AV On The Frontline
Newcastle’s Discovery Museum has recently unveiled a new and improved version of its ‘A Soldier’s Life’ exhibition, using the latest audio and visual displays to explore 200 years of life in the army.
The display, which was originally opened in 1995 to incorporate the regimental collections of the 15th/19th The King’s Royal Hussars and the Northumberland Hussars, closed two years ago during museum refurbishments.
London-based audio-visual experts Integrated Circles, have since worked closely with museum staff to create a modern, realistic depiction of army life through the use of lighting, audio handsets, video monitors and projection screens. The exhibition re-opened on the 22nd February 2003.
“We wanted the exhibition to appeal to a wide audience, from school children and families right through to military enthusiasts and ex-servicemen,” explained exhibition curator Alisdair Wilson. “The technology implemented by Integrated Circles has really helped to make the display more lively and the interactive aspects will appeal to all generations.”
A series of audio handsets and interactive video images and computer screens lead visitors through a vivid display looking at every aspect of a soldier’s life. A talking cavalry regiment horse opens the exhibition and sets the lively, unconventional tone for the display.
From here, visitors can use handsets to listen to soldiers describing their recruitment into the army and learn about the perils of kit inspection, undergo the rigours of the interactive drill sergeant and watch a video telling the moving story of Daisy Barrasford whose fiancé went missing in action during the World War I.
Two new sections have also been added for the reopening of the exhibition. ‘The Home Front’ uses sound and images to convey the experiences of families in the army during World War II. The new exhibition also looks at the value and importance of the peace-keeping operations of the current Light Dragoons regiment, with a three dimensional set and plasma screen showing a day in the life of a Light Dragoon.
“The videos and handsets help make the display much more human and this, combined with the high quality of the original exhibition, makes ‘A Soldier’s Life’ a very moving experience,” explained Integrated Circles’ project manager, Caroline James.
“We are delighted to have been involved in the development of this display and we are sure everyone who visits will find the experience thoroughly enjoyable,” she added. “Furthermore, the use of solid state video and audio equipment with no moving parts, which is guaranteed to run reliably for up to 10 years, will ensure that the exhibition is easy to run for the Museum staff.”