Blackhall History Group looks for community support to remember First World War

Local history buffs will be holding an exhibition of artefacts from the First World War at St Andrew's Church Hall in Blackhall. Pictured, from left, are Stan Gray, Tom Smith, Edwina McGarry, Derek Longly and Harry Archbold.
Local history buffs will be holding an exhibition of artefacts from the First World War at St Andrew's Church Hall in Blackhall. Pictured, from left, are Stan Gray, Tom Smith, Edwina McGarry, Derek Longly and Harry Archbold.

LOCAL history buffs are inviting all sections of the community to join them in commemorating the start of the First World War.

As 2014 is the centenary of the start of the Great War, members of Blackhall History Group are commemorating this historical event.

The group has planned several events which relate to the war, including displays of military and personnel artefacts, posters, displays, leaflets, books, and maps.

The artefacts have been collected by the group over several years.

And the younger generation are also getting involved.

Youngsters from Blackhall Colliery Primary School, St Joseph’s Primary School, in Blackhall, and Hesleden Primary School are helping by supplying the group with posters depicting the war as seen through their eyes, to go on display.

The group researches family history and some members visit the battlefields of France and Flanders, researching cemeteries where long-lost relatives may lie.

Stan Gray, treasurer of the group, said: “We as a history group feel that it is important to remember the sacrifices which were made during the Great War.

“The history of Blackhall in many ways has been influenced by the fact that the start of the Great War almost coincided with the first-ever coal production at the colliery which commenced in 1913.

“In the 100 years which have elapsed since then, we have seen the passing of a generation who experienced that war and who played their part in the early history of Blackhall.”

The exhibition will take place at three venues.

The first takes place tomorrow, from 9am-4pm at St Andrew’s Church Hall, in Hesleden Road, Blackhall.

The second exhibition is being held at Hesleden Primary School, off Church Street, in Hesleden, from 9.30am-4pm on June 12 and the third event will be at Blackhall Library, off Hesleden Road, from 9.30am-4pm on Thursday, July 17.