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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Appeal to help Carlisle museum's war effort

Relics from the 1940s will help visitors to a new museum take a step back in time.

Carlisle museum display photo
More items like these already on display would be welcomed

The King’s Own Royal Border Regiment Museum is looking to recreate a room dedicated to World War Two in its new museum building in Carlisle.

Assistant curator Tony Goddard is now appealing for people to search their attics and store cupboards for household mementoes from this period for its Home Front exhibition.

Mr Goddard said: “We want to give an idea of what life was like on the home front.

“We want visitors to be able to walk through somebody’s room from that period. There’ll be mannequins, radios, a shop-front window – things that give the sense and appearance of that time.”

The KORBR museum is currently based in Queen Mary’s Tower at Carlisle Castle, but is in the process of relocating to the castle’s larger Alma Block.

The move was made possible thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £1.43m awarded to the museum last year.

Mr Goddard said: “The new building is much larger than where we are now which means there is so much more we can do.

“We are hoping to start the project in about May and expect it to take six or seven months. We certainly want it up and running this time next year.”

The museum currently has a large range of memorabilia, with some of its collection dating back 300 years.

Mr Goddard added: “Most of the World War One stuff is popular with visitors. We have a section of a trench including items the soldiers would carry around with them, like cigarette tins and other bits of equipment.”

The museum features exhibits and records of the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment – now amalgamated into the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment – as well as covering a number of volunteer army regiments from the history of Cumbria.

The new premises are four times the size of the current home and will give historians the chance to display a wider range of features and material, many of which are in storage at present.

New features will be a rebuilt glider used by the regiment during World War Two, and five original VC medals awarded to local soldiers.

Other military treasures include 25,000 photographs, personal diaries of soldiers on the front line. A new research centre will also be set up, where photographs and archival information can be examined and digitised by volunteers.

To arrange to drop off items for the Home Front exhibition, phone 01228 532774.

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