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.
An early morning start at IWM North on Monday, as we met up with fellow volunteers and staff from the other branches at IWM Duxford for Volunteers week.
We travelled south through the Midlands on our journey, stopping off on some familiar services on the M6 and M1… the route usually adopted when I visit my relatives there. It was a bit rainy on the way there, but I was looking forward to visiting Duxford. Due to that branch holding most of the museums Aircraft Collection
We arrived at Duxford’s Entrance around about noon, and then after a short repast, we all entered the main hall, where the chairman of the imperial war museum welcomed us all and the ceremonies for the volunteer awards commenced.
I received my award for “Developing in a Role” from the chairman – and heard my Vollie Manager deliver a wonderful (more than a ) few words on why i’d won it!
How I started as a guide, then doing object handling and family history….
I did whisper at one point….”Ta boss! you can stop now….!!!” (sic)
After the awards ceremony, we took a look around the hangar and the various activities on display, this included seeing how concorde dipped its nose, to sending messages by morse code – to walking on board a Lancaster bomber. I enjoyed walking round the RAF Fleet, and got a really good view of the planes from the top deck of the gallery.
Monday Afternoon saw me returning back over the Bridge to the Home of the Imperial War Museum in the North, on the Trafford side of the Manchester Ship Canal
Today has seen me on the Information point Handling trolley, where visitors from all around the country have been able to look at objects and pick them up as the volunteers tell a little bit about the items the visitor is holding and a little about its origins.
These range from a helmet used by the armed forces during the battle of the somme, which was later used in world war II, to a babies gas mask used during world war ii as protection against potential gas attack.
In addition we direct and explain how to go around the big area that makes up the main exhibition space, which holds objects from World war I to Modern day
The Trolley is always of interest to visitors both young and old, because of the interactive nature of the exhibits. Schoolchildren enjoy hearing about the objects on display.
This afternoon I’ve been helping out at the Imperial War museum North, after discussing the next project with BASICs photography group.
The plan is to produce another exhibition in the centre from our work over their year.
I covered the main gallery today with two fellow volunteers. The information station was set out with three helmets , a Tommy helmet used at the start of the first world war and during the home front in world war two, a modified helmet from the end years of the first world war and a modern day Kevlar helmet used by the mines advisory group charity.
We had a lot of overseas visitors today, and they enjoyed handling the various objects on display. They asked lots of questions about what was on display in the exhibition space.
A response to the Daily post Challenge – “Alphabet”
(Photo taken by the Author, Camera used Samsung WB-250)
Salford, 15th January 2016.
The picture you see is a Mural , created by the artist Walter Kershaw. It’s not the original, The original was taken down and replaced by the Trafford Park Development Corporation when I was in my teens. The second edition, whilst the building it was on was still being maintained by the corporation hung on the wall with pride for many years – until some of the industries that sponsored it moved out of town.
If you head to Old Trafford to see the football its still on display there – a memorial to the industry that once dominated the area. A pictorial A-Z of Northern Industry. Some firms are still there, the Delivery and Haulage firms as well as the food and chemical plants and you can see them as you travel around the industrial park. Rank Hovis has a factory opposite the northern branch of the Imperial War Museum – which itself is on the old site of storage silos from the second world war
And if you wander where your Morning Cornflakes come from – they’re most likely to have come from the Large Kelloggs factory in the centre of the park.
Both my Father and Grandfather worked at the MF Industrial works on Barton Dock Road, which has since passed over to Kelloggs since the work moved elsewhere in Europe. The Mural fondly remembers the factory though – as the vehicle the works produced appears on the picture alongside the company logo of the time. A fond memory of the works car park comes to mind – where the diggers were proudly on show in the docking bays. At Christmas any remaining diggers would be decorated brightly in Christmas lights
The building the mural hangs on – once a storage facility for the docks – has also undergone some changes – as it’s become a nightclub venue – strange but true.
I’ve been a volunteer at the Northern Branch of the Imperial War Museum in Trafford, Manchester since 2005. I help out in two areas, in the Main Exhibition Space, and on the Ground Floor in a computer area called “Your History”
There is a timeline which directs visitors around the museum’s Main Exhibition Space. It begins with a “Mini-Timeline” with eighteen various objects each relating to a particular point on the timeline itself. As you walk round, you are introduced to the various events that led up to each conflict. You also Pass a number of Silo Areas, which cover a particular subject to do with both world wars. These cover soldiers experiences, through to the technologies used in warfare. The Large objects include a T-54 tank from world war II and a Trebant Estate Car created in Post-war East Germany, and Action Stations explain the roles these items played during that time.