Knockaloe exhibition at Ramsey Town Hall - Review

Knockaloe Exhibition.

Guest blog by Paul Shanley.

With half an hour to kill in Ramsey I thought I’d pay a visit to the Knoackaloe Memorabilia Exhibit which is being held in the Town Hall between the 2nd July and the 15th. It’s been organized by Stephen Hall who has provided the exhibits and is being hosted as part of the towns national week celebrations.

Rudolf Hartmann letter.I have to admit to not knowing a great deal about Knockaloe and so was hoping to find out more about the history behind the camp and the day to day life there. Unfortunately this wasn’t an exhibition designed as an introduction to Knockaloe but more a chance for people who are familiar with it to come and view pictures, postcards and general memorabilia that they may otherwise not get the chance too. The display was in the foyer of the Town Hall and consisted of 2 large notice boards with memorabilia pinned to both sides and a smaller board at the entrance. Amongst the various pieces were several ‘Did you know’ fact cards which gave some interesting snippets of information. Some of the pictures themselves had short explanatory or expansive notes on them but the majority were presented with no further explanation given.

Knockaloe exhibition.

The actual memorabilia itself was fascinating and gave me some idea of the sheer numbers that were interned at Knockaloe (you read the numbers but seeing the huge number of people taking part in a sports day really makes it hit home). The number of activities that the internees took part in was eye opening and I felt showed just how hard they tried to make their day as busy and productive as possible. The pieces that caught my eye the most however were a series of letters from a Pastor to an internee who I took to be a fellow Pastor. I would have liked to have learnt more about them both but presumably there wasn’t enough time and space to go into more detail or perhaps no more was known other than the letters.

I did enjoy visiting the exhibit and it has piqued my interest into finding out more about Knockaloe and the people involved. I do feel that more information about both the camp and the people would’ve been useful and helped make the exhibits come alive a bit more. The space has to be taken into consideration though and I imagine most people visiting will already be familiar with a lot of the history and so would rather see more exhibits then walls of text explaining what they already know. I would definitely recommend visiting the exhibition if it’s ever shown again though, whether you are a Knockaloe expert or man off the street like me, you will definitely see something of interest.


KnockaloeClaire's picture

If you didn't get a chance to make it to Ramsey to see the exhibition I've heard that it might be moving to the Leece Museum, Peel where the exhibition will be enhanced with the display of some objects from the camp. No details of dates and times yet but will post again when there's some more news.

Stephen Hall's exhibition is currently on at the Leece Museum in Peel until Christmas