Volunteers - Imperial War Museum

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Volunteers - Imperial War Museum

ISSUE 12 • AUTUMN 2008

A proud day for IWM North

Other features inside include:

“...So where’s the catch”

Royal Navy return to Belfast

Volunteers Digging for Victory in 2008...

When I grow up I want to be... a Curator

Volunteers’ Spring Day Out


VOLUNTEER WORKING GROUP UPDATE

Welcome to Issue 12 of the IWM Volunteer Newsletter!

The Imperial War Museum is blessed with a large and evolving

volunteer programme. In Manchester the innovative

community-focused ‘In Touch’ Volunteer Programme at

IWM North has been recognised with a Nationwide Community

& Heritage Award – an achievement celebrated on the cover of

this issue. At IWM Duxford there have recently been changes in

the management of the IWM’s largest volunteer programme that

have been agreed between the Duxford Management Team and

the Board of the Duxford Aviation Society and we wish Duxford

well as these developments in its volunteer programme begin to

settle in – the efforts of some of Duxford’s many dedicated

volunteers are profiled below. Within our three London Branches

short term student placement volunteers and longer term

volunteers have been involved in a broad variety of roles and it is

pleasing to report that, as within the Department of Collections

Management, new roles for volunteers are continuing to be

A Proud Day

Hi to all IWM, my name is Gary and I’m a volunteer at IWM

North. On Thursday 31 July I attended the Nationwide

Community & Heritage Awards. I can honestly say it was

one of the proudest days of my life. The In Touch Volunteer

Programme was nominated and won a regional Heritage award.

The event was held at the Lowry in Salford Quays.

Attending this ceremony was a huge privilege and I felt very

honoured and valued to accompany Danielle Garcia (Volunteer

Co-ordinator) and two volunteers from The Manchester Museum.

The category for which we achieved the regional award was in the

Heritage section, there were three winners in our section, and out

of the three we managed to win the National award to everyone

on our team’s amazement. What a day! We couldn’t believe it.

Danielle cried out “Oh my god,” whilst I put my head in my

hands with shock. Twice I had to go up for photograph shoots.

All that attention, not to mention two lovely ladies on either side

(Manchester Museum volunteers), the posh buffet and the

identified. Nor is it all work and no play as the

article on the Spring outing for London Volunteers

to Duxford makes clear!

For the statistics-hungry, the most recent

Corporate Volunteer Working Group’s Return (for

the April to June 2008 period) reported that the

IWM Group of Museums between them involved

some 1118 volunteers who were estimated to have jointly

contributed some 5785 days of voluntary effort on the Museum’s

behalf: a tremendous contribution towards the IWM’s delivery of

its business objectives. As with earlier publications, Issue 12

profiles how some of these days were being used across the IWM

Group and highlights some of the achievements and recognition

that resulted from them.

Jim Hutchinson, Editor

Volunteer Co-ordinator, IWM London Branches

‘IN TOUCH’ WITH THE NORTH

sparkling water, I really felt like a

celebrity! Not only am I very proud of

myself but also every single volunteer from IWM North and The

Manchester Museum should be proud of themselves.

The In Touch volunteer programme has been invited to attend

the National finals which will be held in the Tower of London in

November. We will be competing with twelve other heritage

projects, so fingers crossed!

The In Touch programme is a collaborative Volunteer

programme between the Imperial War Museum North and the

Manchester Museum. I was one of the first volunteers to enrol on

the joint project and I enjoyed every minute of it. The 10 week

course that I attended not only taught us about the Museum and

its exhibits but also helped improve my communication and

literacy skills, and the most important part was making new

friends and having a good laugh!

Gary Thompson,Volunteer, IWM North

Father & Son volunteering together!

Philip Moore loves volunteering every Thursday at

IWM North but found it difficult to combine his

volunteering whilst looking after his 8 year old

son during the school holidays. Phil asked if he could

bring Cameron along to the museum to help him

on the handling table. We agreed to give it a go as

we felt that Cameron would be learning

something new whilst delivering information

about the objects on the handling table to

other children. Cameron came into the

Museum in July and has done four volunteer

sessions with his dad. Phil and Cameron

(featured left) both have enjoyed their

experience on the gallery floor and

Cameron has taken to the role like a

duck to water!

