Jeanette Elliott, Collections Relocation Coordinator

Ninety seven years ago today The London Advertiser reported on the success of the Allies final counter-offensive of World War One, which ultimately led to the defeat of the German Army. Known as the “Hundred Days Campaign”, it began on August 8, 1918 with the Battle of Amiens and ended with the Armistice being signed on November 11th. Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig, Commander in Chief of the Imperial Forces, based his campaign on the use of “shock troops” to break the German defences, and the Canadian Corps played a major role. As reported by the Advertiser, Haig paid a visit to the Canadian front lines - “He complimented Sir Arthur Currie, not only on the achievement of the corps, but also on the wonderful spirit animating his men, battle weary after three days of savage fighting, yet whose only desire was to be let loose again on the Boche.”

The London Advertiser 1918 Newspaper Clipping

In contrast, the second page of the Advertiser displayed advertisements for local businesses and attractions, including the grand opening of the Annis Candy Shop at 398 Richmond Street. An ad for “Vacation Days at Port Stanley” reports where to purchase remedies for sunburn and promotes the Irish Benevolent Society’s Annual Picnic. How far removed those on the home front must have felt from their fathers, brothers, sons and daughters fighting...

Jeff Willmore

Interpretive historic Village as cultural hot-spot, is it true? Well, if you are involved in community theatre locally, you know it’s true.

At Fanshawe Pioneer Village theatre operates on two levels. It can be argued that a visit to the Village is a theatrical experience in itself, in many ways we ‘tread the boards’ every day. The Village is our stage and costumed interpreters and educational staff play out the story of this region’s history. As our visitors enter any staffed building an interpreter will pass on the story of that building with an oral history and an interpretive activity. On special weekend events small pantomimes are often enacted involving a number of costumed staff to illustrate historical events or celebrate important dates.

Summer Theatre at Fanshawe Pioneer Village
Summer Theatre at Fanshawe Pioneer Village featuring the cast of the play Choose But Choose Wisely by Jason Rip. This year Fanshawe Pioneer Village is proud to partner with AlvegoRoot to offer two new plays, you can check them out here.

On top of this daily culture of educational storytelling, at least three times a season visitors can experience community theatre within venues on site or using the whole site to deliver plays ‘plein air’. In July you can experience a summer theatre production in one of our...

Sheila Johnson

Each winter, the permanent staff take on a special project to make things easier for the coming season. My project this past year was the organization of the costume collection, stored on the second floor of Denfield General Store. Fashion history has always been a passion of mine and my lecture: Victorian Secrets: A History of Women’s Undergarments from 1830 to 1900 has been presented throughout the City of London and Middlesex County.

The first step in the organization of this immense collection was to improve the room it was stored in. Jack Glassman and John Perrin kindly agreed to work on the second floor of Denfield General Store during January and February. They happily spent those cold winter months repaired the drywall, taping, mudding and painting the stairwell and stair landing. While this was underway, Kelly Mercer volunteered to help organize the sewing supplies stored in a separate room just off the stair landing. We scrubbed the room down, and Kelly took care of the rest. She organized all the fabric by type and pattern, rehoused it in clear containers and labeled them. She sorted and organized all the sewing notions and stored them in labeled drawers including a huge button collection!

When Jack and John finished the upper landing, Kelly and I moved the costumes collection into this new space. This project took Kelly and I most of...