase any of the above online.

Pinhole Camera Workshop

Pinhole Camera Workshop held at the VAC Gallery on Tuesday 18 February, and run by Emma Thackham. Some of the best attempts are shown here - a couple of Northwich's familiar landmarks (using a pinhole camera made from a tin coffee caddy which cost £2.45 from PoundStretcher). Alan, Dave, Christiane, Tom, Ethan & Emma all made cameras and got great results.

Regal Cinema by Alan Carr

Town Bridge by Alan Carr
Town Bridge Reversed by Alan Carr

Brunner Court by Christiane Zwerg
Brunner Court Reversed by Christiane Zwerg

Emma and Tom

Emma and Ethan

Cheshire Artists Network/Blaze Poetry Workshop

During the Mid-Cheshire Poetry Society workshop (Blaze), held in the VAC Gallery on Monday 3 February, some of the members wrote poems inspired by the artworks.

IVORY inspired by Michael Troy’s ‘Bull Elephant’

Ivory, better
in Elephants while
alive, than statues alone
and dead

by John S Davies

PERSPECTIVE inspired by Sue Malkin’s  ‘Blue Skye’

From far
the mountains
look small, and the tiny
waves, lapping at the shore line
look huge.

by John S Davies

THE TREE inspired by Ann Johnson’s ‘Tatton Tree’

Ice dream
Stardust on tree
A bell chimes then o’clock
Winter moon shines through icicles
Tree sleeps.

by Maureen Weldon

DIAMONDS SQUABBLE inspired by Sam Houston’s ‘Deflect’

House looms.
Lantern patchwork.
Orange lines, rusted string.
Dull diamonds, black, squabble in fog.
Face bruised.

by Edwin Stockdale

SUMMER HEDGEROW inspired by Ann Roach’s ‘Summer Hedgerow’

stems, stalks and leaves:
haphazard shelter
for any bird, bug or flying creature
to hide.

Sun’s eye
and predator alike
excluded now
from this close thatched haven

Thorn and bramble
keep out
careless interfering hands
until ripening blackberries

violets, cow-parsley
and buttercups scatter here
striping the hedge with colours

Hot sun
brings out the scent
a green spice of leaves
the contented buzz of insects

Within the hedge
little paths zigzag
and twist, rising to different levels.
Inhabitants descend,

by Angela Topping 

More information on the CAN Exhibition here.

More information on Blaze events here.

New .gallery domain name

Thursday 13 February sees the launch of the new .gallery domain name extension.

Try out

Wire Bird Workshop

Results of the Wire Bird workshop at the VAC Gallery run by Jill Walker on Monday 10 February.