Cameron said:‘I think it’s brilliant

because I get to tell people about the Baby’s gas mask – you need

to pump it 40 times a minute!’

‘I like asking other children to try on the National Fire Service

Helmet and I tell them information about it, most of the kids like

trying it on and feeling how hard it is.’

Phil is really proud of his son: ‘I really enjoy Cameron coming

with me to the museum, it’s given him further education that he

wouldn’t get at school and especially in the school holidays it gives

him an opportunity to learn whilst having fun. He’s a naturally

chatty person anyway but when he is on the handling trolley he

actively goes and gets families to come over to the trolley and

introduces the items to them.’

‘I’m really surprised at how confident he is and proud to know

he’s doing a good job and learning new things each time he comes

with me. I am very grateful to IWM North for letting me bring

him to share my volunteer role.’

Danielle Garcia,Volunteer Co-ordinator, IWM North

PAGE 2 • AUTUMN 2008 ISSUE 12

Cover photograph: IWM North volunteer Gary Thompson

holds IWM North’s Regional Heritage Award


AIRCRAFT RESTORATION AT DUXFORD

“…So where’s the catch”

One challenge in restoring old aircraft is coping with missing

parts. It may be impossible to find genuine replacements.

Aircraft were built in small quantities, more like boats than

mass-produced cars. However, where there is sufficient

information, IWM Duxford can make facsimile components,

but this can be very labour intensive. Fortunately, Duxford can

call on its Volunteer labour. Some Volunteers have suitable skills,

but frequently it is a combination of IWM Staff knowledge with

Volunteer effort which gets the job done.

Handley Page Victor B1 – ‘XH648’ – languished outdoors

for many years after being flown into Duxford in 1994. The

Victor, last of the ‘V’-Bombers in service, was the most

aerodynamic and, with its ‘Dan Dare’ looks, arguably the most

distinctive of the trio of ‘V’ aircraft (even if the Vulcan wins the

popular vote). Early in 2008, ‘XH 648’ was moved into Airspace

to be assessed for long term conservation/restoration.

Dennis Smits (IWM), teamleader, noted that some small

access panels were missing, and fingered me to make facsimiles.

The missing panels all had very distinctive looking, streamlined,

fasteners/catches, operating by ‘snap-through’ action. Although

standard 1950s’ fittings, they were long out of production and

no manufacturing drawings could be found. A search of odd

panels on scrap dumps also drew a blank. However, George

Jordan (IWM Stores) found rigging instructions in an old AP.

These highlighted the subtleties of the details of the original

design.

The original mechanism was built mainly from formed

steel/aluminium components, so it looked possible to make

replicas by manual methods. An original example was carefully

dismantled (later reassembled), to copy individual parts. Each

catch had 10 individual parts, most with complex shapes.

Encouraged by Dennis, I agreed to try to make both panels and

catches, completely from scratch. The design had allowed for

some adjustment in service, but I decided to make three sets of

parts ‘just in case’, from which two best sets could be selected

(Fig 1 – original parts in foreground). Much cutting, bending,

filing, fitting and cursing then ensued… a potential problem

with springs was averted when George came to the rescue (again)

with vaguely similar, but usable, springs he ‘just happened to

find’ somewhere!

Figure 1

Eventually, the two best sets of parts were assembled, with

their associated panels, as functioning replicas (the third set, ‘the

runt of the litter’ was assembled as a working model (see Fig 2).

The whole exercise occupied approximately three (volunteer)

man weeks in total, but spread over several months of part-time

working.

Finally the panels were fitted to the aircraft (Fig 3 – note the

distinctive outline

of the catch lever).

The careful reader

may see that the

panels, as fitted,

have few parallel,

straight sides, right

angles, or uniform

radii. (Like I said –

‘boatbuilding

techniques’ ….)

