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People invited to remember major milestones in history

15 November 2018

A series of events exploring the commemoration of key moments of historic significance will take place at a number of venues across Derry and Strabane in the coming weeks.

The programme has been organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Good Relations team working in conjunction with the Tower Museum. Events will focus on the commemorations marking centenaries and semi-centennial anniversaries, particularly around the First World War and the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Civil Rights movement and the beginning of the Troubles.

All the events will feature original collections of memorabilia from the time and document the stories of local people who played a role and whose lives were touched by the conflicts.

The programme rolled out in the Alley Theatre this week, with the unveiling of The Lost exhibition, comprehensively documenting for the first time the details of all those who fought and lost their lives in the First World War from the Strabane area. The exhibition is on display in the Alley Theatre until December 7th.

The first of four special events will begin with a talk by Adrian Beattie from Derry and Strabane Council, titled The Lost Behind the Names on the 20th November at 7pm in the Alley Theatre.

On November 26th Curatorial Assistant from NMNI, Clare Ablett, will give a talk in the Alley Theatre looking at the letters of local World War I veteran Bredin Delap, whose story is captured in a series of poignant correspondence sent during his time in the Navy and in particular the Battle of Jutland. The talk takes place at 7pm and places are free.

In December the focus shifts to the latter half of the 20th century and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights movement. A special tour and creative workshop will take place, focusing on the Speeches Strikes and Struggles exhibition currently on display in the Nerve Visual Gallery at Ebrington. The exhibition features three significant collections of artefacts from the era, combining resources from the Bridget Bond Collection, the Gerry Lynch Collection and the newly acquired Peter Moloney Collection. The tour will begin at 6.30pm on December 6th.

Finally, on December 12th history buffs can enjoy a tour and creative workshop around the Making History 1918 exhibition, which shines a light on that significant year in Irish history through the artefacts, stories and recordings of those who were directly involved in the significant historical events of that year, including the Representation of the People Act, The Armistice and the Spanish Influenza.

Education Officer with the Tower Museum, Ronan McConnell, said everyone was welcome to the events. “Through this series of tours and workshops we really hope to open up these exhibitions to new audiences throughout the community,” he explained.

“These are local stories about local people who have played a role in shaping our own history so it’s important to document them and share them with future generations. Our events are intended to showcase collections and the stories behind them by engaging audiences directly within the exhibition galleries rather than a separate space without interpretation.”

The series is funded by The Executive Office via Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Good Relations Programme. The Making History Exhibition is funded by the Peace IV programme. The PEACE IV Programme is supported by the European Union, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match-funding has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland. The Speeches Strikes and Struggles exhibition is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Collection Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund and was developed in partnership with the Nerve Centre.

All the events are free and everyone is welcome to attend. If you would like to book a place for any of the events please contact [email protected]

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