The South Gloucestershire Second World War Stories Project is now entering its final few months
We have completed over 60 reminiscence sessions, recording quotes from many of the stories onto postcards which have been a fantastic resource to accompany the touring exhibition and school visits.
To date we have visited over 30 schools, with objects kindly lent to us by museums and heritage centres, presenting an overview of the impact of the war on South Gloucestershire. We have also been joined by three wonderful living history volunteers, Eric Garrett, Bill Bombroff and Margaret Bracey, who have captivated school children with their memories of the war.
We have just completed the first of our two evacuation days at Avon Valley Railway where we were joined by 90 children who dressed up for the event, took a steam train ride, learnt about Operation Pied Piper, rationing, experienced a billeting officer and being selected by local people. Again, huge thanks to all the volunteers who made the day such a memorable occasion, including volunteers from Avon Valley Railway and Kingswood Museum.
Our community events at the libraries have been hugely successful and supported by the library staff. They have included cake and spam sandwiches, singalongs, choirs, brass bands, sharing stories, poetry readings, adding photos to Know Your Place and making your own medal. The Touring exhibition continues to tour the libraries.
The war memorials information is being steadily added to the website, aided again by a wonderful team of dedicated and thorough volunteers.
We are also offering Oral History Training with Paul Evans of Gloucestershire Archives on Thursday 11 July, 1.30pm at the Council Offices in Yate. The training would be suitable for local history groups or those working with older people. To book visit our Second World Stories page on the South Gloucestershire Council website.
The ten short films are in the process of being edited, with stories from dispatch riders in the North African desert during the war, to being bombed out in Kingswood and Filton, to memories of soldiers coming in after the D-Day landings.
The films will be shown at the Armadillo Cinema in Yate on September 3rd.
Other events can be found at www.southglos.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/museums-and-galleries/south-gloucestershire-second-world-war-stories/
The whole project will be celebrated at a commemoration event at Aerospace on Saturday 7th July. This is coincides with the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the war. There will be free entry to the event and will include, activities for all the family, displays, films, and music from the era.
All resources, including school materials, films, and pdfs of the exhibition will be uploaded to the webpages as part of the legacy of the project.