Last Thursday we hosted our fourth annual BPMA’s Volunteer Celebration Event. The event is held as a small token of our gratitude to the wonderful and giving folk who kindly donate their time, knowledge and energy to assist us in our work.
This year’s roster is made up of 29 magnificent folk who have been providing invaluable assistance across a range of jobs, including:
- Rehousing material in preparation for moving the archive to Calthorpe House
- Surveying London war memorials and checking the accuracy of existing data- especially valuable given next year’s WW1 centenary
- Updating the information in our databases with their own specialist knowledge
- Aiding with condition checks of our textile collection
- Cleaning, listing and rehousing papers from the Solicitor’s Office so that they can be safely moved and catalogued
- Collating and analysing the results of an audience research project, so that we are better able to understand the reach of our work in general
- Providing a watchful eye and compiling monthly reports on our Travelling Post Office exhibition at the Bressingham Steam Museum and Gardens in Norfolk
- Managing the on-site shop at the Museum Store in Debden
- Sorting and cataloguing material that has since become the POST 136: Parcel Services series
- Exploring the stories behind our photographic collections and the events they document, and adding to our Historypin channel
- Digitising, cataloguing and rehousing a series of glass plate negatives of portraits of Post Office officials from the 16th-20th century
- Rehousing colour transparencies from the1960s to the 1990s and re-sorting items that have previously been misfiled or inaccurately described
- Helping develop workshops for primary schools
- Auditing and repacking the Museum Store
- Assisting with the conservation of Mail Rail cars
This year’s event featured BPMA Director Dr Adrian Steel presenting our volunteers with a certificate of appreciation and gift bag. Some of those that attended are pictured below with Adrian.
Don Bell’s interest in vehicles is very handy when it comes to identifying boxes of miscellaneous vehicle parts! Before joining the audit project in September 2012, Don also volunteered with Conservator George Monger on the conservation of the Mail Rail Cars.
Flora Fyles is an MA Museum Studies student who was able to put her theoretical training into practice whilst assisting with a condition check of some of our textile collection, which sped up the overall process no end.
Tom Norgate acquires and mounts new philatelic material – this year he has created pages relating to iLSM Processed Mail and Post & Go.
Ana Paula Hirata Tanaka is a qualified architect, but this was the first time she had worked with architectural plans in a conservation context – approaching them as fragile items to be carefully, and minimally handled, rather than as ‘working’ drawings.
We hope that those who were able to attend enjoyed themselves, and that everyone who has generously helped us out over the past year has an idea of how much they are appreciated.
We couldn’t do it without you!
– Deepa Sebastian, Team Support Officer
Visit our website to find out how to become a BPMA volunteer.