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“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” ― Barack Obama   On the evening of 6th June, towards the end of this year’s Volunteers’ Week, I had the privilege of attending the Erewash Museum Volunteer Party and Awards. As ever, it was a roomful of happy people celebrating what the museum has achieved – and what it can only achieve through the...
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Albert Ball is one of the most famous fighter pilots in British History. A World War One hero, aerial ace and winner of the Victoria Cross, Albert had a celebrity-like following across the Nation. But Albert was also local boy, Nottingham born and bred, and educated in Erewash at Long Eaton’s Trent College. Albert’s early life was comfortable. His father, also called Albert, was a successful businessman who started life as a plumber and ended knighted and Lord Mayor of Nottingham. His father indulged his love of engines and machines: Albert had a garden shed where he could tinker away. He...
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One hundred years on from the armistice that ended it all, this week the museum proudly opened its new exhibition, ‘Erewash Remembers: 100 Years of Commemorating the First World War’. Curated by Kate Crossley-Halls, the exhibition turns not only to the conflict itself but also to its devastating aftermath and the cultures of remembrance that grew out of unthinkable international catastrophe. Global war had very local ramifications, and in towns like Ilkeston huge labour shortages were caused when men went away to the Front, many of which were filled by women. Following the armistice of November 11th, 1918, the struggles were...
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Erewash Museum is currently undertaking conservation work on the Margaret Hope Robinson letters – an archive of more than 2,000 letters that give an emotional insight into the lives of families of British prisoners of war (POWs) during the Second World War.   In 1944, Margaret Hope Robinson was a 29-year-old deputy registrar at Ilkeston Registry Office and was desperate for news of her husband Paul Maltby Robinson, a Major with the Sherwood Foresters, who had been captured by the Japanese forces a few years earlier.   She broke Whitehall regulations to interview two repatriated former POWs and produced a pamphlet...
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Through this museum blog, we always want to showcase different voices and different responses to the museum, our collection, our special events and our community. Everyone is different and the blog would be boring if it was only ever the staff who posted through here. Sometimes, new eyes notice details that we don’t, or a new visitor is interested in an aspect of our history we’d never really considered. As part of this, beginning in March 2017, the museum is hosting four students on placement from the School of English at the University of Nottingham. All of the students will be...
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Bennerley Viaduct is an extremely important local historical monument which the local community hold close to their hearts. In 2016 we hosted an exhibition telling the story about its fascinating history and how it relates closely to the historical development of Ilkeston and the Erewash Valley.  This has been very worthwhile and made many more people aware of the great heritage assets they have on their doorstep. Sustrans’ proposal to restore Bennerley Viaduct and make it publically accessible by building ramps and paths up to it and across is very popular in the local community. By bringing the viaduct into use...
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image of toton sidings railway lines
We are pleased to announce that we are working with Long Eaton and District 50+ Forum for their “Toton Sidings Remembered” Project The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) have awarded £9,600 to the Forum to work for 18 months with The Erewash Museum and local schools to revive memories of this amazing local heritage, once the largest railway marshalling yard in Europe handling 2 million wagons a year. The project management group includes Pete Wearn and David Farley from the forum, local railway enthusiasts Brian Amos and Phil Burton who some readers will know from their inspiring talks about the yards and Helen Martinez...
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holocaust memorial day 2017 logo a tree with purple leaves
Blog and poem by Jessica Palmer Holocaust Memorial Day is, in my opinion, one of the most important days in the year and it should be treated in the same way as Remembrance Day. HMD isn’t just about the genocide that took place during World War II, it is also about remembering victims of the other genocides that have happened in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. It is about remembering the huge and incredibly unjust loss of life that has taken place and to serve as a reminder that this should never happen again.27th January is the date chosen for HMD...
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When my Grandpa was a little boy all his parents’ wanted for him was a safe place for him to grow up and get his education. They were living in Russia and as Jews they had been horribly racially abused and persecuted pogroms. Germany between WW1 and WW2 was being run by a liberal government called Weimar and my Great-Grandparents decided that they would live a better life in this artistic and prosperous country. After Hitler came to power, through manipulating this democracy of Weimar, he stirred up anger against the harsh terms imposed on Germany at the end of WW1...
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This blog has been written by Sue Dickson, one of the museum's volunteers.  In the 20th century, thousands of men, women and children died at the hands of Hitler's henchmen for maintaining their neutrality in political and nationalistic issues. These were subjected to either hard labour, torture, medical experiments, death by firing squads or the gas chambers. The triangle was the symbol of identification used within the Nazi concentration camps e.g. Yellow star for Jews, red for political prisoners, purple for Jehovah’s Witnesses, pink for homosexual men and black for the mentally ill or mentally disabled. For this blog I will...
