Mod­ern tech­nol­ogy helps an ex­hi­bi­tion step back in time...

Loughborough Echo - - SHEPSHED SCENE - DAVID GODSALL david.godsall@reach­plc.com

MOD­ERN tech­nol­ogy is be­ing used in a church ex­hi­bi­tion looking to the past which goes on dis­play this week­end.

Last month in the Roth­ley Ceme­tery Chapel the Roth­ley Her­itage Trust launched its new ex­hi­bi­tion ‘Echoes from the Work­house’, telling the story of the pau­per ex­pe­ri­ence in the Bar­row upon Soar Poor Law Union. The Union Work­house opened in Roth­ley in 1840, be­came the Vic­to­rian so­lu­tion to deal­ing with the prob­lem of the poor right through to 1930. It looks at what was it like to be caught up in that sys­tem, and who the peo­ple were who had to rely upon an un­paid Board of Poor Law Guardians for their re­lief.

Guests in­vited to the launch on May 11 were wel­comed by cos­tumed of­fi­cials of the era, the Work­house Mas­ter, the Ma­tron, a fe­male Pau­per and the rov­ing Re­liev­ing Of­fi­cer.

A group of vol­un­teers had care­fully re­searched and imag­ined what the poor law sys­tem was like, and briefed an il­lus­tra­tor who pro­duced twenty stun­ning draw­ings of typ­i­cal in­ter­ac­tions in the sys­tem. They went on to un­cover 20 real life sto­ries of Vic­to­rian peo­ple who sought re­lief in the sys­tem, and the il­lus­tra­tor has drawn a poign- ant image of each per­son. To bring th­ese images to life, an­other group of vol­un­teers have recorded imag­ined voiceovers for each image, each one skill­fully edited into a short video clip.

The Roth­ley Her­itage Trust was awarded £30,600 by the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund to fi­nance the project. Other grants came from the Hames Cot­tages Char­ity and the Helen Cope Char­ity. The fund­ing en­abled the use of a pro­fes­sional mu­seum con­trac­tor, Ver­tigo Cre­ative, to turn the trust’s con­cepts into an ex­hi­bi­tion.

The Work­house Ex­hi­bi­tion is be­ing as­sem­bled in Roth­ley Parish Church as part of the church’s Mid­sum­mer Her­itage Day on Satur­day, June 16, open from 1pm to 5pm. Ad­mis­sion is free, and visi­tors will also be en­ter­tained with hand­bell ring­ing and can en­joy a cream tea.

The ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures a new model of the now de­mol­ished work­house, built from see-through ma­te­rial to al­low visi­tors to see how the classes and gen­ders of in­mates were kept apart.

Sur­round­ing the model is a lav­ishly il­lus­trated 12-panel Dio­rama fill­ing out the poor law story in the Bar­row Union. To com­plete the dis­plays is an in­ter­ac­tive touch-screen mon­i­tor from which visi­tors can hear and see the video clips. It is all beau­ti­fully writ­ten up into a project book of 124 pages, on sale for £9.

The ‘Echoes from the Work­house’ ex­hi­bi­tion is com­ing to Roth­ley Parish Church this week­end.

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