All posts by SarahWindrum

Why Celebrate Camouflage?

I’m the CEO of a rapidly expanding technology group. So why would I want to get involved in a camouflage festival?

If you are at all curious, I will tell you why!

I first found out that Leamington was the home of camouflage during the Second World War through Kristie Naimo after she had met someone telling her about a previous festival held here. We decided 2 years ago that this was something incredible about our amazing town and we wanted to celebrate.

I then met Barry Franklin, Chair of the Leamington History Group, who really got me hooked on camouflage.

What did it mean to this town to have the unit based here? This area was important because of the factories here. Leamington’s AP Lockheed was the only place in the UK that manufactured brakes and clutches, which were obviously hugely important to the war. The Camouflage Unit consisted of scientists to investigate what the naked eye of a German pilot could see after 5 hours of flying; artists to design and paint the camouflage structures; and local people, especially women, who helped make the wire meshing for the painted composite material to be molded around (think papier-mâché on a greater scale!). Logic met creativity met hard work and a willingness to learn new skills. All the qualities the people of our town show today.

So I base my business here in Leamington because of camouflage.

Because the people I recruit here have a logical creativity and are willing to learn. Because technology needs those kind of people. This is why I want to celebrate camouflage this year.

Sarah Windrum
The Emerald Group

The Art of Deception!

Picture above by Stephen Bone, Leamington 1940, oil on canvas

The Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum are holding an exhibition entitled ‘Concealment & Deception: The work of the Leamington camouflage group in the Second World War’ from July to October 2016.

Displaying work from distinguished artists including Christopher Ironside, Leon Underwood, Stephen Bone, and Robin Darwin; the exhibition will also show the complex technical skills needed to design, test, and produce building and naval camouflage during this time.

If you would like to know more please visit the Art Gallery’s website here or read their recent press release here.

Colin Moss 'Turn table' A1033.2007 sml
Colin Moss, The Turn table  at Leamington Spa, 1939-1941, pen, pencil and watercolour on paper

Colin Moss
Colin Moss, Morning after the Blitz, 1940, pencil and watercolour on paper

Get Involved!

We are a group of local organisations and residents who want to celebrate the wonderful world of camouflage and the role Leamington played during the Second World War.

We are fascinated particularly by the way camouflage brought people together from the worlds of art, design, science, and industry. Much like this project has!

We are pleased to be working with the Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum who are holding an exhibition called The Art of Deception from July until October 2016.

Leamington Lamp are organising educational and music events; the Leamington History Group are hosting walks; Art in the Park are planning a camouflage themed artwork; and we are working with the business groups of Leamington to create a British Restaurant networking hub!

Want to get involved? Please contact Pip on info@leamington-camo.co.uk