Early morning for me yesterday, as i took up the chance to visit another branch of the Imperial War Museum.
As a Member of the Volunteer Team at IWM North, I’d been to Duxford, and Headquarters in London…but yesterday gave me the opportunity to visit a branch of the museum i hadnt been to, HMS Belfast, Anchored on a branch of the River Thames.
Walking around the sections of the boat, we got to see everything from Navigation to how sailors slept on board and a view of the engine room…the heart of the ship that made it move through the water, we were also given a little bit of the boats history and its role in world war two, escorting civilian ships against attack during the Arctic Convoy Missions
We were given a full tour of the cruiser by one of the Yeoman of the Ship, before being given a lunch in the galley and opportunity to explore for ourselves.
I’m sat down having Just got home from the Imperial war museum, in Manchester, where i’ve been helping out in the galleries, helping people around.
In this role , i’m occasionally stood by the information station, where various objects to do with the first and second world war are on display
This station is mobile and can move around with its four wheels, around the vast area known as the main exhibition space.
The objects on the information station vary, from gas masks to various headgear, and relate to the large objects around the space. There are uniforms from modern day conflict as well as those from world war I and II. As Volunteers, we use the items to introduce visitors to the space as well as putting them at ease with the space they are in – It’s a bit dark in there sometimes.
This afternoon, I’ve been helping out at Imperial War Museum North just over the bridge from Salford, by the banks of the Manchester ship canal.
Regular readers will know I help out with the computers on the “Your History” information point and throughout the Main exhibition space. Well, Today I’ve been directing visitors by the special gallery and giving assistance where necessary.
The special gallery covers the time in British history where clothes were rationed, in order to preserve fuel and resources during war time.
As part of the exhibition – a special handling collection has been created, by some of the volunteers with help from the museum staff. This is shown on our Information station, where volunteers and veterans talk about specific objects and the tales behind them.
I was attending Imperial war museum north, in preparation for their Volunteer Celebration Choir with the Museum of Science and Industry and The Manchester Museum
But for Two minutes today – we stood in silence to remember those who fought and were lost in two world wars.
We then watched the film , Remembrance, which gave some poignant reminders of why the date is kept, to honour all those fallen in conflict.
The day before, I’d been at my spot in the museum – helping relatives of first world war soldiers remember their relations and share their stories with the nation on the Lives of the First World War Database
Location : Imperial War Museum North, Old Trafford, Manchester
Destination : RAF Museum, Cosford, Shropshire
Having done the Great Orme (see here) Bill Nigel and me meet up for a trip to the Royal Air Force Museum in Cosford, Shropshire.
Travelling down the M6 from Manchester and then the M42 we reached our destination, despite queues and roadworks.
Upon arriving at RAF Cosford, we enjoy a bite to eat in the form of soup and a roll in the café. I had the Tomato (V.Nice!)
Then we hit the Galleries. Each hangar told the tale of planes that flew in the first and second world wars, as well as some of the individuals that took part in their operation. A mini timeline, similar to that of IWM North’s Main exhibition space (only a lot smaller) told the history of the RAF from its earliest time as the Royal Flying Corps all the way to the role played in more recent conflict in the Middle east.
I particularly enjoyed the Test flight Gallery. This explained the developmental process behind Planes like the Spitfire and the Harrier Jump Jet .
War in the Air had both Allied and German Planes on display as we read how they came to be, and their roles in the Battle of Britain and beyond. I’m pleased to say I saw a Supermarine Spitfire up close whilst walking round the exhibit, and the one I saw was the oldest surviving model in the world
All planes have to have something to make them tick – and Cosford’s collection delves deep into many of the engines that got them going.
I also viewed the artillery used by the RAF Regiment – The Air force soldiers who are assigned to protect the airfields.
It was a most enjoyable day – a pin, bookmark and mug – as well as my photos will remind me of viewing some great pieces of aviation history….just need to get the photos off the camera now 🙂
Something for Historical scholars to spot – my pic shows a statue of Lenin in the distance – but can you spot the other Russian leaders in this pic ?
Today I took my camera on the tram to Bury, and met up with fellow Imperial War Museum (North) volunteers at the regimental museum of the Lancashire Fusiliers.
The Lancashire Fusiliers fought in battles all over the world during their time as a regiment in the United Kingdom, and this museum documented some of the stories as well as the history of the regiment. The bronze globe reminded me of IWM North’s building – “the shattered globe” as the wire frame showed all the places where the regiment fought in conflict.
During world war one , and the Gallipoli campaign, Six Victoria Crosses were issued to men of the Lancashire fusiliers to honour the regiment for their bravery. They’re known as the “Six VCs before breakfast”. A painting depicting the scene is on display by this picture.
For those who needed to know about the army and its structures – a helpful guide was on hand to show how the companies of men were formed.
In addition to the Uniforms – several weapons were on display, such as the Rifles used by the men of the fusiliers. In addition to our walk around, we were given an interesting talk by a member of the fusiliers who now works at the museum.
The Fusiliers are now part of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. This museum honoured those who fought and served in the regiment.
There is a memorial garden in the grounds of the museum containing the local cenotaph, whilst research facilities are available to search through museum archives.