Call up for volunteers lands national award

A CALL for volunteers to take part in a Second World War project proved so successful that it landed a national award.

Hull History Centre set out last year to make its extensive records of the Second World War accessible for the first time with the help of 80 volunteers.

With 93 per cent of homes damaged or destroyed, the war affected virtually every family in the city.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Some historians now believe the Blitz on Hull was more intense, per head of population, than the attack on London.

A grant from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme allowed the History Centre to employ project archivist Victoria Oxberry and the volunteers were then recruited to sort and input more than 70,000 index cards from the Warden Service.

Wardens assisted police in protecting the public during air raids and by 1938 there were 200,000 volunteers nationally, whose duties included sounding air raid sirens, checking gas masks and finding accommodation for those who had been bombed out.

The Archives and Records Association’s president, Caroline Williams, will be presenting the National Archive Volunteering Award 2013 to the centre today.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Access and Collections Manager Carol Tanner, from Hull History Centre, said: “When we secured a grant from The National Archives to catalogue Hull’s Second World War records, we had no idea just how successful the project would be.

“Not only has it enabled us to make accessible records which are arguably some of the most important in the city’s history, it also gave us an opportunity to engage with the community and develop a volunteer programme which has transformed the way we now approach volunteering, not just at the History Centre but across the council.

“The work of Victoria Oxberry, and the dedication and hard work of the volunteers has ensured that the people of Hull who worked so tirelessly to keep the city running during the Second World War will not be forgotten.”

Related topics: