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Kiplin Hall to launch war exhibition
AN INSIGHT into the lives of people living in and around a North Yorkshire country house will be given in an exhibition opening on Good Friday.
Kiplin Hall and Gardens will unveil Duty Calls on Friday, March 29, and will look at times of war from the Civil War to the Second World War.
The hall recently secured £42,500 of Heritage Lottery Funding to help restore a 1930s kitchen and bathroom that have been left in a derelict condition since the end of the Second World War.
Curator Dawn Webster said it was an exciting time for the hall, and that in searching through its archives she found a wealth of correspondence and materials that will be soon be on show in the exhibition.
The hall was requisitioned by the Army during World War II and later it was turned into flats for RAF officers, with men living in the grounds and surrounding area.
There were bomb dumps in Kiplin woods and airfields at the nearby villages of Scorton, Catterick, Croft and Middleton-St-George which were supplied with bombs and ammunition from Kiplin, but the hall was left virtually derelict at the end of the war and for another 50 years.
The last owner of Kiplin Hall, Bridget Talbot, served with the Red Cross during the First World War and even developed the idea of using torches on life-jackets, saving the lives of many service personnel.
Curators at the hall still have letters between Bridget and her brother George, who was a pilot with the Royal Naval Air Service and flew in planes made of wood and canvas - and according to the letters he crashed frequently.
Ms Webster said she and her team of researchers could not help but get caught up in the accounts given by people still living in the villages near to Kiplin Hall of their experiences of war.
“One lady I spoke to from Croft told me about a Canadian bomber pilot who would land on land close to her farm house when he returned from missions,” she said.
“He did this for two years until one day he did not return.”
The exhibition will mainly be based in upstairs rooms of the hall, but will also feature a trail around the house so visitors can view relevant paintings and artefacts that could not be moved.
The exhibition opens on Friday, March 29 and will run until October 2014. The hall is open Sunday to Wednesday from 10am until 5pm and entrance is £7.50 for adults and £3.50 for children.
Call 01748-818178 for more details.