The photograph is from the weekend, there are two younger veterans who have seen tours in Northern Ireland, Iraq, Bosnia, Afghanistan and more. They are standing with the author A C Reynolds and many of Steve’s great grandchildren.
Approximately 200 people came through the doors over the 3 days it ran, there were many tears; the exhibition evoked memories and Remembrance weekend evoked emotions as people talked openly about their own family lives and losses, past and present. The book launch and exhibition was a real success, I didn’t bargain on, that I would make some new friends and strong links into the wider community and younger veteran community. I say younger, because the word veteran makes me think of the older white haired folk from the two great wars; however the guys I have met are from their 30’s onwards – each one of them stood at the Coldstream Guards Roll of Honour from 1945 onwards list and showed me their friends who had died whilst in service. It is these young veterans who have really hit a nerve; more to come in a new project…It was smashing to meet some Coldstream Guards. Their Standard Bearer representing Leeds Coldstream Guards at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday brought the standard in with him and educated/scared the wits out of some of the kids!
I sold an amazing 120 books, my target is 200 so if anyone reading this thinks they know someone who might enjoy Grandad’s War and such a wonderful and humbling story, please get in touch. When I packed the last box away into my car on Sunday evening I suddenly thought, ‘I’ve DONE IT.’ And felt quite overwhelmed and really proud of myself, I cheered to myself all the way home and opened a bottle of prosecco when I got in. I still can’t believe I’ve done it. The response I’ve had has been amazing, folk telling me it was wonderful, inspiring, it was really interesting, and people helping, donating their time to help me set up, baking cakes to raise money for the poppy appeal, donating John smiths and bottles of champagne. I have been blessed to have experienced more wonderful things than I bargained for when months and months ago I thought… ‘Do you know what, I’ll exhibit this lot!’
Community does exist and so do good people. Hurray!
I would like to thank all of my friends and family who helped support me in many different ways big and small – nothing goes unnoticed. Peter Laurance Development Director Brigshaw Cooperative Trust for use of the exhibition space. Sarah Hopkinson Community Engagement and Investment Coordinator Keepmoat for 12 x bottles of champagne. Tadcaster Brewery for 3 crates of John Smiths.
Wonderful people – Let Us Move Forward Together! Amanda x