Lifestyle

War roadshow on track for Shepparton

by
May 10, 2017

Conservation expert Holly Jones-Amin takes a close look at war memorabilia.

Do you have an odd bit of war memorabilia sitting in a garage or gathering dust in an old box?

If so, Sophie Lewincamp wants to hear from you.

The conservator is part of the team coming to Shepparton for War Heritage Roadshow, a Victorian Government initiative to uncover lost treasures from Australia’s war years.

Similar to the popular BBC series Antiques Roadshow, where people showcase their historical treasures to a group of experts, people can instead bring interesting things with a wartime theme.

‘‘Last week we were in Ballarat and Bendigo and we have seen an amazing amount of different memorabilia from the Boer War to the First World War and Second World War,’’ Ms Lewincamp said.

Although many people believed war memorabilia was limited to weapons and other items from the battlefield, she said there was a lot of interesting things left all over Australia.

‘‘The home front was a very important part of the war,’’ she said.

‘‘We see things like letters soldiers have written back to family members, newspapers, ration tickets, things like that.’’

Although part of the appeal of Antiques Roadshow is people learning the cash value of their historical treasures, Ms Lewincamp said the War Heritage Roadshow was more about preserving history than cashing in.

‘‘We are not about monetary value, it is about social value,’’ she said.

‘‘We give them the tools and the information to know how to care for their memorabilia.’’

Things had often been kept in families’ homes for generations, and she said it was common for people to not know the exact origins of their memorabilia.

In the roadshows that have already hit regional Victoria, Ms Lewincamp said her team had seen some unique and extraordinary war artefacts.

‘‘The one that really sticks out is the 116-year-old Boer War biscuit. It is way more exciting than it sounds — it is actually an embroidered biscuit with a photograph on top of it. You think ‘how can a biscuit survive for 100 years plus?’,’’ she said.

The War Heritage Roadshow is on May 26 and 27 at the Mooroopna Historical Society, 30 Park St, Mooroopna.

Bookings are encouraged. For inquiries email warheritageroadshow@ gmail.com or visit arts.unimelb.edu.au/grimwadecentre/engagement/war-heritage-roadshow-2017/

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