Students take-off on RAF Stories mission!

RAF Stories

Calling all North Wales residents…the Royal Air Force Museum needs you!

The RAF Museum has teamed up with students at Bangor University in North Wales, on an exciting community project to capture the memories of residents who share connections to the RAF.

RAF history is imbedded in North Wales which is home to RAF Valley and the Museum wants to tap into this wealth of knowledge, experiences and personal recollections.

Over the last two years, the Museum has captured stories up and down the country with hundreds now available online for the public to view. By working together with the University, the Museum has expanded its reach, with a team of student’s ready to work throughout the summer capturing stories, whether that be about courage, love, tragedy, friendship, bravery, triumph, humour, happiness, sadness and everything in between. Together this catalogue of stories will expand and enrich our understanding of the RAF today.

Students have undergone interview and recording training with the Museum’s Community Engagement Officer and Digital Content Producer and will now spend the summer months interviewing and recording residents. All stories captured will then be uploaded to the RAF Stories website for audiences around the world to hear first-hand some of the inspirational and ground-breaking recollections from former RAF personnel and their families about their RAF journey.

Dr Teresa Crew, Employability Lead for the School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences at Bangor University said:
“It’s an honour to be involved with the RAF Museum on this interesting and worthwhile project. Our students are excited to be involved as the project will help them gain extra knowledge that they can apply to their course. It will help them develop transferable skills for employment and further education, but importantly they can be part of the RAF Museums drive to tell the stories of the men and women who served in the Royal Air Force.”

In 2018 the Museum worked with fifteen students from the University of Leicester and De Montfort University, who contributed over 200 hours of volunteer time, collecting memories from fifteen residents in the Leicestershire area. The Museum is hoping to have similar success in North Wales during its second project working with students.

RAF Stories is a global oral history project which digitalizes and makes accessible engaging, historical and contemporary stories of people’s personal connections to the RAF and the service’s influences on their lives.

RAF Museum Community Engagement Officer – RAF Stories, Jess Boydon said:
“We are looking for stories from anyone with a connection to the Royal Air Force. You could be a current serviceman or servicewoman, a veteran, an air cadet, have family links to the RAF or any other connection. You could share an hour with us, or a quick five-minute anecdote. All stories help to widen our understanding of what’s it like to be a part of or influenced by the RAF. We believe everyone has or knows someone with an RAF story and by working with students at the University we’re making it easier for more people to get involved with the project and we hope people will take up the opportunity.”

If you live in North Wales or beyond and would be happy to visit Bangor University to have your stories recorded please get in touch by email rafstories@rafmuseum.org or telephone 01902 376237.

Visitors to the RAF Museum Cosford can hear first-hand some of the remarkable stories collected to date. A new series of free talks sharing some of the widely diverse RAF Stories, will take place at the Museum, commencing on Saturday 3 August with guest speaker Candida Adkins, daughter of famous female Spitfire Pilot, Jackie Moggridge. Candida will be sharing stories about her mother who, after becoming the first woman to do a parachute jump in South Africa, travelled to England when the war broke out. She joined the Air Transport Auxiliary where she flew 72 different types of aircraft and was given the Kings Commendation for valuable services in the Air. She later joined the Women’s Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, got her Wings and went on to fly commercially, as an airline captain.

 The talk will commence at 2.00pm and is free to attend, lasting approximately one hour, including time for questions. As spaces are limited, visitors are advised to book their tickets in advance via the Museum’s website www.rafmuseumorg/cosford to avoid disappointment.

For anyone who would like to contribute to the RAF Stories project, the new RAF Stories App is available to download for free, where you can discover and share the stories of others, or record and upload your own using your mobile device, keeping the story alive and relevant for generations to come. Visit www.rafstories.org for more details.

The RAF Stories project is proudly supported by National Lottery Players through the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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