Wilfred Owen Becomes a Wirral Methodist `Tenant`

Published 22nd March 2011

Plans for a permanent exhibition and artistic resource centre to commemorate celebrated World War One poet, Wilfred Owen took a step closer, as a gallery opened in a shop owned by Wirral Methodist Housing Association in Argyle Street, Birkenhead.

The shop owned by the Association as a result of extensive regeneration work it carried out in the immediate area, through `Living Over The Shop` schemes was made available on `charitable` terms to enable the project by local musician Dean Johnson to get off the ground.

Musician Dean Johnson has written a musical based on Owen`s work entitled `Bullets and Daffodils` and has established `The Wilfred Owen Story and Gallery` to provide a permanent living tribute to the iconic honouree Birkonian.

Dean said, “Birkenhead and the UK at large need a designated site where people can come and discover the true story of this magnificent man and be informed and appreciate his huge contribution to poetry”.

“Our aim is to help people find their own voice and encourage them to use it in the same cathartic effect as Owen did. We hope to establish ourselves as a world meeting place where people can discuss and be creative in a peaceful environment, a tranquillity and peacefulness that was hard won by Wilfred and all those that fell in the war. We are not a museum but a symbol of freedom”.

Chief Executive Alun Hughes said, “We are very proud of our local connections and to be associated with Wilfred Owen, a true son of the town. The Association is pleased to help make this local initiative become a reality and play our part in supporting Wilfred Owen’s underlying message of the futility of war”.

Wilfred Owen who was killed in action a week before the war ended wrote of the horror of the trenches and best known amongst his work are “Dulce et Decorum Est” and, “Anthem for Doomed Youth”.

Alun L Hughes
Chief Executive