Dave Wood

Military Aircraft

Conservation

Volunteer

IWM Duxford

Left: Figure 2

Below: Figure 3

PAGE 3 • AUTUMN 2008 ISSUE 12


DISPLAY DEVELOPMENTS AT DUXFORD

A Dynamic Duo

Raymond and Mervyn. What can I say Basically they are

fantastic! My name is Gav Elliott-Turner and I’m the

Exhibitions Technician at Duxford, and without these two

guys my job would be oh so much harder. To give you a brief

description of the things that we do would be hard, because it’s

so varied and dare I say even interesting. It’s a broad field to say

the least.

I have been in this position for only eighteen months and

recently the departments Operations Co-ordinator, Steve Crook,

retired. The department has lost an invaluable member of the

team and I shall try hard to carry on the good work that Steve

has done.

My duties involve maintaining all the audiovisual equipment,

interactive equipment and many other duties as well. All of this

on such a vast site would be impossible without the help and

dedication of Exhibition Support Volunteers Ray and Mervyn.

Their talents never go unnoticed. They help me with things that

sometimes I am too busy to tackle whilst drawing on their vast

experience of this museum and a wealth of knowledge gained

throughout their lives. They undertake any tasks given to them

with great ability, skill and cheerfulness.

I said earlier that it

would be difficult to give

an explanation of the

many tasks Ray and

Mervyn undertake,

however I shall try to

summarise in a few words.

HMS BELFAST NEWS

Royal Navy return to Belfast

After finishing our Artificer training at HMS Sultan in

Gosport, the pair of us had a gap of a couple of months

waiting for further submarine training and we were therefore

given an opportunity to find community support work local to

our hometown. Both being Londoners, the possibility of

working voluntarily on HMS Belfast seemed ideal because it gave

us an opportunity to be near our families (much to their

dismay!) and work on an important part of Royal Naval history.

Upon opening the aft Director Control Tower (DCT), it was

clear that the area had been left in a rather sorry state since the

last time it had been used. Corrosion had set in on some of the

surfaces, much of the rubber and leather had perished, the deck

was rather oily and dirty, paint was coming away from the

bulkheads and

deckheads and most

of the equipment

and fixings had seen

better days. Whilst

we were somewhat

at a disadvantage

with rather limited

time interspersed

with leave and a

couple of other

courses with the

Navy, we decided to

clean the bulkheads

and deckheads and

Mike (left) and John in the DCT at the end of their

voluntary service on the ship

remove the loose

paint.

Ray, Mervyn & Gavin in the Exhibitions

Workshop at Duxford

They carry out general maintenance duties in the Land

Warfare Hall, American Air Museum, Hangars 2 to 5 and the

new AirSpace exhibition, whilst also helping me with my daily

duties. They also carry out the never ending task of maintaining

and repairing worn, weathered and damaged caption stands and

fitting new captions as required.

Sometimes they undertake large projects, for instance recently

they carried out the revamping of the midget subs exhibition in

Hangar 3. This was a huge undertaking for only two volunteers,

however I feel that the final results more than prove their worth.

All in all, Raymond and Mervyn are a valuable part of a very

necessary team, which continues to maintain the exhibitions at

Duxford for present and future generations.

Gavin Elliott-Turner, Exhibitions Technician, IWM Duxford

In our time on board we believe we have made a good start

to the restoration process of the aft DCT. Not only did we

manage to tidy the area and make it a bit more presentable, we

have prepared some of the bulkheads ready for a final paint and

removed some of the electrical equipment for future restoration.

Hopefully this has provided a good springboard for the next

team of willing volunteers.

In the time that wasn’t taken up with the restoration, we

took the chance to explore the ship. We visited areas that had

been fully restored and open to the public and, having been

given the ship’s ‘master key’, the inquisitive Artificers that we

are, ventured into the deepest darkest corners of the ship,

including the un-restored aft boiler and engine rooms, tiller flat,

and DG compartments. This gave us a unique chance to

explore the environment in which our engineer predecessors

would have been working. One of the many adventures aboard

was making our way up from the aft magazine to the 6" turret,

following the path of a shell. Added to this, it was a pleasure to

meet and chat to some of the ship’s company who had served

on her during various parts of her history.

