As Christmas draws near, YMCA Wirral took the opportunity to invite guests to its headquarters in Whetstone Lane for a special premiere of a radio play written by some of the clients who use the services of the charity.
Peace and War was the title of the radio play written and performed by clients of YMCA – under the name of the YMCA Wirral Players Drama Group.
Recorded and produced by Sean and Kevin from Onsis Media and Training, the 27 minute play recreated the horrors of trench warfare, the effects it had on peoples lives, in particular, the many men and women from Wirral, who enlisted to fight in The Great War or helped the war effort from home.
The audience sat in silence, clearly moved in listening to the actor's words and sounds of war, and following the play stood to applaud all the people involved in bringing this play to reality. A visual presentation played in the background which showed a range of historic images of locations in Wirral which played a part in the war effort.
Nigel Hughes, CEO of YMCA Wirral, said, “It was a wonderful effort by all the actors and the production team in bringing this story to life and making it feel so incredibly realistic. YMCA has a long history in offering support during The Great War and it was only fitting that through the tremendous work of the YMCA Players – all people with little no acting or writing experience, made Peace and War such a successful project.”
YMCA was at the forefront in the war effort between 1914 and 1918. The YMCA support for the soldiers was unprecedented in Wirral, involving the YMCA's own building, then in Grange Road and numerous temporary and prefabricated structures across the area, including a magnificent wooden building built for the Bantam Regiment at Bidston.
Soldiers received accommodation, food and entertainment, along with emotional support and help getting messages back to loved ones at home. Families left behind and injured soldiers returning from the frontlines were also supported in a number of ways by a band of dedicated YMCA volunteers and staff. Even land at the present site of The Bebington Oval was purchased to form the headquarters of The Bantam Regiment that was formed in Birkenhead.