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August 23, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Third Apley Archive Exhibition – Wed 27 Aug

Officers lying in grass in shade of tree, compressedI’ve spent most of yesterday preparing the Third Apley Archive Exhibition, which will be launched in The Creamery Café at Apley Farm Shop on Wed 27 Aug, 6-7.30pm. It’s free & open to everyone. Do bring along on the night anything you’re happy to have scanned in & share with others. I’ve been chatting to the sources of the photos, to find our more detail, which always makes the exhibition more interesting for visitors. From that, I create the labels to go with each photo & then the catalogue. I’ve just finalised the photo albums containing copies of all the photos which will displayed, which will be on sale. There is still lots to do, such as inviting those without email, finalising the slideshow & of course, hanging the new photos.

There are 3 things which make this exhibition special:

  1. I’m bringing a copy of AW Foster’s First World War diary, which I discovered almost by accident. It is typed out, beautifully leather bound & ends on the day he was hit (‘I was hit’) in May 1915.
  2. It’s really 4 exhibitions in 1 as visitors can also view the photos included in the First & Second Exhibitions in presentation folders & the photos & documents I’ve prepared for the Fourth Exhibition (if there is sufficient interest !) in a slideshow.
  3. I have included some very special, personal images taken by AW Foster himself (last Foster to live at Apley Park) during the first year of the First World War, before he was injured in May 1915 & before cameras were banned – my favourite of which is right here. It’s the contrast of the blissful scene – officers (obviously AWF’s friends) relaxing in the grass on a summer’s day – & the horrors we know they then faced, about which we now know, but at the time they could not have possibly imagined. Its’ quite probable few or none of them returned home. I especially like the man in the foreground playing with the dog.

As in previous exhibitions, there are also Apley Walled Garden documents, some Apley farming images, Norton residents & activities, Norton properties, the River Severn & Apley Bridge. There are sketches & maps of the industrial landscape at Wren’s Nest, some Foster family portraits & drawings of the Governor’s House, 18 East Castle Street, Bridgnorth where the Apley Estate Office is housed.

As with the first & second exhibitions, this one will run for 3 months until approximately 27 Nov.

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