2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,700 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Marking the Christmas Truce at St Hilda’s Church, Hartlepool.

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St Hilda's



St Hilda’s Church, the parish church of The Headland, Hartlepool plays host to numerous Christmas Trees, each decorated by a community group, including young people from Throston Youth Club.  Designs include screen printed envelopes containing first hand accounts from soldiers who took part in the Christmas Truce.  Provided by  the Martin Luther King Peace Committee, the text references the peace campaigns leading up to outbreak of war.  The envelopes reference the letters wrote home to family and friends by the soldiers.  A soldier from Gateshead, writing a letter on Christmas Day to a friend in Low Fell wrote:

“Last night the Germans lit up their trenches and started calling across merry Christmas. We responded in the same way and then we started singing songs to one another, carols etc. All shooting had stopped. We walked about the tops of the trenches and called out to one another. Then some of our chaps walked out and met some of the Germans half way, wishing each other a merry Christmas, shook hands and said they would not fight today.” 

The hand made decorations designed by young people from Throston Youth Centre respond to these first hand accounts with printed Christmas gifts, symbolising the exchange of cigarettes and choclate between the so called enemy soldiers.

Open Studios event brings Mail art in and Mail art out.

theresa easton

oos2014 2Ouseburn Open Studios 2014 this year has a been a great way to engage the public in a First World War Trench Art & Mail Art project with the visiting public.  Exhibiting the work of local trench art collector Judy Sunter alongside the work of Mail Artists from around the world and the work of young people from Hartlepool has been an engaging and informative opportunity to share the ideas behind the project. The Mail Art on display includes recent work from young people in Ratzeburg, Germany, working alongside Artist Siobhan Tarr.

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The young people in Germany have received Mail Art from young people from Hartlepool exploring aspects of the First World War that have include Trench Art, the bombardment of Hartlepool, the Christmas Truce, women in the war and propaganda posters.

oos2014 4The project will be on show again at the event Hartelpool Remembered: Legacies of the Bombardment 11th…

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Blicke in die Ausstellung

I have been fortunate enough to be given a piece of Dieter’s glass, Lamberts Glass, Germany, to alter and represent as part of the Hartlepool Rembered – Legacies of the Bombardment event 11th December, when Dieter will be returning to the North East with a special reconciliation exhibition for the event. Looking forward to it!


Hartlepool Art Gallery
Generations: Warships into Friendships
Works by artists Dieter Löchle and Gavin Mayhew
Saturday 12th July to Saturday 30th August 2014

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Fotos: Dieter Löchle

(Ich weiß, die Werbung hier unten nervt. Und ich kann nicht einmal entscheiden, was hier gezeigt wird.)

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Public Lecture: Collecting Stories of the First World War: Europeana 1914-1918 and The Oxford Community Collection Model (24 April 2014)

Digital Histories: Advanced Skills for Historians

with Alun Edwards (Oxford University Academic IT Services)

Date: 24 April 2014

Start: 17.30

Venue: Northumbria University, Newcastle, City Campus East, CCE1-003

Postcard sent from NewcastleImage © Jennifer Bangs via The Great War Archive, University of Oxford www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa Postcard sent from Newcastle. Image © Jennifer Bangs via The Great War Archive, University of Oxford http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa

In this public lecture, Alun Edwards (Oxford University Academic IT Services) will present some of the most remarkable findings from the Europeana 1914-18 collection from all over Europe including items from Newcastle and the North East. For years, community groups, libraries, museums and archives all over Europe have collected the largest available collection of items relating to the First World War. The result of this enormous collective effort are over 400,000 digitised images of artworks, photographs and official documents as well as over 650 hours of films from museums, libraries and archives from across Europe (including The Imperial War Museum and the British Library). All of which are now freely available…

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In memory of the 3.700,000 Women Munitionettes

Siobhan Tarr presents a thought provoking response with her mosaic like homage to the 3.700,000 women who entered the Workforce during WW1 including those who worked at the National Shell Filling Factory Number 9 on the outskirts of Banbury.

Siobhan Tarr, Germany

Siobhan Tarr, Germany

”Risking their health and their lives, working in munitions factories, women were often called canary girls. because of their yellow skin – the result of repeated exposure to TNT.  Some even gave birth to yellow canary babies.”

Siobhan Tarr will  work with a group of young people in Lauenburg in Germany, as part of a interdisciplinary history / art project, initiated in 2012 by the Heimatbund und Geschichtsverein Herzogtum Lauenburg  (Lauenburg native and historical society) and its co-operation partner Lauenburg Art Association.  This year the young people will be investigating Volkstrauertag and the questions it raises. This is the annual German national day of mourning, commemorating those from all countries, military and civilian, who have died either in or as a result of armed conflicts. They will look at the theme of WW1 local stories, interviewing old people and looking into local archives and records etc. Using the information they collect and with reference to their own place in this legacy, the youths in Lauenburg will work from a German perspective in an attempt to relay this to the young people of Hartlepool and beyond using Mail art.  For young people worldwide, it is an excellent opportunity to actively share differing perspectives and interpretations in regard to the legacy of war. Siobhan Tarr

Siobhan Tarr3


Otto Sherman,  is a prolific maker of Stamp Art, medals and cancellation art, with sometimes contradictory sinister and playful motifs reoccurring in his work.  He has forwarded on pages of Stamp art that I will pass onto the young peopl in Hartlepool to use – when the time comes!  And include in my own Mail Art prodcutions.

Otto Sherman

Otto Sherman


Otto Sherman

Otto Sherman




Throston Youth Centre Young People Create their own Mail Art

First Mail art out from Throston

First Mail art out from Throston by John

Throston Youth Centre in Hartlepool played host to a mini-taster session in making Mail Art Monday evening 27th January.

This year marks 100 years since the Bombardment of Hartlepool , Whitby and Scarborough. The Heugh Gun Battery based at the Headland, remains a  physical reminder of WW1.  Many of the young people taking part in yesterday’s taster session had visited the Battery during school visits. Although memories were a bit rusty,  a few young people remembered the recreated trench at the Battery as well as the dug outs.

Ryan's Mail Art out heading off to Spain very soon

Ryan’s Mail Art out heading off to Spain very soon

This international and national Mail Art project provides the opportunity for discussion and reflection on the first WW1 with young people. It is an opportunity to revisit  part of their local history, explore the social history and re-present the findings to an international audience using Mail Art techniques.

Johns contribution

Johns contribution

The techniques used in last nights sessions were quick, simple and engaging. We used old wooden type to print out text, cut up pictures, maps, articles and ephemera, associated with WW1 and Hartlepool.  The aim of the project is to encourage the young people to make their own enquiry into their heritage, with support  from Heritage partners such as the Heugh Gun Battery and Beamish, the Youth Service staff  & volunteers in Hartlepool and Theresa Easton.


Some of the young participants completed Mail Art, ready to be posted out to one of the many national and international participants in this project.  John’s Mail Art will be flying through the air very soon heading for the warmer climate of South Africa.  Ryan’s decorative Mail Art has less of a journey, heading to Spain.


Each envelope contains a piece of Mail Art referencing aspects of WW1 and will include a short note written by Theresa Easton providing the participant with information about the project and Hartlepool.  Thanks to all those who took part and printed a whole array of Hartlepool based Mail Art ready to be posted off!