Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Eden Camp: "The People's War 1939 - 1945"

Millennium souvenir brochure of Eden Camp museum
For additional information click on 'Comments' below. 


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

The origins of Eden Camp

Eden Camp, North Yorkshire is a modern history theme museum dedicated to telling the story of WW2. It pays tribute to everyone involved in the "People's War" of 1939 - 1945: civilians on the British Home Front as well those who served in the Armed Forces. This award-winning museum opened in 1987 and since then has won many accolades. The photograph seen above shows the front cover of the millennium souvenir guide to the museum.

Eden Camp is based at a former WW2 prisoner of war camp on the outskirts of Malton, North Yorkshire. Work on the P.O.W. camp began in 1942 and originally accommodated mainly Italian prisoners of war. Towards the end of 1943 there was a temporary change in the camp's use. The P.O.W.s were moved out and Polish troops preparing for the invasion of N.W. Europe which began in June 1944. The camp was again turned back into a P.O.W. camp, this time for German prisoners of war, from the summer if 1944 until early 1949.

In 1949 the camp was initially used to house 'Displaced Persons' from mainland Europe, secondly as an agricultural holiday camp and then as a Government depot (Ministry of Agriculture). the site was returned to its original owners in 1955. The site had a variety of uses for about 20 years when the British compound part of the site was sold to Derwent Cast Stone (later to become Russell's Farm Machinery).

Development of the "People's War (1939-1945)"

In 1985 local businessman Steve Johnson bought the remainder of the site intending to develop it as a crisp manufacturing plant (i.e. potato chips). Around the same time a number of former Italian P.O.W.s asked permission to look round where they had lived during the war. It was from this request that the rethink about the future of the site developed. Henceforth, Eden camp would be developed as a museum to tell the story of WW2.

Eden Camp first opened to the public as a museum on 21 March 1987. At that time there were 10 huts (numbered 1 - 10) telling the story of the war through the use of sight, sound and smell, covering the main campaigns of the war and the Home Front. Gradually, the number of exhibits were extended, as indicated below:

1990 - 1995: Huts 24 - 29 were opened in stages ("... a museum within a museum")
[i.e. covering the year-by-year military and political events of the war]

1992: Construction and opening of a 'prefab', a "Dig for Victory" garden and a memorial garden
[i.e. to show how immediate post-war housing developed]

2000: Hut 13 redesigned to deal with all post-WW2 wars and conflicts
[i.e. to tell the personal stories after 1945]

2001: Hut 11 opened to tell the story of WW1 and Hut 18 refurbished and expanded as a 'War News Reading Room'
[i.e. Hut 18 features the front page of a newspaper from every day of the war]

2002: Hut 10 refurbished to display P.O.W. artefacts from around the world.

2006: Opening of a new 'Medal Room' to display the collection of war medals
[i.e. to tell the personal stories behind the medals displayed]

2009: Hut 22 redeveloped for a 'Forces Reunion'
[i.e. a display of the growing collection about Armed Forces personnel]

Wednesday, 30 July, 2014  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Areas of historical interest covered by Eden Camp

These are the main areas of historical interest covered by Eden Camp and the building at the camp for each theme:

(1) The Rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party - Hut 1
(2) The Home Front - Hut 2
(3) The U-boat Menace - Hut 3
(4) "Britain Prepares" - Hut 4
(5) The Blitz - Hut 5
(6) Eden Camp 'Music Hall' - Hut 6
(7) The Street at War - Hut 7
(8) Women at War - Hut 8
(9) Bomber Command - Hut 9
(10) Prisoners of War from around the world - Hut 10
(11) World War I
(12) The Junior Mess Hut / 'Green Howards' display - Hut 12
(13) Post-WW2 wars and conflicts - Hut 13
(14) Rest Room facilities (Toilet block) - Hut 14
(15) Gift Shop - Hut 15
(16) "Prisoner's Canteen" (Cafe) - Hut 16
(17) "Officers Tea Room" (Cafe) - Hut 17
(18) "War News Reading Room" - Hut 18
(19) The Garrison Cinema Bar (Licensed Bar) - Hut 19
(20) Auxiliary Fire Service (A.F.S.) and the 'Bevin Boys' - Hut 20
(21) Civil Defence - Hut 21
(22) "Forces Reunion"
(23) The 'Cookhouse' - Hut 23
(24) 1919 - 1940 - Hut 24
(25) 1941 - Hut 25
(26) 1942 - Hut 26
(27) 1943 - Hut 27
(28) 1944 - Hut 28
(29) 1945 - Hut 29

In the 'prefab' can be found exhibitions on the following themes:
Royal Naval Patrol Service (R,N.P.S.) - Mess Hut 1
Human Torpedoes - Mess Hut 2
Italian Human Torpedoes - Mess Hut 3

Part of the site has a selection of military vehicles and hardware.


Thanks to Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum for details about the museum.

Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum,
North Yorkshire,
YO17 6RT

For more information about Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum, click on the following link to the museum's website:
Eden Camp (website)

Wednesday, 30 July, 2014  

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