“’Rock Around the Clock’ took the place by storm,” recalls Doug Lewin. “People in Butterworth and Penang loved it.”
This was 1956 and the global hit by “Bill Haley and the Comets” was broadcast through a small radio station set up by the men of RAAF No. 2 Construction Squadron at Butterworth in Malaysia. The squadron was there to construct an airfield strip in Butterworth for the British during the Malayan Emergency. They were housed in a camp of Attap huts next to the construction site, and rock was sourced from a quarry about 5 miles away.
Once we determined that the remaining three wedding dresses, requested for the exhibtion Of Love and War, were able to be safely put on display, the textile conservators worked in collaboration with curators and exhibition staff to determine the dimensions of showcase and, the types and styles of mannequins.
Preparations for the Memorial’s new travelling exhibition Of love and war are nearly complete. The showcases are being built, all the labels and captions are being printed and we’ve been in the recording studio as well.
A large part of the Memorial’s collection relating to love during wartime comes from private records, particularly the letters that were exchanged between lovers separated by conflict.
Back in September, I was doing some work out at our Treloar Annex, which is where our conservators work. I was videoing the construction process of the mannequins being made for the 3 wedding dresses that are to be included in the “Of love and war” exhibition. During a break in filming I got talking to Jessie Firth, who was working on one of the wedding dresses . She was applying fake perspiration to material to see what effect it would have.
As previously explained four wedding dresses were initially selected for "Of Love and War". One of the wedding dresses, originally owned by Mrs N S Bissaker, required hundreds of hours of painstaking work before it would be strong enough for display, so unfortunately it will not be ready for display in “Of Love and War”. Instead this dress with go on our Vulnerable Textiles conservation list and be conserved with all the care it deserves to preserve it for the future.
The notebooks, diaries and folders created by Charles Bean during and after the First World War have immense historic value and are considered to be one of the most significant records created by a single Australian. The collection includes 286 volumes of diaries and historical notebooks recorded by Bean at the time and often at the front line. The diaries are firsthand accounts of the war and offer a unique perspective due to Bean’s status as official correspondent.
Friday 6 November 2009 by Stephanie Boyle. No comments.
War films show soldiers constantly locked in battle and participating in non-stop action - but the reality of war is actually much different. "No Dramas", a film by Robert Nugent commissioned by the Australian War Memorial, shows what life is really like for our troops deployed to combat zones.