The volunteers who work as part of the World War 1 Trench Experience at Park Hall Farm have been busy building an exciting new exhibit.
After the first lockdown last year and having completed a new entrance hall with exhibits for the Trench Experience, it was decided that the team would attempt to create full size replica of a WW1 18 pounder artillery Gun. This would 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.
After acquiring a couple of 100 year old plus cart wheels work then began to build a dimensionally correct chassis and gun barrel. During the current lock down team members 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 again using original drawings and photographs along with an immense amount to ingenuity, transformed scrap metal into the chassis to mount the gun on as seen in the pictures.
It is hoped when lockdown finishes the gun can be fully painted and final assembly finished, so it can take pride of place in a new exhibit area ready for when Park Hall can once again open to public.