Alley Arts and Conference Centre
The Alley Arts and Conference Centre is a state of the art theatre complex, art gallery and conference centre based in the heart of Strabane, County Tyrone.
Offering top class entertainment, arts development and conference facilities, the Alley Arts and Conference Centre is now recognized as one of the leading arts and conference venues within the North West of Ireland.
The Alley Arts and Conference Centre Box Office and Visitor Information Centre is open Monday - Saturday 10am - 4.30pm and one hour before evening performances until 9.30pm
The Alley Art Gallery is open Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm and on evenings of performances
Box Office & Visitor Information Centre:
Telephone: 028 71 384444
Website and to book tickets: www.alley-theatre.com
1a Railway Street
A thought-provoking exhibition of photographic portraits, artefacts and personal effects from First World War Soldiers local to Strabane and the surrounding area.
The Alley Theatre Art Gallery, until 28th October, 2016
Death, filth, rats and lice. Life in the trenches of the western front during WW1 was one of unbelievable horror, which no person could begin to imagine. Compare that with a set of portraits showing young men in crisp clean uniforms and bright confident expressions; eager to take part in the adventure ahead.
Herbert Cooper was a typical small town photographer operating in Strabane during the early 20th Century. His studio on the Railway road was the setting for engagement portraits, weddings, christenings, first communions, the standard everyday trade of a local photographer. The coming of the First World War in 1914, provided him with a new set of subjects for his lens; Soldiers.
The soldiers and their families on display in the exhibition have no names. The original glass plate negatives are stored in the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, however the identities of the sitters have been lost to us, they have almost become ghosts. Perhaps these were local lads, who lived close enough to Coopers studio to allow them to pose with family members and wanted to preserve the moment before they went off on what seemed to be a big adventure, their faces full of enthusiasm and their new uniforms pristine. To supplement the portraits the exhibition include facsimiles of the wartime recruitment posters in Ireland which may have
helped sway the minds of young people towards enlisting for “The War To End All Wars”.
Letters and effects from a young man from Artegarvan, Bobby Pollock,lend a very personal slant on the conflict.
‘We have no information at all on these people, there are a wide variety of regimental insignia including Canadian and Australian alongside the Irish regiments’, says Adrian Beattie, Curator of The Alley Theatre Art Gallery. He continues, ‘Even though a century has passed sometimes through a stroke of luck the faded image sparks recognition and their story can be completed. If you recognise any of the soldiers or their family once you have viewed the exhibition, please speak to a member of staff at The Alley Reception, your information will be extremely welcome.’
The exhibition GHOSTS was made possible with the help of Joy Carey and the Reprographics Department of The Public Records Office of Northern Ireland.
The Alley Art Gallery is open Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm and on evenings of performances. Entrance is free.
For further information please call The Alley Theatre Art Gallery on +44 (0) 28 7138 4444 (Box Office), or visit http://www.alley-theatre.com/exhibitions/