We have both thoroughly enjoyed our time aboard HMS

Belfast working on the conservation team. It has been a

privilege to work on an important piece of Royal Naval

Heritage and to work in a good sociable environment with

Andy Curran, the Conservation Manager, and other members

of the team. And to any other naval personnel with relatives in

London stuck for ideas for harmony/holdover time, we would

recommend considering volunteering on HMS Belfast as an

option.

LMEA John Hayward and LMEA Michael Phillips

PAGE 4 • AUTUMN 2008 ISSUE 12


HMS BELFAST NEWS

Voluntary service on the ship

maintains family link...

I

first became aware of the ship conservation programme for

HMS Belfast whilst visiting the official website last year and

decided that I would like to become part of the ‘home team’.

My career background has evolved around marine engineering

for much of my life, serving as an apprentice in HM Dockyards

Devonport and Singapore from 1965-1969. I finished up

working in the diesel frigate section at Devonport as a mechanical

fitter on HMSs Salisbury, Llandaff and Chichester. Other navy

veterans that I worked on during my apprenticeship and

subsequently were HMSs Verulam, Ark Royal, Eagle and Cavalier.

After leaving the Dockyard for pastures new, I joined the

Merchant Navy, having failed the eyesight test for the Royal Navy

much to my disappointment! I became a 4th Engineer Officer

and served for 14 years. Most of that time was spent in the Far

East on general cargo ships on charter to various companies.

After leaving the sea to get married, I finally finished up working

for British Rail as it then was but now First Great Western.

I service and maintain High Speed Trains at Laira Depot,

Plymouth.

After a really interesting day spent with Jim and Andy

onboard for a volunteers open day, in which I was given a tour of

the various conservation projects and met some of the other

volunteers, I had a one to one interview with Jim. By this time,

I was more convinced than ever that I would like to volunteer

and it was just a case then of waiting for all the relevant

paperwork to be completed and awaiting the final call. This came

in October 2007 and I became one of the October boys!

When I attended on my first working visit, I met my fellow

volunteer Robin with whom I established an immediate rapport

both professionally and socially. Andy gave us our first

conservation project which was refurbishment work on the

Compass Platform. This involved removing various navigational

and communication instruments fitted to the bulkhead below the

platform windows, removing 30 odd years of paint and restoring

them back to as good a condition as possible prior to

replacement.

Robin and I established a small workshop in the audio visual

compartment port side aft of the Admirals Bridge and set to work

with a will using an odd assortment of tools liberated from my

garage and local cheap tool shop! It was a case of where do we

start But we soon established a routine and started to make slow

but sure progress.

HMS Belfast is a magnificent ship and I am proud to be a

member of the conservation team. All my fellow volunteers are

enthusiastic and friendly and I fitted in well. I look forward to

making the long rail journey from Plymouth for the few hours

that I can spend onboard with Robin although I am not able to

attend as much as I would like because of my shift pattern.

My other connection with HMS Belfast is that my father who

is 85 served in her during her first event-filled commission as a

boy seaman where his main role was communication centre

runner and ship’s bugler. He remembers the capture of the

German liner Cap Norte, the sinking of HMS Royal Oak by U-47

at Scapa Flow and the detonation of the magnetic mine in the

Firth of Forth which caused such severe damage but mercifully

few casualties.

This gives my service as part of the volunteer team added

satisfaction and a certain poignancy as each time that I step on

the Quarterdeck, I remember my father’s wartime service and

how very proud I am to play a continuing small part in HMS

Belfast’s preservation as a living reminder to all the brave

personnel who served in her both in war and peace in defence of

our country.

