The Priest's House Museum & Garden, 23-27 High Street, Wimborne Minster, Dorset BH21 1HR
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Tommy's Sisters

Posted on 09 Nov 2016
A live performance will take place at the premiere of a short film, Tommy's Sisters – Five Women in 1916, at the museum on Friday, November 11 at 7.30pm, as part of the museum's 'The One Hundred Year Heritage of the First World War for Wimborne and East Dorset' project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Tommy's Sisters tells the stories of four women and one child living in Wimborne in 1916, all involved with the Home Front war work. Appearing in person at the premiere will be: • Lady Cordelia Hanham, owner of Dean's Court (played by Barbara Hart) • Gertrude Coggin, piano teacher (played by Tracie Billington-Beardsley) • Hilda Coles, age 8 years, daughter of ironmonger Thomas Coles and his wife Blanche, and founder of the Priest's House Museum (played by Jemima Vivian) • Emily Cuff, daughter of the Wimborne stationmaster, widow of Ted Cuff (played by Chloe Hatherley) • Olive Harcourt, international singer and musician (played by Michele O'Brien) Tommy's Sisters, written and directed by Gill Horitz and Tony Horitz, was filmed and edited by Dorset based filmmaker, Alastair Nisbet. James Webb from the museum said, "The opportunity to work with Gill and Tony Horitz, and Alastair Nisbet is invaluable for the museum and the project. The project aims to uncover the history and the stories of those who lived in East Dorset at the time of the conflict, whether they fought or were left behind on the home front. Working with such talented scriptwriters and directors, filmmaker and actors brings these stories to life for all." Tommy's Sisters is based on archive material collected over recent years as part of the development of Wimborne Community Theatre's recent production, 'What They Left Behind.' This included public events held at the museum to which people brought family objects and stories associated with the first world war. Primary sources used as research for the film were Gerturde Coggin's autograph album (bought on eBay by a local person) and Olive Harcourt's diary entries collected in Joan Cocozza's book, A People’s History, as well as copies of the Wimborne Gazette and other materials. Gill Horitz said, "It was our intention to portray these women and their concerns through their own or imagined words, using as inspiration their objects, photographs or other relevant documents. We wanted to give voice to them as they go about their everyday lives in the streets of Wimborne, always in the shadow of war and its continuous impact." Limited tickets for the premiere will be available from 25 October at Wimborne Tourist Information Centre or on 01202 886116 priced at £4. Booking is essential. For further information please contact the museum.