After decades of extensive research, we invite you into the Talbot House Archives. This new (2020) exhibition showcases some 500 artefacts. Using state-of-the-art technology on large tablet screens, visitors are able to dig deeper into a subject or object of their interest. The open exhibition space is set in the authentic old hop store, a beautiful listed building.
The exhibition aims to tell many new Tales of Talbot House, both from the days of the Great War as well as beyond. With objects and stories linked to the founding of the Toc H charity in the, Tubby’s Pilgrimages to the battlefields, the evacuation, occupation and liberation during WW2, etc. The final chapter is by Harry Patch, both the last veteran of the Great War and the final Talbotousians.
When the Great War starts, 21-year-old dentist student Geoffrey leaves university and joins the army. Through a good friend, he gets acquainted with Edith Ainscow. After just four short dates, it's obvious something is in the air. The war calls him to Flanders and the only option to remain in touch is mail. Through beautifully formulated love letters, hilarious stories and passionate declarations of love, we hear about a warm and authentic story in a world gone mad. The music mentioned by the couple, delivered by Patricia Hamond, is also incorporated. A photo presentation takes you on a journey through the landscape which still bares the traces of war, but also of Geoff...
Illustrated stories by Tim Godden 04/11/ 2022 - 01/04/2023
In amongst the vast and complex history of the Great War sits the story of Talbot House. The Old House itself is filled with stories, some of which are will-known and others that are not. Each and every person who has passed through the doors and hallways has their own story; a single thread in the great tapestry. This exhibition is about one of those threads, about one of the many micro-histories contained within the walls of this special place.
In the winter of 1915 the men of a London territorial unit were, by chance, billeted in the building next-door to the blossoming young house. They immediately took the place to heart and set about making it a home from home. In those months a bond was created between the men of the Queen’s Westminster Rifles and Talbot house that was, in Tubby’s words, ‘never wholly lost.’
This exhibition will tell the story of that bond; how it was formed, of the individuals who first spotted the ‘artistic possibilities’ of the space, who helped to create so much of the special place we still enjoy today, and of how that bond remained intact throughout and beyond the dark days of war. In these paintings are just some of the stories of the Queen’s Westminster Rifles, but in them the stories of countless others whose connection with the old house grew in its own similar but unique way will be told, too.
I hope that in telling the stories of the men of the Queen’s Westminster Rifles the special relationship that meant so much to the old boys and all those associated with Talbot House will remain ‘never wholly broken’ for a long time yet.
In the Slessorium exhibition you discover how Padre Tubby Clayton remained involved with his Talbotousians long after the Great War finished. With a distinctive name (Talbotousians), he refers to former visitors of the Every Man's Club who have either made it home and try to rebuild their lives or are still resting in Flanders Fields today. For his Talbotousians who got back home, Tubby created over 1.000 Toc H-clubs for them to meet. The 'Elder Brethren' who fell in battle, Tubby brings over their families and friends on a pilgrimage. Ten of their final resting places are visualised in a virtual pilgrimage with contemporary photos.
In Tubby's 'Dining Room' you discover the colourful life story of our founder Tubby Clayton. Using extraordinary witness accounts of some of his closest friends, this renewed documentary takes you on journey through the new Toc H-clubs, his life on Tower Hill and even the Royal Palace. Especially the wonderful footage of the pilgrimages to the former battlefields and the graves of his friends stands out.
Through a new online database, you are invited to check if your relatives are mentioned in Tubby's archives of the time. Perhaps they too walked through the doors of Talbot House. The list is a continued work in progress.
In the summer of 2023 a new cycle and car route will take you on a modern day pilgrimage in Flanders Fields.
This project is part of "Landscapes, Feel Flanders Fields", a project by Westtoer & Visit Flanders.
TALBOT HOUSE EVERY MAN'S CLUB, POPERINGE, BELGIUM - COPYRIGHT 2023