In May 1943 a daring operation was commanded from Grantham which was hoped would speed the end of the war. 70 years on Grantham Museum is staging an exhibition which will showcase unique material not previously exhibited to the public and tell the story of the night of the raid and the people behind it.
617 Squadron “The Dambusters” carried out operation ‘Chastise’ on the night of the 16th May 1943. This famous raid on Germany’s dams using the bouncing bomb was planned and commanded from St Vincents in Grantham.
The Museum is very grateful to have the support and generosity of Jim Shortland, 617 Squadron historian who is loaning several items from his collection. Objects from the County Council’s collection will be on display including a fragment of one of the few existing bouncing bombs designed by inventor Barnes Wallis specifically for the raid.
The operation was made famous by the 1955 film starring Richard Todd as Wing Commander Guy Gibson. The Museum have been working with the Reel Cinema to screen this classic war film to mark the anniversary. Showing times are 14th, 15th, 22nd and 23rd May at 14:20. Tickets can be purchased directly from the cinema on St Catherine’s Road.
‘Did you know?’: The ‘bombs’ shown in the 1955 movie The Dam Busters were the wrong shape because their actual shape (a cylinder) was still top secret at the time.
The exhibition runs from 10th May until 29th July 2013
GCHA are very said to hear the news of the passing of Baroness Thatcher. We’d like to extend our sincere condolences to her family and friends.
As the longest serving of the 20th century and Britain’s first female Prime Minister we want to ensure her legacy is honoured in the most appropriate way. Details of which we will be announcing in due course.
There is a condolence book in the museum for people to come and leave their messages.
The Margaret Thatcher Statue Fundraising Project is delighted to have received £200 from The Welby Arms pub quiz held in Allington and would like to thank the organiser Peter Simpson.
The Welby Arms pub quiz has been going for over 20 years and the average sum raised every month for charity is £80. They regularly give to local charities and groups to help support local initiatives, and last month a Grantham Museum volunteer who attended the quiz asked for the statue project to be considered.
Helen Goral, Chairman of the Museum commented, “We are delighted that the pub quiz organisers have decided to donate to the statue project and would like to thank them for their support. Enthusiasm from the local community has been outstanding and this is the latest example of residents of Grantham and the surrounding area supporting the museum and it’s aims.”
The intention is for the museum to raise at least £200,000 to commission the museum’s own statue of Margaret Thatcher, whilst a minimum of 50p from every pound donated will go towards refurbishing and refitting the museum to make it a sustainable destination of choice for generations to come.
To find out more details about the Museum’s project and to donate, please visit www.margaretthatcherstatue.org text MTST11 plus amount to 70070 (For example MTST11 £10 )
For more information please contact Helen Goral at Grantham Museum. firstname.lastname@example.org 07947 569298
Grantham Museum are pleased to announce that The Grantham Canal Society will be at the museum for a three day exhibition from 21st-23rd March 2013.
The future of the canal depends on it being restored, and left untouched this treasure will be lost for ever, along with the industrial heritage and its importance as a wildlife corridor.
The Grantham Canal is a wonderful amenity for the town and surrounding area. Once restored, it will bring colour and vibrancy to the town, attract visitors, create jobs and provide business opportunities. It is difficult to imagine that just over forty years ago, there was a proposal to fill it in. The Grantham Civic Society was instrumental in preventing this happening, and in 1969 the Grantham Canal Society was formed.
Volunteers from the Grantham Canal Society will be at Grantham Museum from March 21st-23rd. Some will even be dressed in the traditional costume of these hard working boat people of the early 20th Century – people who hauled boat loads of coal from the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire coalfields – with a little help from their horse of course! The prosperity and industrial growth of the town depended upon this coal and was the primary reason for the canal being opened in 1797.
As well as exhibits, there will also be a workshop exploring the techniques used to decorate traditional costumes and furnishings of the people living and working on the Grantham Canal in its heyday.
A great day out for all the family, allow the Canal Society to show you what has already been achieved, and to give an insight of exciting times ahead.
Rosemary Gibson, the society’s Events Team Leader and accomplished needlewoman, will be holding a workshop on the needlework of the canal boatwomen on Friday 23rd March. This is a fascinating subject in itself where you can discover the art of Spiderweb embroidery, or learn how to make the colourful woven braces worn by boatmen as part of their ‘Sunday best’. Rosemary will also be demonstrating the method of making crochet lace, which boat people used to decorate their small cramped cabins.
For more information on how to get involved or to book a workshop, contact Rosemary by emailing RhuMaere@aol.com.
History is all around us, in our own families and communities, in the living memories and the experiences of older people. We only have to ask them and they can tell us enough stories to fill a library of books. This kind of oral history that we gather as we go through life is paramount to preserving stories for future generations to hear.
Everyone has a story to tell about their life which is unique to them. Some people have been involved in momentous historical events like the Second World War, but many others haven’t. Regardless of age or importance we all have interesting experiences to share.
As a result, Grantham Museum have embarked on an Oral History project to capture these memories. It will provide a legacy for the town by recording memories and histories and making them available to schools and visitors to the museum.
A keen supporter and advocate of the Oral History Project, District and County Councillor Paul Carpenter has donated £1000 of his Big Society Fund to help the museum purchase the equipment needed to run the project.
“The main reason I was interested in getting support for this project was my interest in the lives of ordinary people who quite often have very interesting stories to tell,” explains Councillor Carpenter.
He continues, “Without this type of project many stories and experiences of everyday folk just get lost. After all events and stories from our lifetime are tomorrows history. I wish this interesting project every success and I hope that people will come forward to let us all hear about their personal life experiences.”