Friday, 27 January 2012

Review – The Wilfred Owen Story

Yesterday I visited the Wilfred Owen Story a small exhibition dedicated to the life of possibly the greatest of the WW1 poets. A few weeks ago I had planned a similar visit; then on the morning of going to Birkenhead city centre I looked on the web site for opening times and found it closed for refurbishment. Fortunately it was open yesterday.

The material is displayed in a single room of what once had been a smallish shop. A shop now a little off the beaten track for the more mainstream shopper. Something that may also discourage the more casual visitor to this exhibition – but then, it probably means the rent is lower. The displays are well presented; however the lack of space means there's not that much on display: photographs, a curious drawing by Owen's brother, the paraphernalia of school days, world war 1 memorabilia. Most interesting are some photocopies of Owen's manuscripts and early editions of his poems.

As I left I grabbed a few leaflets, just out of interest. One of these gave directions for the Wilfred Owen Treasure Trail – basically a walk just on the outskirts of Birkenhead city centre which passed some places of interest associated with Wilfred Owen. I only read this leaflet upon returning home. With this benefit of hindsight it would be worth getting the leaflet and adding it to your itinerary – if the weather's fine. Also I intend to give this walk a try sometime.

This exhibition is well worth a visit if you are already in the centre of Birkenhead or you have a special interest in Wilfred Owen. Otherwise there's not quite enough material to warrant a special journey.

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