The Weardale Museum


Hotts, Ireshopeburn, Bishop Auckland, DL13 1HD

01388 517433

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Finishing Soon - August 4th - 12th

Weardale Festival 2018

Weardale at War Exhibition in St Thomas' Church, Stanhope

This year's Festival will commemorate the centenary of the end of the Great War and the many Weardale men and women who served in the armed forces and at home.


An exhibition and series of talks will look at many aspects of the War including life at home, war memorials, trench art, the role of women and stories of individuals


Venue - St Thomas Church, Stanhope


Exhibition open each day from 1.30pm 


Saturday 4                  Opening at 2 pm with Anita Atkinson.  

                                 The Wear at War film,                                                6.30pm,


Sunday 5                     Family History specialists to help you with your enquiries 1.30


Evening Talks 6.30pm


Monday 6                    Gertrude Bell by  Mark Jackson                                    6.30pm


Tuesday 7                   NE War Memorials by Janet Brown                               6.30pm


Wednesday 8               Trench Art by Andrew Marriot                                     6.30pm


Thursday 9                  Stanhope in the Great War by John Backhouse             6.30pm


Friday 10                     Prisoners of War by Rob Young                                   6.30pm




Saturday 11                 Family History specialists to help you with your enquiries 1.30


Sunday 12                   Closing evensong and rededication of roll of honour        5pm




Anita Atkinson


We are pleased to welcome Anita Atkinson to open our Weardale Festival this year. Anita was not born into royalty but has become the U.K.'s queen of royal memorabilia with over 6000 items in her collection. Often featured on TV channels across the world she is better known to us as Anita at the Weardale Gazette.


Dr Mark Jackson


Mark is the co-curator and guardian of the Gertrude Bell Photographic Archive at Newcastle University,  In 1915 Gertrude Bell was invited to join the newly formed Arab Bureau in Cairo. Here she worked alongside Middle East specialists, including T.E. Lawrence, in attempts to destabilise the Ottoman Empire and encourage an Arab uprising.



Janet Brown


Janet is Life President of the Association of Northumberland Local History Societies.   She wrote a book on the history of her village of Ulgham and has edited several books for the Morpeth Antiquarian Society.  Her biggest project over the past thirty years has been the recording of war memorials in Northumberland and Durham.  


With a wonderful group of helpers, a total of 4,838 memorials has been listed on the website 


Andrew Marriott


After a 30 year career in the Army Andrew studied Archaeology at York University. His present project with Newcastle University and Beamish Museum has involved the study of First World War trench art comprising souvenir artefacts made from recycled munitions and other war-related material. Andrew invites listeners to bring along their own examples of trench art for him to talk about.


Dr John Backhouse


Dr John Backhouse of Ireshopeburn and now living in Wolsingham has since his retirement taken a keen interest in local history. His talk "Stanhope in the Great War" will concentrate on what he has found from local council records about was happening on the 'home front' between 1914-20, include refences to Frosterley and the upper dale.


Dr Rob Young


Rob was born in Shildon and now lives in Stanhope. He studied for his BA degree in

Archaeology at University College Cardiff and his PhD at Durham University.  He was the Archaeologist for the Northumberland National Park Authority and latterly he was Historic England’s Inspector of Ancient Monuments for the North-East Region. Rob will talk about POWs and the three camps that were situated in Weardale.


Kate Gill and Ken Heatherington


Between them Kate and Ken have more than 50 years experience in studying family history and helping people conduct research into their own family trees. They will be available on Sunday 5th, Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th with their resources and computers to help people with their enquiries.

St John's Chapel war memorial soldier