IWM North, September 2018

an acrostic poem by inkdrop, on the newest arrival in the Main exhibition space of

IWM North in Trafford….

Made up at the Locomotion works in Bolton

A Machine to bring terror to the enemies eyes

Thundering across land and desert

Hot on the tail of any enemy Infantry

In time, tales would be told about her and her thundering wheels

Launching shells and ammo towards the enemy

Dangerous ? all missions are aren’t they

Allies relying on this mighty armoured tank

Inky takes to the water

Venue : HMS Belfast, London

Date : 20th February 2018

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.

HMS Belfast Nameplate
HMS Belfasts Guns, with Memorials and Bell
Deactivated Seamine, Now used by HMS Belfast for Donations
View of Tower Bridge (From the Bridge)

What i’m reading….

Hi Folks.

This bit of the blog is going to be an on off review section.  Because , believe it or not – I actually like reading books as much as I like writing stuff

Think of this page as not exactly Jonathan Ross but not Michael Parkinson either…

In Paperback

I’ve currently gone back to two books I read in preparation for IWM North’s Book Exhibit – Once upon a Wartime

The first the Machine Gunners by Robert Westall – is set in World War II and tells the tale of a group of war souvenir hunters, who’s unofficial leader stumbles across a German Bomber crashed in the nearby woods – with the Machine Gun still intact…

“Some bright kid’s got a gun and 2000 rounds of live ammo…”

A brilliant tale unfolds as the lad and his mates set out to aid the forces with dangerous and unexpected results.

The second War Horse by Michael Morpurgo – set at the outbreak of world war I , tells the tale of a young horse Joey, who is sold to the cavalry and sent to France, and Albert – his owner who goes to the battlefields of France in a mission to bring Joey back

Its a surprising tale – told by the horse itself and brings to life what happened to the animals sent to the front during warfare.

The book itself has been turned into a Theatre play and a Film by the film producer Steven Spielburg – well worth a read.


A Trip to Liverpool

Shared Journeys

26th November 2015


On Thursday, I went on a Group visit with the Volunteers from Imperial War Museum North to view the remembrance exhibit on World war one currently on display at the Museum of Liverpool.


On the way to the Museum, we passed the Walker Art Gallery and St Georges Hall, which is currently home to part of the ceramic poppy installation of the Tower of London that was created for the World War I Centenary.

(Apologies for the picture quality – I did take this ‘on the move’!)


The Exhibit we went to see was entitled Poppies : Women and War. It told the tales of Women caught up in conflict.  Two significant names that shared their tales with Imperial War Museum North were that of the Intelligence Officer, Flora Sandes and the World War I Red Cross Nurse, Edith Cavell.


I enjoyed an Alfresco Lunch (that had travelled with me down the M62) and took in the grandeur of Liverpool’s three graces Alongside the Albert dock.  You could say I had my first Christmas Dinner – with another Trio of Goodies – Turkey & Trimmings on the Sandwiches.  As I was eating – I spotted the ‘Snowdrop’ making its way up the Mersey on one of its regular journeys towards the Manchester Ship Canal and Salford Quays


The next museum we visited was the Merseyside Maritime Museum, which told the tales of Liverpool’s Naval and Maritime Past.


A Training ship was moored by the Maritime Museum.  It’s a Tall ship and is used to give youngsters opportunity to sail on the open sea.  Brought back memories of the Ocean Youth Club vessel, Greater Manchester Challenge, which I was once part of the crew back in 1996.


There were scale models of working ships in the Maritime Museum, and it also had the tales of those who worked and sailed on the boats – in particular the Cunard Liners.

Remembrance Sunday


It was Remembrance Sunday today.

I went to church this morning at Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Josephs RC in Ordsall, Salford, where we remembered all those who fell in conflict.  The church Belfry was rebuilt in 1924 as a Memorial to those who died in the first world war and the Altar Windows commemorate those who lost their lives in the Second World War.  A poppy wreath was laid before the Offertory procession.

What made it poignant was the fact the procession of the poppy wreath was led by the Junior members of the congregation.  Alan, a senior member of the congregation gave the solemn promise that goes back to the original time

“At the going down of the sun…we will remember them”

IWM North will be commemorating Remembrance week this week,  I wrote an acrostic last year in commemoration of the occasion.  The link is below.



By Brian F Kirkham

7th October 2011

Written by the author for IWM North

Red poppies sway in the Belgian air,
Ever in thanks for the selfless act of those comrades in arms
Making their way, from every village and town
Each individual, with dedication to duty
Made their way to a field in Flanders, a field now
Bearing the scars of war.
Reflect – and give thanks, to that
Army of Men
Never forget – the selflessness of all those
Chosen and called up to arms.
Each one someones father, someones son

The Russian Tank

A Stalwart of the Russian Army in World War II - The T-34 was a powerful tank and had a Six man crew
A Stalwart of the Russian Army in World War II –
The T-34 was a powerful tank and had a Six man crew

Greetings , Comrade!

Have we met somewhere before?

I’m a veteran of the second world war…

You’ll recognise my number,

I’m the T-34

In my vast solid frame, worked a brave crew of five

My only aim – was to keep them alive

On Russias front, we fought ‘gainst an enemy foe

My strong tracks moved forward, and away we’d go!

My wheels drove the tracks, like cossacks of old

leaving mighty marks in the snow and the cold

Commander gave orders, and Gunners fired shells

Gunpowder and burning were familiar smells

We fought for our country, and sometimes our meals,

whilst the enemy we fought had other ideals

Their crack soldiers ran when they saw me appear

as my shells would explode wherever they were near.

But Now, i’m retired,

to a home in the west.

Educating Children, quietly

is what i do best.

Little Ol’ Red

The Fire pump issued to the Ferranti Works in World War II
The Fire pump issued to the Ferranti Works in Hollinwood in World War II, Now on Display at Imperial War Museum North, Trafford.

Little Old Red is resting,
he’s done its best.
When the world was at war,
and bombs fell to the floor

These crafty bombs made fire
over concrete and grass
so firecrews met round him
to work they’d amass.

Putting out fires and
protecting from damage,
A meal th’crew would eat
was the most they could manage

And taking their cue,
from the wardens in black
the fire crews stopped fires
from the enemy attack

As Little Red emptied
eighty pools in a day
Keeping the danger
of fire at bay
But now that war’s over
the spotlight’s now on him
as he tells tales of the firemen
that isn’t quite so grim