A RETIRED army captain is shocked by the state of Worcester's regimental museum as the city marks the centenary year of the outbreak of World War One.
Peter Shaw, aged 75, a former captain in the Worcestershire Regiment, said the collection in Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum in Foregate Street suffered from poor lighting which was affecting the look of the displays. He believes the condition of the presentation has deteriorated in the 18 months since he last visited with his 22-year-old grandson who has followed him into the Mercian Regiment, formed from older regiments including that of the Worcestershire Regiment.
Mr Shaw, of Chalfont St Peter, Bucks who served 50 years ago said: "About eighteen months ago, I proudly took my grandson, who had just joined the Mercian Regiment, to visit the excellent Worcestershire Soldier Exhibition in the Worcester City Museum. I wanted him to get the feel of the regiment, and how important it was to the county both in the past and now, particularly during the Afghanistan troubles. He was moved and motivated.
"Now, eighteen months later, I find the lighting in such a poor state, it is difficult to see most of the exhibits, and impossible to read the captions. Is the council truly proud of its regiment and all it has sacrificed even recently?
"I feel it to be a great shame that the display lighting is now so poor, particularly in 2014 when the country is commemorating the start of the Great War in 1914.
"I wanted to impress on him (his grandson) the importance of regimental history, and what the regiment means to the county. He noted, in particular, that the regiment had a true family spirit, with so many relations who had served. Obviously there are budget restraints, but I hopes those concerned can get together, and be seen to recognising what sacrifices the men of the regiment have, and are still making."
The Worcestershire Regimental Museum was originally established at Norton Barracks. Early in 1970 it was housed in its present position.The collections of the Worcestershire Regiment are housed in display galleries called "The Worcestershire Soldier" with the help of a grant of £323,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Angie Bishop, museums business manager at Museums Worcestershire, said: "We are aware that there are issues with the lighting in the regiment's side of the museum and met with the regiment only last week to discuss this. We are hopeful that the problems will be rectified as soon as possible so as not to cause any further issues for visitors, who remain our highest priority."