Leeds Workshop

A day of War Through Other Stuff at Leeds City Museum

The WTOS team headed down to Leeds on Friday September 29th to prepare for the first ever War Through Other Stuff Workshop the following day. We had a great afternoon exploring Leeds, before a busy day of workshopping. Special thanks to Lucy Moore and the staff at Leeds City Museum for being such wonderful hosts!


In between workshop prep we also snuck in a quick visit to the M&S archive in Leeds, which covers some really interesting World War Two history!

Our venue was the beautiful Leeds City Museum, with huge thanks to Lucy Moore (curator at Leeds Museums) for hosting the event.

We are also hugely grateful to the Everyday Lives in War First World War Engagement Centre at the University of Hertfordshire for funding this event.


We were very excited to welcome around 60 attendees to the workshop – some of whom had attended our first conference earlier in the year, and some that we were meeting for the first time. We were very grateful to everyone that took the time to travel to Leeds and spend the day with us talking about the stuff of war!

The day kicked off with a quick talk from the WTOS Team, with some background information on the society and what we had in store for the workshop.

Then we moved on to our first set of ‘lightening talks’. Four speakers (Louise Bell, Louise Clare, Emma Butcher and Harriet Beadnell) gave quick 10 minute talks on their research, covering a range of time periods and disciplines.


The first four speakers did a fantastic job and started some really interesting discussions about the legacies of war, from the medieval period to the 1980s. Our first keynote, Andrew Elliot, brought the conversation right up to the present day.


After Andrew’s incredibly thought provoking keynote paper we took a break for lunch. Some attendees also used this opportunity to explore the galleries at Leeds City Museum – perks of holding the event in such a wonderful venue!

After lunch, we split off into groups to attend two different activity sessions. Attendees were given the choice of taking part in a tour of the museum with Lucy Moore and Erasmus student Radka Tobolkova, or a storytelling session with Erin Farley.

The storytellers were treated to two performances from PhD student and traditional storyteller Erin Farley, and worked on building their own stories around objects associated with conflict.

Meanwhile on the museum tour….



The activity sessions were a great way to break up the day and get everyone taking part! We then settled back in for an afternoon of more talks, starting with the second round of ‘lightening talks’ with speakers Sophie Harwood, Rebecca Whiting, Lindsay MacNaughton and Pip Gregory (paper presented by Catherine Bateson.)


Our final speaker of the day was Owen Davies, giving our second keynote paper.



To end the day, we held our very first WTOS AGM. A chance to share our future plans and get feedback from our attendees.

Once the AGM was done we wrapped up and headed to the pub for a well deserved drink or two. After such a great day we were very sad to say goodbye to all the wonderful speakers and participants who had come from around the UK to take part!

Thank you to everyone who came or followed along on Twitter! We’d especially like to thank our speakers, activity leaders, pro-tweeter and note taker Hanna Smyth, and the wonderful Lucy Moore for all her hard work.

Stay tuned for more news of the WTOS Society and our future plans!


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