Mike Burt,Warship Conservation Volunteer, HMS Belfast

Mike (left) and Robin re-fitting some

of the communication equipment on

the Compass Platform that they

have jointly restored

PAGE 5 • AUTUMN 2008 ISSUE 12


WAR ROOMS NEWS

Exhibitions Interns make an impact

The Exhibitions Department of the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War

Rooms (CMCWR) has continued to receive enthusiastic student interns from

the Central University of Iowa London Programme, who spend two days a

week for three months volunteering. Danny Akright came from January to mid-

May and worked on research and contacting veterans for the Cabinet War Rooms

anniversary exhibition; Robert Poole (featured right) is currently with us and has

produced transcriptions for deaf visitors of the audio in the Churchill Museum,

and is now moving on to research for our Homelessness exhibition.

Keeley Jopson, currently working for Personnel at IWML, is also fitting in

volunteering for Exhibitions, mainly through undertaking photo research for the

Homelessness exhibition; she also volunteered helping with activities for children

at the Harvest Fair.

We are very grateful for our volunteers’ hard work and enthusiasm.

Cressida Finch, Exhibitions Manager, CMCWR

Volunteers Digging for Victory in 2008...

The Dig for Victory volunteer programme in 2008 has

once again been a great success. Groups of volunteers

from a range of different community groups – St

Vincent de Paul RC Primary School, Essendine Primary

School, Volunteer Centre Westminster Learning Disabilities

Project, Kensington and Chelsea Community Action Team,

219 Lisson Grove, Providence Row Housing Association, the

Victoria Home Educating Group and A Moveable Feast –

have all attended the allotment each week for five months,

carefully sowing seeds, tidying the plot and harvesting the

‘fruits’ of their labours. In addition to the community groups

that have worked on the allotment, the project has also given

us the opportunity to offer further volunteer placements, as

support for the Community Learning Officer when

facilitating these visits. In this respect I am very grateful for

the hard work and dedication of Kathleen Stafford, Ashton

Josephs, Jenny Siggs and Jenny Cobb. Dig for Victory has

been a delightful project to work on, and it is entirely the

volunteers that have made it so.

We have also been lucky enough to have Anna Wotton,

History of Art student at the University of Reading (and

budding museum educator!) with us over the summer

months. Anna did some fantastic work, including developing

and delivering drop-in activities for children and adults based

on the theme of make-do and mend, and researching

wartime artists, for possible use on a future education

workshop.

Natalie Cain, Community Learning Officer, CMCWR

‘Growing together’ – seeds

planted on the Dig for

Victory allotment by

members of the Disabilities

Project at Volunteer Centre

Westminster take root.

SVEN MARTENSEN

PAGE 6 • AUTUMN 2008 ISSUE 12


UKNIWM ‘WAR MEMORIALS NEWS’

When I grow up I want to be ... a Curator

Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are looking for a little retirement project whilst others are

looking for work experience so they can get their feet on the working ladder. If one decides to become a

museum curator there is a lot of competition so you need something to set you above the crowd.

Volunteering is an excellent way of doing this and UKNIWM (United Kingdom National Inventory of War

Memorials) has had a number of students who have helped us in the past and we, in turn, have helped them

gain valuable experience.This summer, we have had the pleasure of the company of Felicity Boucher

(featured right), a second year undergraduate reading History with English Literature at Bath Spa University. She is just

about to enter her final year and, naturally, her thoughts are turning to what she will do when she finishes her degree.

Jane Furlong (JF): What do you want to be when you grow up!

Felicity Boucher (FB): I am loving my course so much that I

want to base my career around history and preserving heritage.

I am planning a postgraduate course in Museum studies to help

me get a career in the museum sector, where I would feel I was

really connected with the historical community.

JF: Why did you choose to volunteer at the IWM

FB: My first intention when emailing Jim Hutchinson was just

to get some questions answered regarding the industry, and

where I could obtain some experience to really gain a good

perspective on my future career choice. Once I had spoken to

Jim the idea of volunteering for the IWM seemed ideal, I could

gain experience that looked good for my CV and application for

a Postgraduate degree, but the whole experience seemed exciting

and new. Once I heard from Jane Furlong at the Inventory of

War Memorials about my placement my excitement grew.

