Museum appeals for donations of WWII memorabilia for exhibition

PEOPLE were asked to play their part last night in the creation of an exhibition of war memorabilia inspired by a tragic wartime play.

Cork Public Museum appealed to the public to donate any World War II items languishing in their attics which tell the personal story of life in Ireland during the Emergency.

The exhibition will be on display in Cork Opera House during the upcoming production of a new play, Lifeboat. The exhibits will later be added to the museum’s permanent collection.

Museum curator Stella Cherry said: “We hope to gather items that reflect life in Ireland during World War II, and we’re anxious to preserve them before they’re lost forever.

“Just last month someone turned up in my office with two cans of 1940s rations. I’m sure there are loads of other things out there that have a place in the museum. We’re hoping that the public will donate any pertinent materials of the era that remain in personal possession - letters, posters, old newspapers, photographs, clothing, etc.”

Lifeboat is based on the events of September 1940 when a ship set sail from Liverpool for Canada carrying 90 young evacuees away from the relentless bombing of Britain. Four days into the crossing, the ship was torpedoed and sank. Only 11 of the evacuees survived.

Two girls spent 19 terrifying hours in the water on an upturned lifeboat before being rescued. Lifeboat is their extraordinary true story. It opens in the Half Moon Theatre on April 25.

Education and community outreach officer at the Opera House said Jamie Monagan said: “Since I began planning outreach programmes surrounding Lifeboat, I’ve heard all sorts of stories - English cousins being evacuated to Cork during the Blitz, lost RAF planes crashing in Clonakility and Charleville, tea and oranges being a rare treat.

“We’re interested in any items that illuminate those kinds of stories.”

To arrange donation to the museum, contact Stella Cherry on 021-4270679.

Donations can also be accepted at the museum in Fitzgerald’s Park.

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