Opened in 1989, the Wartime Watton Exhibition was conceived after two very successful weekend exhibitions in the Clock Tower in the High Street. The exhibits came from the personal collections of the organisers at the time and also exhibits that we begged and borrowed. Initially housed in Barrack Block 25 (the Education Block), after a couple of years we moved to the Old Guard Room where we also had a very realistic air raid simulation and visiting school children could experience being held in a cell.
When the disposal of the site was imminent we moved a gain to our final home at the old Officers Mess where we occupied the rear of the upper floor of the east wing.
The range of exhibits was quite diverse, going from from slips of paper and photographs, radio sets, a Controllers and Tracker consoles from Eastern Radar to a (defused!) 250Kg German Bomb dropped near King Lynn in WWII.
Eventually in 2002, we were told we had to go as the Mess was to be demolished marking the effective end of our displays. This site aims to fill the gap left by the loss of the Exhibition.
The pictures below were taken immediately before we dismantled and vacated. I hope they will give you an idea of what it was like to walk around the exhibition.
4 thoughts on “Gallery: A last look at the Wartime Watton Exhibition”
Sad to read about the demise of the collection, was/is there any plans to place the collection in another heritage site/museum ?
No, after closure much of the collection of artefacts was returned to the people who originally lent it or given to other museums.
The photos, the memories and stories are intact and with me being (slowly) compiled into a history of Watton and being made as available as possible given time constraints.
Was delighted and honoured to have had a visit to this exhibition before they had to vacate. Being an old Watton boy, it was with more than a passing interest in seeing this on a visit back to the town. I went to school with Julien Horn and was taught by his father Wilf. I acknowledge the vast amount of work Julien put into this and other ventures.
Thanks Gordon – your comments are appreciated. Julian