OFMARIAANTONIA’s 2019 Photography Challenge called for one photo to be on the theme of “hidden.” At the National Holocaust Centre and Museum (Beth Shalom), near Laxton, Nottinghamshire has several thought provoking and/or moving sculpture pieces. One of these is “Hidden Children.” While Anne Frank is known by many as a child hidden during the Holocaust, she was by no means alone in this. Thousands of children were successfully (and sadly unsuccessfully) hidden from the Nazis and their collaborators. Some were secreted away to attics, false walls, or basements; while others sought refuge in forests or remote farmsteads. But they were nonetheless “hidden.”
This photo is of the statue, and the artist has done an amazing job in capturing the feels. Look at the hyper-vigilant gaze on the face of the figure on the left, and the sadness (almost weeping quality) of the one on the right. This was not simple childhood “hide and seek,” because in this hiding the outcome was a matter of life and death.
As a Christian, I am a bit dubious of things occult. As a teacher of religion, however, I had an academic interest in visiting the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall. This museum is dedicated to witchcraft, magic, and the occult more generally.
The museum is really interesting and has several very good displays. It covers a wide range of witchcraft and pagan topics and while initially giving the impression of “clutter” the displays soon show themselves rich and informative.
A large portion of the collection is upstairs, but visitors with mobility issues can still see a number of informative displays downstairs (and view the downstairs for free as well). Displays include information of traditional nature craft, ancient pagan groups, voodoo, and more.
Grotto and Green Man
While much of the displays and themes are serious, there are some tongue in cheek aspects as well. Notably there is a broom parking area outside the museum. That said there is a wealth of information available for those interested in the history of magical belief.
The staff are helpful and there is also a small gift shop area. All in all, it is a worthwhile place to see if in the area.