VISITORS are invited to Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) on Saturday 30 August to commemorate outbreak of the First World War with a Great Fete in Rougemont and the museum gardens, an embroidered hanging in the courtyard and a new fine art exhibition.
The fete will capture the initial groundswell of patriotic fervour when nobody expected the war to last long and the recruitment of civilians began in earnest.
Visitors will be invited to join in with period songs like Goodbye-ee and We don’t want to lose you (but we think you ought to go) and dance to the romantic strains of the Palm Court Ensemble.
A Sergeant Major will also be there to sign up visitors and introduce them to the realities of military life: examinations, map reading, obstacle courses and agility tests, all presented by Le Navet Bete, an award-winning internationally-touring troupe of clowns based in Devon who specialise in spectacular, high-energy and hilarious shows - Nuts and Volts the Exeter based theatre company, creating fun and imaginative work and Devon Carousel who specialise in bringing wonder and adventure to young children and their families.
With plenty of tea, song and dance, the event promises to be great fun for all ages. The museum will be open late and the free outdoor events run from 4.30 to 7.30pm.
The exhibition features works for the city’s Fine Art collection by Walter Bayes and Muirhead Bone. RAMM’s portrait collection will also be represented by two naval heroes of the Napoleonic era with Devon connections: Admiral Edward Pellew and Captain Charles Proby. Pellew rose to become commander of the Mediterranean fleet and a national celebrity after the Bombardment of Algiers whilst Proby also gave outstanding service in the seven years war and the American war of independence. The exhibition starts 29 August and runs until 4 January 2015.
We Will Remember, a six foot high black and white artwork depicting scenes from the trenches, will also be hung in RAMM’s courtyard.
The creation of artist and embroidery tutor Adrienne Howells, red silk poppies are appliquéd onto banners either side, honouring those who died in the First World War. On display from 29 August to 18 September, poppies will be available for visitors to write the name of a family member who served. Each poppy will be sewn around the main image and all donations will go to support the work of the British Legion.
These events are part of First World War Centenary 2014-18, RAMM’s four-year programme of exhibitions, displays, events and activities focusing on the war’s impact on the people and landscape of the Southwest.
Developed with regional and national partners, the programme examines the wider social and cultural changes that have had a lasting effect on our everyday lives.
It is also part of First World War Centenary, the national partnership of commemorative events: www.1914.org.