I recently spent a week at The Fusilier Museum in Bury, which holds the collections of both the Lancashire Fusiliers and the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Because the museum is comparatively small, I was able to gain an understanding of the variety of roles which are available to pursue in the museum sector and also get involved in a number of different tasks. As I visited the museum during the Easter holidays, I was able to help out with arts and crafts activities which had been provided for children. For instance, I helped children decorate their fingers as part of a project designed to commemorate the First World War Gallipoli Campaign organised by a Turkish children’s organisation.
I was also able to work with some of the museum’s collection, transcribing part of a First World War soldier’s diary which is housed in the museum archive. Furthermore, I contributed to an oral history project by producing an index summary of an interview with Bert, a one hundred year old veteran of the Second World War. I particularly enjoyed listening to Bert’s colourful memories of his experiences in the Second World War, especially the somewhat chaotic evacuation at Dunkirk!
On a more practical level, I assisted with the removal of exhibition panels which were being replaced. Despite not having a strong interest in military history prior to my placement at The Fusilier Museum, I genuinely enjoyed my time there and am now keen to investigate possible career opportunities in the heritage sector as a result. All of the staff were kind, friendly and helpful, and I now hope to continue my relationship with the museum by contributing to further events and projects. Overall, I would thoroughly recommend The Fusilier Museum to any history student interested in doing a heritage work placement!