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)


11th November 2017


As the accord was signed

Regiments over the battlefields of europe

Made safe their weaponry, as commanding officers

Instructed their men to stop shooting

So they stayed at their post

Till the time was declared by those in charge

It’s time for the firing to stop , lads –

Come back home, you’re needed here

Enjoy the boat ride back.

More on remembrance in the archive :

Show n Tell


Salford, 4th September

Iwm Waterside

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.

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IWM Duxford , Cambridge, 5/6/2017


For a brief moment today,

looking around the hangar in Cambridge

I got to see the marvels of flight first hand

Great planes – from early pioneers to new planes and even spaceflight

Hoped to see something special – and I wasn’t disappointed

Tomorrow – i’ll take a look at what I captured



Fashion on the Ration

Salford 5th January 2017


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.

Image result for ww2 utility clothing


Two Minute Silence

11th November 2016

Imperial War Museum North, Trafford, Manchester

It was Armistice Day today

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



Remembrance Sunday

A Busman’s Holiday – In Cosford

Old Trafford, Manchester , 5th August

Time        :   Zero Nine Hundred Hours.

Location :   Imperial War Museum North, Old Trafford, Manchester

Destination : RAF Museum, Cosford, Shropshire


Bill by the RAF Twin-propped Bomber – and it wasn’t raining!



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.

Experimental Aircraft


I particularly enjoyed the Test flight Gallery.  This explained the developmental process behind Planes like the Spitfire and the Harrier Jump Jet .


Nigel taking shots of the aircraft….


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 ?