Museums of Tuxford

by | 28 October 2023 | Community facility, Heritage, Retford

With the approach of November, we are preparing to remember the sacrifices made in war. The Walks of Life Museum in Tuxford has tributes to those who made sacrifices in both World Wars, as well as various artefacts; go and see the collection.

Life post-war is harsh in any country both on the individual and wider society. To support the Royal British Legion’s poppy appeal, the museum has been clearing out its Nissen Hut (a prefabricated steel structure, originally for military use). Two young people, Shani and Victoria, are willing to spend a night in the Nissen Hut, reflecting on how easy life is today in comparison to those affected by war and the lives of the post-war squatters. They hope people will support them and donate to the British Legion appeal.

On Saturday 11th November at 2.00pm there is a talk on the life of the squatters post-WWII, who had to live in Nissen huts due to the mass housing shortage, created by bombing and shortage of building materials and skilled labour. Many people were in paid employment, or ex-service personnel. Life was harsh for many years.

This is a free event with refreshments; please contact Diane on 01777 872776 to reserve your place.

It isn’t just humans that make great sacrifices in war, as The Museum of the Horse can demonstrate. One of the horrors of WWI was chlorine gas, first put to use by the Germans in Ypres in 1915. It caused great harm and distress to humans, but one forgets that horses were just as vulnerable. The English gas mask for horses was not very effective, being little more than a hessian nose bag soaked in a chemical to neutralise the gas, plus goggles to protect the eyes.

Unfortunately the horses thought they were feed bags, so immediately put their head to the ground to try to find the food at the bottom of the bag. It is said that many bags didn’t survive for long. Most European countries and America had more advanced gas masks with breathing apparatus attached.

It is thought that the Museum of the Horse has the largest collection of horse gas masks in Europe, although there is only enough room to display a couple at a time.

The Museum of the Horse is open 9.30am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday, and 10.00am to 2.00pm on Saturdays. Contact Sally on 01777 838234.

The Walks of Life Museum is open Thursdays and Saturdays, 11.00am to 4.00pm and other times by arrangement; contact Diane on 01777 872776 or dianehunt08@btinternet.com. Entry to both museums is free although donations are much appreciated.