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Stratford Armouries to re-open

Part of the new Churchill exhibition at Stratford Armouries
Part of the new Churchill exhibition at Stratford Armouries

Stratford Armouries Museum and Visitor Centre is set to re-open this spring with a brand new exhibition focussing on Winston Churchill and a host of other new features.

The museum, which is based in Pathlow near Stratford, has been closed for around a year, but is set to reopen on 1 May, following refurbishment.

Last May the armouries was forced to sell a number of items in an effort to raise money to ensure its long-term future.

At the time the museum announced that it would refocus on the English Civil War and the First and Second World Wars.

When the museum re-opens the tail section of a Second World War Wellington bomber, a unique collection of antique firearms from the Balkans and a collection of items related to the SAS will be put on display.

It will also include an exhibition on Tipu Sultan, who ruled the Indian Kingdom of Mysore in the 18 Century, curated by Warwick University PHD student Holly Winter.

The Churchill exhibition explores his life from childhood through to his time as Prime Minister and beyond, using exhibits and information boards.

It looks at his specific role and actions during the Second World War, and takes a more playful look at his many hobbies such as his love of art and painting.

James Wigington curator of Stratford Armouries, said: “The exhibition on Tipu Saltan is something that is close to my family’s hearts because my brother wrote the definitive book on Tipu Sultan’s firearms.

“The new collections are very exciting, we have made them more user friendly and we have redecorated and refurbished the museum.

“We chose to focus on Winston Churchill because of our connections with the Second World War here, being on a former airfield. The collection has come from a man called Jack Darrah, who is a friend of the Churchill family and includes books, photos, polo equipment, ceramics, paintings and silver.

“Churchill is on the school curriculum internationally and we are hoping to welcome school children from across the world to the armouries. We have permission to build a number of log cabins at the site and hopefully in the future they might choose to stay here.

“I’m excited about all the new exhibitions to be honest, our exhibition on the SAS is very interesting and the collection has never been shown before.”

On Friday 29 April at 7pm, prior to the grand reopening of the armouries on 1 May, Holly Winter will be conducting a talk about Tipu Sultan at the venue.

If you are interested in attending call James Wigington on 07909525782.

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