I would finally be able to see how areas of museums were run,

and be able to contribute to the project. My main aim in

volunteering was to understand to inner workings of a museum

environment, as well as feel I was helping out a team that was

working towards preservation and conservation of our history.

JF: What have you been doing

FB: My main tasks here have been to input memorials into the

database, helping out with the filing and attempting to go to

areas with unrecorded memorials and gain more information

VOLUNTEERING AT IWM LONDON

New volunteer role developed within Collections Care

The Collections Management department at the

Imperial War Museum has a vital task: to care for

the museum’s vast collection of artefacts and

ensure that they are conserved for the education and

enjoyment of future generations. I began my work in

the department in September 2008, and in my short

time as a volunteer have found the experience to be

very interesting and varied. I work with a mix of

people and undertake two different roles in the

department, which is based at the main IWM site

in Lambeth. In the morning I work with a

Registrar, Fernanda Torrente, chasing up items

from the museum’s collection that have been

loaned to army regiments. This involves

speaking to people on the telephone – mostly

commanding officers – in order to

determine whether the museum’s

property is being cared for

appropriately, and that all the items have

Tim at work in one of the Department of Printed Books Stores

about the memorials for the database. Whilst inputting into the

catalogue I have realised just how many varieties of memorials

there are around Great Britain and how many different ways

people wished to remember those who fought for us. By being a

part of the cataloguing process I feel part of the conservation

team, working to preserve the memories that these memorials

stand for.

JF: Have you enjoyed it and has it been useful

FB: My time here has been so valuable. I have been able to gain

a great insight into the project undertaken by the UKNIWM

and understand just how important it is to remember and

document our country’s war memorials. It has also opened my

eyes to the day-to-day organisation and paperwork archiving

involves, as well as the accuracy needed to maintain a database

standard, so that the records can be documented with precision.

Jane has also given me great advice regarding my future career

path, as well as helping me with my application for my future

postgraduate degree, for which I am so thankful.

In the short time she has been here Felicity has been a great

asset. Indeed, we have benefited from all our work placements,

past, present and, I hope, future. Whilst they don’t have the

long-term duration of our older volunteers I hope that we have

inspired them to make a career in museums as they are fantastic

places to be in and, based on the people who have helped us, are

the exemplary staff of the future.

Jane Furlong, Project Officer, UKNIWM Project

the necessary insurance cover. This is important because some of

the items on loan are worth many thousands of pounds. After

lunch I then switch to an entirely different role, and my afternoon

is spent assisting the Collections Care team with conservation

work. This small team is a subdivision of the Collections

Management department and it is their job to undertake not only

cleaning and conservation of items, but also their packing and safe

storage. My role is to assist David Lindridge and his team, which

has so far involved cleaning books and files in the printed books

department and helping with the safe transport of valuable

paintings. I personally enjoy being able to divide my day between

these two very different tasks and have already gained a broad

understanding of the work of the department. The experience is

made all the more enjoyable by the friendliness and

approachability of all the staff I have met at IWM London.

Tim Watson, Collections Care Volunteer, IWM London

PAGE 7 • AUTUMN 2008 ISSUE 12


LONDON BRANCHES VOLUNTEER FORCE

Volunteers’ Spring Day Out

Take a quiet Sunday Morning at Duxford, add some IWM

Volunteers from across our three London Branches and staff,

two 15 tonne armoured personnel carriers and a muddy

track then stand back (well back!) and enjoy the fun. This was

exactly what Volunteer Co-ordinator Jim Hutchinson had

arranged for our group on Sunday 27 April 2008.

For me the day’s novelty started with being up at 7 o’clock on

a Sunday, in time for Andy Curran (HMS Belfast Conservation

Manager) to give me a lift there. He patiently endured Peter and

Lee’s magical mystery tour through London and was visibly

relieved when we found the M11. Thanks for the lift Andy.

