Friday, 25 November 2011

Museum Volunteering - Archive Crew have history on their hands

A vigorous volunteers' programme is a sine qua non for most small attractions and museums. The Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust that set up and run the Flying Boat Centre in Pembrokeshire is a good example as a recent press release demonstrates.

Pembroke Dock’s 200 years of history is in excellent hands. For the past 12 months a dedicated team has been cataloguing, recording and conserving a remarkable and wide ranging collection - covering so many facets of a community with a proud military and social history. They are members of the ‘Archive Crew’ at the Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust’s Archive Centre, currently located in the town’s historic Market Building.
Under the guidance of Archive Manager and Curator Dave Pring they have, in the first year of operation, worked on over 12,000 items, from photographs and documents to uniforms, aircraft equipment and ships models. Items from the Haven Sunderland flying boat, serial T9044, are among the artefacts.

“It is a remarkable collection and we have only really scratched the surface,” said Dave, an IT specialist and qualified trainer. “The Pembroke Dock Collection includes important individual collections and those from service organisations and the town’s Museum Trust. It is hugely significant nationally and internationally as well, as we are constantly reminded as we receive many enquiries and requests from all over the world. Tracing family history is a major area of interest here.”

Dave and his team of 12 volunteers estimate that they have a 20 year project ahead of them, as new artefacts and material come to the Centre all the time. The archiving and recording work being carried for the Sunderland Trust is recognised as achieving the highest standards in Wales and the skills being taught to the band of volunteers is likewise of the top order.
“The team is hugely enthusiastic and developing so many skills,” added Dave. “Some of the team also volunteer at the very popular Flying Boat Centre and the Trust is fortunate to have so many committed volunteers.”

* New volunteers are welcome and should get in contact with the Sunderland Trust (01646 623425) or PAVS.

The Sunderland Trust Archive Crew came together to mark the first successful year of operation. Pictured are, left to right: Back row: Judith Davies and Glynnis Iles (Sunderland Trust Project Team); Iona Thomas, Trish Pritchard, Mary Meldrum, Barry Clark, Kay Hancock, Margaret Clark, Pari Taheran, Chris Howell. Front row: Malcolm Miles, Tony Craney, Dave Pring and Colin Hancock.

PICTURE: Sunderland Trust.