It's been a while since I posted about the fragments, this is another project in development but a thought occurred to me today that it wanted to share. If we only look at the surface, how insignificant it can be. What if the surface is revealed, how much can be discovered. Judging the surface of society without looking further can be just as insignificant.
This aerial view shows the position of the crater for anyone wishing to see it for themselves. Park at The Cock Inn in Hanbury, Staffordshire and the crater and memorial is about a 20 minute walk away across the fields. You can just see the outline of the path around it in this image at A. It's a bit muddy at the moment so don't forget your wellies.
It's hard to imagine on a bright spring morning the terrible event that happened nearly 70 years ago. Nature has taken over the once barren landscape and the primroses and violets bloom again. But we shall never forget.
More research today. There have been many articles in newspapers over the years since the explosion but this section from The Uttoxeter Advertiser and Ashborne Times seems quite underplayed in the circumstances. It was two days after the incident on 1913th day of the war. It reports the events as known at the time but even as this was written they were still recovering bodies. It might seem morbid to go over all the reports in so much detail but I feel I can only do the exhibition justice if I know as much as possible. Going to the crater tomorrow and feeling a little apprehensive already.
When I started researching this project I perhaps naively never thought that my enquiries would be met with such enthusiasm but today again proved what a passion there is for keeping these memories alive. Tutbury Museum is small but filled with local history including the Fauld disaster. The Gypsum mine adjacent to RAF Fauld was flooded after the explosion causing many fatalities here is a snapshot of some of the museum's gypsum artefacts. My real purpose here was to explore some of their archives and uncover some more history about the personal losses to local families. I get the feeling that even after all these years, some are reluctant to pass on their memories. They are perhaps still too painful for those who are now in their latter years, and best left forgotten. Rather that some morose regurgitating of historic facts I would like my exhibition to be a proud remembrance of those who lost their lives.
Nearly 70 years ago on 27 November 1944 as huge explosion changed the face of a small village in Staffordshire forever. This is the memorial at the edge of the crater showing the names of those who lost their lives.
In my first solo exhibition I will be reflecting on this disaster and the families affected. Please follow my blog to keep updated with my work as it develops.