Recently we went out to Inkberrow First School to help them explore WWII in Worcestershire as part of their topic.
Within the archives we have lots of information about life locally 1939-45, as well as having details about the archaeology of the defences built here during those years. So we came out with a box of information to help them discover about Worcestershire at war, to give their topic a local focus. It also allows them to find out if the reality here was the same as what the text books tell them
We started with extracts from oral history interviews about evacuation, comparing the different experiences of two people who were children during the war and evacuated to the countryside. The children then split into four groups and looked at a different sources before swapping round
- · Photos – photos of Worcester including women railway workers, queuing up to buy their rationed food and a gas bomb training exercise.
- · River Severn Catchment Board – not the most exciting sounding organisation! However within their archive is a paper trail of memos all about the problems of acquiring rubber boots for their staff, which were hard to get hold of, but very important when you work by water.
- · Newspapers – what was in the papers during the war? An interesting mix of war and non-war stories, with plenty of adverts for servants even though there was a war on, and a picture of Worcester's bombing raid (with no description!).
- · Defence of Britain project – a plan of Pershore Bridge showing how the bridge was defended in case of invasion.
It was a great visit, and the children were really engaged with the different sources and asked some good questions. They had been on a trip to Coventry Museum the week before so were able to compare what they'd seen there, for instance with air raid shelters and asking why the gas masks on the photos we brought were different from the ones they'd seen in Coventry.
For more information about the visit or about WWII sources please email email@example.com or ring 01905 766352.