WWI Lockdown Project for Park Hall Countryside Experience

A group of volunteers who support the World War One Trench Experience at Park Hall Farm in Oswestry have been busy building an exciting new exhibit.

Last year’s first lockdown saw completion of a new entrance hall featuring exhibits. This year the team have been attempting to create a full-size replica of a WWI 18-pounder Artillery Gun. The new replica will complement the existing selection of replica arms and militia displayed around the trenches, such a machine gun and Mortar emplacements, as well as the underground first aid post officers’ and enlisted men’s quarters.

Once the team had acquired two cartwheels, which were over 100 years old, work then began to build a dimensionally correct chassis and gun barrel.

Volunteer, Andrew Field, said, “During the latest lockdown the team have been busy in their home workshops and garages building various elements of the gun. The wheels were disassembled, repaired and brought back to life by retired master carpenter Eddie Constable.

“The barrel construction was entrusted to Nigel Lowe, who spent more than 300 hours constructing an exact replica of the barrel assembly from original dimensions drawing and photographs using little more than some plastic soil pipe, a scaffold pole, some wood, fibreglass and filler. Meanwhile retired engineer, Barry Mills, used original drawings and photographs, along with an immense amount of ingenuity, to transform scrap metal into the chassis to mount the gun on, as seen in our pictures.”

It is hoped that when lockdown lifts the gun can be fully painted and final assembly finished so it can take pride of place in the new exhibit area ready for when Park Hall Countryside Experience can once again open to public.

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