HIDDEN WORLD WAR II LOVE LETTERS RETOLD WITH IMMERSIVE GUIDED TOUR IN ABERYSTWYTH
The Cambrian Railway Partnership have teamed up with Arts tutor, Alison Pierse, to bring you a FREE immersive tour around Aberystwyth, reliving the tale of love, loss and longing in the 1940s.
Visiting six locations around Aberystwyth, Rosemary’s Legacy is told through love letters written between two Aberystwyth undergraduates, Fred and Rosemary, during WW2. Hidden in a Quality Street tin, these letters were found some 80 years later by her daughter.
Alison Pierse, daughter of Rosemary, said: “I always knew about Fred, as Mum kept his photo on her dressing table. When asked who he was, she would wistfully say, ‘that’s Fred, he called me his girl.’ I did not know the story of what happened to Fred. The letters revealed so much about how Mum led her life and her core principles.”
The letters reveal the importance of the railway in connecting Fred and Rosemary. Rosemary, an undergraduate evacuee from Chelsea Physical Education College, was stationed at Borth and used the University’s teaching rooms in Aberystwyth during the war. Fred would write letters to Rosemary from the train, describing his longing for Wales – Hiraeth.
Claire Williams, Partnership Development Officer for the Cambrian Railway Partnership, said: “We were captivated by Rosemary and Fred’s story and thrilled to collaborate with Alison to retell their emotional tale. It highlights the important role that the railway played during their time in Aberystwyth and Borth.”
The guided walk will take place during Community Rail Week, organised by Community Rail Network and sponsored by Rail Delivery Group. Community Rail Week is an opportunity to celebrate the vital role Community Rail Partnerships, like the Cambrian Railway Partnership, play in connecting communities by rail.
Walks will start in the waiting room at Aberystwyth Railway Station and last approximately 2 hours, covering a distance of 1.7 miles, with an interval where The Chai Bike will visit for a free mug of freshly roasted Masala Chai. Alison will be getting into character with her 1940s attire, and you are welcome to join her.
Tour dates are 20th May and 27th May both starting at 4:15pm. Booking is essential as spaces are limited. Booking is via Eventbrite
NOTES TO EDITORS
Alison Pierse is a Freelance Mosaic Artist and Art Educator living in Aberystwyth. Alison gives thematic walks in Aberystwyth looking at the heritage mosaics and figurative sculptures, Rosemary’s Legacy is the latest addition to her walks.
Cambrian Railway Partnership
The Cambrian Railway Partnership has been in existence for over 20 years. The partnership covers a wide area, spanning 120 miles and 34 stations from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth and up the Wales Coast to Pwllheli.
Ceredigion County Council are the current host and financial management authority for the partnership which is funded by Transport for Wales, Avanti West Coast and Shropshire County Council. thecambrianline.co.uk
Community Rail Network
Community rail is a growing grassroots movement made up of Community Rail Partnerships (CRPs) and groups across Britain. Working alongside local, regional and national partners, CRPs engage communities and help people get the most from their railways, promoting social inclusion, community wellbeing, economic development and sustainable travel. They also work alongside train operators, contributing to improvements and bringing stations back to life.
Community Rail Network provides support and advice to the community rail movement through their membership. They share good practice and connect community rail partnerships and groups together, while working with government, the rail industry, and the wider voluntary and community sector to champion community rail. communityrail.org.uk
Community Rail Week
Community Rail Week, sponsored by Rail Delivery Group, returns for its third year from 22 to 28 May and will showcase the innovative projects and inspiring initiatives from across the community rail movement around the theme of ‘Connecting Communities by Rail’. More information here.