Rolling back the years to memories of wartime

Morpeth's KEVI School pupils were holding a 1940s themed event at the Town Hall and seen at the event are pupils Michael Hedley (left) and Andrew Charlton.
Morpeth's KEVI School pupils were holding a 1940s themed event at the Town Hall and seen at the event are pupils Michael Hedley (left) and Andrew Charlton.

A GROUP of Morpeth students had a barrel of fun as they celebrated the 1940s with a special exhibition.

The event at Morpeth Town Hall was held as part of National Science and Engineering Week.

To go with this year’s theme, communication, King Edward VI School staff asked some of their pupils to explore how people received information and gave messages to each other during the decade, including systems used in the Second World War.

They brought items, photographs and documents from the school archives to the exhibition, played a range of hits from the decade and sold 1940s arts, crafts and recipes they produced themselves.

They also dressed in clothing and uniforms that were common 70 years ago.

Year 12 student Becci Fisher had a family link as she brought along a photo of her great grandparents, who were part of the Army during the Second World War.

“We spent a lot of time in the archives to get the stalls ready so we decided it was only right to dress appropriately for the exhibition and I really enjoyed looking for the right clothes and getting styled,” she said.

Ben Brown, also in Year 12, said: “I have been talking to people about the telephones used in the 1940s and we had a phone on display that was carried around by a field marshal during the war.

“I have really enjoyed listening to music from the era, it’s nice and cheerful.”

Community organisations also took along some interesting items.

John Sadler and his enthusiastic team of Time Bandits displayed guns and other war artefacts, as well as doing mock bomb drill activities with a real air-raid siren and teaching students about the British cypher school at Bletchley Park.

The Morpeth Antiquarian Society showed part of a Heinkel Bomber, Kim Bibby-Wilson provided the field telephone and sheet music and local author Alan Davison exhibited some photographs of Morpeth from the 1940s, as well as old cinema posters.

KEVI has been shortlisted in the national final of this year’s National Science and Engineering Week Awards.

And judge Hema Teji, from the British Science Association, went to see lessons and also dropped in on the exhibition.

“The school has been very inventive with our theme in its lessons and the exhibition is a good example of showing how science and engineering was applied in a period of history,” she said.

Victoria Najafi, Head of Student Voice, Leadership and Enrichment at KEVI, thanked Michelle Chambers at the Head Teacher Hairdressing Salon in Morpeth, who together with KEVI hairdressing students styled the girls’ hair 1940s-style free of charge.

She added: “I was delighted that our event attracted approximately 300 visitors, and we have received many phone calls from the public to say how much they enjoyed it.

“The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and we are very grateful to the many local organisations who supported us and worked very hard in ensuring that the event was a success.

“KEVI Radio also led a fantastic 1940s radio broadcast with music requests from staff led by Mantaqaa Akhtar and Jessica Hall in Year 13.”