I’ve always had an interest in history and I’ve always had a strong connection to my family roots so naturally when a job at a local history museum came up at an online job fair I snatched it up as quick as I could. My Dad and I collect militaria, mainly First and Second World War so I have a huge interest in that period of history which has only been broadened by my time working here. I started at Dacorum Heritage Trust on the Kickstart scheme in late August 2021 to work on the collections review as a Documentation Assistant and my main roles include checking items for their relevance to the museum, potential for public engagement and condition. While sorting and recording the collection I’ve found some interesting items such as medal groups with postcards and letters home, ancient tiles with paw prints embedded in them and some items relating to my family too.
One such item is a feature in a 2005 issue of The Gazette where they ran a Mothers Day Special and children were encouraged to write in and tell the newspaper what they loved the most about their mother. I stumbled across this when I did a quick search of my surname on the database, and after finding the item I discovered that my sister had entered a drawing of our mum with a short description about why she loves her (turns out it’s because she “gives me lots of sweets”). I often find items from the 2000’s and the 2010’s in the collection and wonder why they’ve been kept, then I remind myself that if no one kept the hundreds of hand written notes and letters or the odd scrap of paper that seemed unimportant at the time, we wouldn’t see history anywhere near as clearly as we might without them.
Stuart Delderfield, Kickstart Documentation Assistant