A new exhibition which opens at Wrexham Museum on 21 April is based on the challenge of telling the story of North East Wales in 100 objects.
This exhibition is the culmination of a two year Heritage Lottery Fund project by the North East Wales Heritage Forum, which was set up to celebrate, conserve and promote the rich heritage of the North East Wales borderlands. The Forum brought together community heritage groups across the region and asked them to suggest objects that each represent an aspect of our local history. With the suggestions flooding in, the search was on to track down the recommended items and secure their appearances in this unique exhibition.
“Thousands of years of history”
The final 100 represent thousands of years of history from the first evidence of human life up to the technology of the 21st century. The exhibition divides into six sections
• Early Inhabitants
• Castles and Conflict
• Industrial Innovation
• Travel and Transport
• Religion and Culture
• Everyday Life
The display is an eclectic mix of objects ranging from a prehistoric horse jaw from Gop Cave, arrow heads from Denbigh Castle, a River Dee coracle, the smoking hat of poet John ‘Ceiriog’ Hughes, a copper manilla from Greenfield Valley to the modern day Airbus wing rib.
Students from the Creative Industries Department at Glyndŵr University have been involved in creating audio pieces related to some of the objects.
“Area rich in in both heritage and culture”
Head of HLF Wales, Richard Bellamy, explains why the project was considered important enough to be awarded a Grant: “North East Wales is an area rich in both heritage and culture. This ambitious project is not simply about preserving collections– it’s also about making them meaningful and accessible for people today. With the support from National lottery players, this exciting new exhibition will give people opportunities to learn about, enjoy and become immersed in their unique heritage of which they can be immensely proud.”
“Outstandingly diverse representation of our region’s past”
Dr Shaun Evans, Chairman of the Forum said, “The hundred objects have been selected and grouped to illustrate themes which wind their way through the area’s history. The result is an outstandingly diverse representation of our region’s past, stretching over centuries and including items from every part of our corner of North East Wales. We would invite people living in the area to visit this exhibition and to treat this exhibition as a gateway to further explore and discover our towns and villages, our landscapes, heritage sites and other museums and archives.”
He added, “Many thanks go to all of the groups, organisations and individuals who have allowed us to include items from their collections within the exhibition – without their support this project would not have been possible. We are exceptionally grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for funding the two-year project. We are also delighted to be holding the exhibition at Wrexham Museum, whose team have been wonderful to work with.”
“A real honour for us”
Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the North East Wales Heritage Forum, who represents the many museums, archives, community heritage groups, societies and individuals across the region, for bringing this two year project to an end in Wrexham Museum. It is a real honour for us and I know many people will take full advantage of the wonderful facilities here and pay the exhibition a visit. Well done to all involved.”
The exhibition, which is free of charge, is on display at Wrexham County Borough Museum & Archives from 21 April until 30 June 2018. The exhibition is accompanied by a book The History of North East Wales in 100 Objects that will be available from Wrexham Museum and other local outlets, including The Bookshop in Mold and Ruthin bookshops.