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santa and elf at Erewash stables
  Written by our volunteer Charlie (aka-Santa's elf!)   At the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign, Christmas was barely celebrated in Britain. By the end however, it was considered to be the most important event of the calendar, with a  focus on traditions and family. Charles Dickens contributed massively to the spread of these traditions through his famous book ‘A Christmas Carol’, a book that influenced how many Victorian families approached the season. It is widely believed that Prince Albert was responsible for the introduction of the Christmas tree. He was born in Germany, where Evergreen trees were traditionally brought into...
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black and white image of fair and church on market place
Blog written by Max Biddulph J. P. Collins and Sons Waltzer De Luxe, Ilkeston Market Place, October 1957.www.picturethepast.org (copyright uncertain As the days shorten and September moves into October, Ilkestonians look forward to Ilkeston Charter Fair which, along with Oxford St Giles and Loughborough Fair, is unique in England as one of our few remaining great street fairs. This year’s event will be held between the 19th and 22 October, 2016, and will celebrate the 764th granting of the Charter by Henry III in 1252. As a young person growing up in the town in the 1960s, my memories of the...
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Jasmine portrait
Hi my name is Jasmine and I’m a year 10 pupil at Kimberley School. I’ve not been volunteering at Erewash Museum verylong and I only usually do 1 hour a week as I am studying for my GCSE’s. At every parent’s evening I always get the same report as I have done since I was in year 1: ‘Jasmine is an excellent pupil, her class work and homework is good but she is too quiet. Sometimes you don’t know sheis there. She needs to contribute more in class’ I am very shy and after my last parent’s evening my mum said...
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Volunteers stand in group at volunteering event
We are nearing the end of National Volunteer's Week and our next blog has been written by our Volunteer Coorodinator Rebecca.  Rebecca joined us at the end of 2014 as part of our Heritage Lottery Funded project and since then our volunteer programme has flourished.  “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day for the kind of community you want to live in.” (Unknown) The UK’s Office of National Statistics estimates the value of volunteers to the economy as £23.9 billion. This Volunteers’ Week, I want to...
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Lynne the volunteer portrait
I’ve been a volunteer at the museum since March last year. After retiring from work at the end of January last year I felt I would like to do something which was completely different to my working life and also hoped it would enable me to meet new people. I haven’t been disappointed. A warm welcome is guaranteed from the moment you walk through the door; the museum is such a friendly place and I have also met some lovely people amongst the other volunteers too. I mostly do general admin work when I’m there which utilises my word processing skills, but I have also done such...
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Our fourth blog post celebrating National Volunteer's Week is written by our of our Young Creative Curators John Cosslett who has been working with the collections at the museum since last year. 'I enjoy working as a volunteer at The Erewash Museum because I get to scan photographs and see things like royal visits to the town in the past, and photos of Stanton Ironworks.  I like looking and seeing what it was like to live in the past.  I have always wanted to do this kind of thing since I was a young boy and I would love to have more knowledge...
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  Today is the first day of National Volunteer's Week- here at the museum we have been working hard over the past 18 months to develop our volunteering opportunities and increase our volunteer team.  We now have over 40 active volunteers carrying out a range of projects and activities from event work, helping to document and care for the museum's collections, assisting with school visits and more recently running our brand new tea room for us! During National Volunteer's Week we will have a display in the museum entrance with testimonies from our volunteers.  If you are interested in joining...
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Student's display in a cabinet at the museum
Here at Erewash Museum we thought it important to mark International Women’s Day (IWD) even though it came at an extremely busy time for us as we are preparing for Old Stables at Dalby House launch. Planning began a few months ago at a staff meeting and we came up with a few ideas and the project evolved and will continue evolving into 2017. As Dalby House was a former residence we asked some of our volunteers to help research the important women associated with the building Erewash Museum occupies. We soon found out that although we have extensive files relating...
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black and white portrait of Effie Grace Wilson
Changing times at Dalby House… From the time it was built until the end of the Second World War, Dalby House had been a private house where women were wives, mothers, daughters or servants of the influential men of the house. Censuses from the time do not list women’s occupations, only those of the men, unless those women are servants. But, as society changed, so did the position and influence of women. The status and use of Dalby House would change forever, as would the influence of women on the property and its uses. In 1946, Dalby House was up for...
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A Victorian Maid at Dalby House Throughout its history as a private family residence, Dalby House would have been looked after by a team of servants. Dalby House was quite a small house compared to some of the stately homes in the country but would still have employed domestic servants such as housemaids, a cook, stable boys, grooms, gardeners etc. Until the twentieth century, domestic service was one of the most common occupations for working women. Girls often became maids as young as ten years old. Usually, they would start as a Scullery Maid, doing the worst jobs in the house...
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