Salford Museum & Art Gallery remembers World War One: Lark Hill Place 1918

18th December 2017

This January there will be a temporary change to Salford Museum & Art Gallery's much-loved Victorian street, Lark Hill Place. For one year only, as part of the programme of World War One commemorations, the museum will be changing the street's theme setting from 1897 to 1918 to illustrate how World War One changed life in Salford.

To accommodate the changeover, Lark Hill Place will be closed during January 2018 and will re-open on Tuesday 6th February 2018. The museum, cafe and galleries will all be open as usual.

Narrative

World War One has come to Lark Hill Place bringing change for all the inhabitants. In 1918, the families and shopkeepers have endured 4 years of war - constant worry for loved ones at the front, caring for those who have returned wounded from the trenches, enduring shortages and by mid 1918 coping with the threat of the 'Spanish Lady' influenza epidemic that was to kill over 50 million people worldwide.

Changes have come about in the form of new voting legislation, dramatically different opportunities for women, and men returning from a war that was unimaginable compared with the small world of the local streets they had previously inhabited. We see the start of changes in the strict class structures of the previous century and also in how women's roles are viewed.

The shops and houses of Lark Hill Place tell the story of this journey to Armistice Day on the 11th November 1918, when the end of the 'war to end all wars' finally comes to Salford.

Objects

Here are a few objects that will be shown in the street from February next year, all helping to tell the story of 'Lark Hill Place: 1918'.

  • MaskFirst Aid Case - We have two of these Boots first aid cases in the collection and one is still full of the original medical supplies! One case will go on display in the chemist and the other in our new medical office. Many families were sending items such as bandages and iodine to their loved ones on the front line.
  • WW1 'Splatter Mask' - This 'splatter mask' was worn by tank crews in World War One to protect the face from flying fragments. Sight and breath must have been incredibly restricted from inside these masks. This item will be on display in the convalescence home where it will act as a soldier's momento. It will also serve as a startling juxtaposition amongst the rich decoration of the room and in doing so will remind us of the horrors that many of these soldiers faced before returning home.
  • Ostrich Feather Fans - This ostentatious feather fan will also go in the pawn shop to demonstrate that people were living more simply. It was seen as incredibly unpatriotic to wear extravagant dress.
  • Photographs of Women in Work - With the men away at war, many women took up work in order to help with the war effort. Here we have some photographs from the collection of women in uniform. This would have been the first time that many women would have worn trousers and overalls, let alone gone out to work in a factory!Heritage Lottery Fund

The street will be closed during January 2018 for the changeover and re-open on Tuesday 6th February. The museum, cafe and galleries will be open as usual, only Lark Hill Place will be closed in January. The street will return to 1897 in 2019. 

The project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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