One of the many good things about Duxford is that as a

working airfield there is often something going on. As we arrived

I heard the unmistakable clatter of an aero engine starting up

and was hoping to see a Spitfire taxi past. It turned out to be the

airfield tractor. Later in the day though we saw a Harvard and

Tiger Moth flying, and a aerobatic display practice.

Greg from the Military Vehicle Wing gave us a run through

the FV432 APC we would be driving and riding in. It’s basically

a box with tracks on either side. Great for a day out but I’m not

sure I would have wanted to cross the plains of Central Europe

in one with the Warsaw Pact throwing Armour Piercing rounds

at me. Driving them turned out to be quite simple. Two sticks

and an accelerator pedal. Pull back on the left stick and the

vehicle goes left, pull on the right and it goes right. Pull back on

both and it stops. There was relief all round when he explained

that the accelerator pedal will fit any shoe from a boot to a high

heel. I won’t comment on which style applied to whom. If I get

to drive one again I’m trying flip flops.

Safety was paramount. We were issued with a hard hat and

London Branches Volunteers ‘in the

thick of it’ at Duxford’s Land

Warfare Hall Vehicle Running Arena

goggles, and had a run through what to do

if the APC rolled into the ditch round the

track. This basically involves getting inside

the vehicle and being tumbled around a

bit before emerging unharmed. I’ll admit

in the interests of my Rommel impersonation I pushed the

goggles up on my helmet and was rewarded with an eyeful of

mud. On no account touch the pedal on the left we were also

told. To my disappointment it turned out this didn’t unleash a

flame thrower or launch smoke grenades; it was just the

emergency engine stop.

My memory of the driving is a blurr of flying mud, exhaust

smoke and screaming engines. Brilliant fun! Everyone had a go

and it was good fun riding in the back too. Andy Curran

seemed to think he was doing a timed lap of the Top Gear track

and I think his passengers had one of the more ‘exhilarating’

rides that day.

It started pouring just as we finished on the FVs so it seemed

the perfect time to drop by the DAS Canteen. As Londoners

we’re accustomed to remortgaging the house in order to get in

some teas and few sandwiches. But in the canteen prices seemed

to have stood still since the 70s. In awe of the amount I could

get for a quid I made three trips to the counter, and we were

only stopped when they closed for their own well earned lunch.

Much to our own surprise we didn’t then head to the pub. My

mate James works at The Fighter Collection and he generously

offered to give us a ‘beyond the safety ropes’ tour of their work area

in Hangar 2. We had a run through the intricacies of their

P-51 Mustang, and a walk round the Spitfire. Getting up close to

these flying legends is a great experience and just when you are

fawning over the smooth lines he reminds you that their

sole purpose is to get your guns lined up on the other

guy’s plane faster than he can on yours. Thanks very much

for your time James; it was much appreciated by all.

It was great day out and thanks Jim for

organising it. A big thank you

too for the guys at the Duxford

Military Vehicle Wing who

helped us with the driving, and

on occasion probably kept us out

of that ditch.

Lee Murrell

Warship Conservation Volunteer

HMS Belfast

Volunteer ‘Situations Vacant’ within the IWM Group

At all of our IWM Branches, capacity for new volunteers can vary as training programmes and operational/development projects start

and finish. For the latest position on current openings for volunteers at our sites and projects please contact the Volunteer

Co-ordinators recruiting for the branch or project that you wish to join. These are:

For IWM Duxford: Nicola Hughes, Volunteer Co-ordinator on

01223 499 357.

For the IWM’s London Branches: Jim Hutchinson, Volunteer

Co-ordinator on 0207 940 6345.

PAGE 8 • AUTUMN 2008 ISSUE 12

For IWM North: Danielle Garcia – Volunteer Co-ordinator on

0161 836 4080.

For UKNIWM Project fieldworkers recruitment:

Jane Furlong, Project Officer, on 0207 207 9851.

Designed and produced by Cambridge Marketing Limited, 01638 724100

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