An official exhibition paying tribute to Elisabeth Beresford and the Wombles will go ahead this summer on the small island of Alderney in the Channel Islands.
The special exhibition, ‘The Wombles; Elisabeth Beresford and her Alderney’, will be the world’s first exhibition using the author’s personal collection. It will celebrate the Wombles, her other work, and her life on the island which she made her home.
The display will cover the history and stories of the Wombles and the various characters, as well as a selection of Wombles memorabilia. The Alderney Society Museum has worked with Elisabeth Beresford’s children to choose items to go on display.
Curator Frances Jeens told me: “We have been up to Elisabeth Beresford’s house, by kind permission of her children, and catalogued over 150 items to go on display, and I have started drafting up display boards for the exhibition. It will be Wombles focused but also talk about Liza and her life here on Alderney so I hope that Womble fans will really enjoy the display this summer.”
Elisabeth Beresford’s daughter Kate said: “Mum’s love for Alderney ran very deep; she always loved it and found it the perfect place to inspire her writing. She even created a Womble in honour of the island, who was aptly named Alderney. My brother Marcus and I are delighted that the exhibition is taking place and we have loaned many of her original books, photos and personal items such as Mother’s typewriter and desk for the exhibition.”
The summer exhibition will run from Saturday 30 June until the end of September, on the main street in St Anne (39 Victoria Street). It will be open from Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm, and admission is free – though donations will be warmly received. For 2013, it’s hoped that some items from the exhibition may be moved to the museum as a smaller, permanent display.
Exhibition organiser Donald Hughes said: “This really is an exciting project to be involved in. Liza, as she was known locally, completely immersed herself into the community and was a much-loved character. She really got involved with things and her life on the island will be remembered through photographs and anecdotes illustrating her involvement in the locally made film Rosebud, the Alderney theatre group, the Alderney Railway Society and as a former member of the island’s government.”