Volunteers make gun replica for First World War exhibition

A group of volunteers who support a First World War experience at a visitor attraction in Shropshire have been busy in lockdown building a new exhibit.

The gun being build and assembled
The gun being build and assembled

The Trench Experience at Park Hall Countryside Attraction allows visitors to walk through replica trenches and have a glimpse into how men lived in them and fought during The Great War.

Last year’s first lockdown saw the volunteers complete a new entrance hall featuring exhibits.

This year the team has been attempting to create a full-size replica of a First World War 18-pounder artillery gun.

The gun being build and assembled

The new replica will 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.

Once the team had acquired two cartwheels, which were more than 100 years old, work then began to build a dimensionally correct chassis and gun barrel.

Volunteer Andrew Field said: “During the latest lockdown the team 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 gun being build and assembled

“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 used original drawings and photographs, along with an immense amount of ingenuity, to transform scrap metal into the chassis to mount the gun on.”

The Park Hall Countryside Experience will open its outdoor attractions to the public on Monday.

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