Where: Tin Shed Experience, Montague House, Clifton Street, Laugharne, Carmarthenshire SA33 4QG
£: Adults 3, concessions 2, WWII Veterans free and family ticket 8.50
What is it?
Tin Shed Experience is a quaint and quirky 1940s museum in Laugharne, west Wales, a town famous for its links with the poet Dylan Thomas. The museum is the accomplishment of 18 months hard work by a very small team of enthusiasts. The project has been a labour of love for local men Andrew Isaacs and Seimon Pugh-Jones, both of whom have collected memorabilia since meeting whilst working at the Ministry of Defence in Pendine.
Andrew was an armourer and Seimon a photographer. Seimon’s camera work has taken him into the realms of staff photographer for an American war magazine and has seen him work on many historical features such as Steven Spielberg’s and HBO’s award winning mini series ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan’. The idea came to them after a small temporary exhibition of wartime memorabilia was staged in Andrew’s old zinc sheeted garage in October 2009.
Andrew explains, ‘the exhibition went so well we thought there may be space in the township for something more permanent. I thought, it would be great to restore the garage to look like it originally did when built by my father in 1933.’ He goes on, ‘from there the idea grew and it became the perfect location to transform into a museum.’
Seimon informs, ‘after numerous meetings with various bodies a small match funded grant from the Welsh Assembly Government was secured. This combined with the skills of Stephen Hughes, friend and builder, we were enabled to carry out the refurbishment work. We have however, recycled and reclaimed a great number of materials wherever we could.’
The Tin Shed team are also very keen to help educate the younger generation and hope to highlight the effects of war on everyday life in wartime Britain. Andrew explains, ‘We want part of the project to be educational, picking up on the national curriculum and tailoring some of the exhibits specifically for schools. We already have an original Anderson shelter installed as well as an accompanying victory garden and we plan to utilise these with visiting school classes.’
Matthew Hughes, Marketing & Web Manager of the Tin Shed stresses, ‘We do not wish to glamorise war, our goal is to help give an insight of what war meant to the life of ordinary civilians and those serving during the war years’, He goes on, ‘It is important for today’s youth to know that war and conflict has the ability to shape and affect entire generations.’
Roz Paskin and Riza Isaacs, Secretary and Treasurer of the Tin Shed state ‘Our current exhibition is related to D-day which marked its 67th anniversary on June 6th. The exhibition features original uniforms and field equipment as well as memorabilia and props from ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan’. Riza enthuses, ‘We have received great support from the local community and have had many people drop by to donate various bits and pieces to the museum already.’
Roz adds ‘We welcome anybody who wishes to share their wartime stories and experiences with us, it would be fantastic to create an exhibit based around the experiences of the families in the locality and make the Tin Shed a real community affair.’
More info: Tin Shed Experience