Students embark on RAF Stories mission!

Published on: 13 November 2018

RAF StoriesCalling all Leicestershire residents……the Royal Air Force Museum needs you!

The RAF Museum Midlands has teamed up with history students at both the University of Leicester and De Montfort University on an exciting community project to capture the memoirs of residents who share connections to the RAF.

RAF history is imbedded in Leicestershire which was once home to several bases in and around the county and the Museum wants to tap into this wealth of knowledge, experiences and personal recollections.

Over the last 18 months, 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 fourteen students now working in teams of two, 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 next six 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.

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 Universities 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 Leicestershire or beyond and would be happy to visit The University of Leicester to have your stories recorded please get in touch by email or telephone 01902 376237.

Peter RamraykaVisitors to the RAF Museum Midlands can hear first-hand some of the remarkable stories collected to date. The last in a series of free talks sharing some of the widely diverse RAF Stories, will take place at the Museum on Wednesday 5 December with guest speaker Peter Ramrayka. Peter was born in what was then colonial British Guiana (now Guyana). The grandson of indentured Indian labourers, he was brought up to believe that, despite his Indian cultural heritage, Britain was, in fact, the ‘Mother Country’. With a steely ambition to become a lawyer, he travelled to England in 1961. He joined the Royal Air Force as an option to both work and study. This led to successful careers and endeavours: the National Health Service; the Magistracy; political activist; Mission Director of a flying teaching eye hospital and much more.

The talk will commence at 7pm 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 to avoid disappointment CLICK HERE.

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. CLICK HERE for more details.

Heritage Lottery Fund The RAF Stories project is proudly supported by National Lottery Players through the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is part of the RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme across its two sites in London and Cosford.

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