A personal Reflection on becoming a Volunteer.

We have great pleasure in welcoming Penny Blackburn as a volunteer for our Archive Service! Penny’s enthusiasm for our records and local and family history is infectious and we are really pleased that she has joined our happy band of volunteers – she is a fabulous asset! As well as volunteering for our World War 1 project, Penny is currently spending some of her time box-listing; this is a really important job that can be quite absorbing as well as rewarding for all our volunteers. When asked to be guest-blogger, Penny was more than happy to accept the challenge and here she is sharing her thoughts on her experience of volunteering!


Penny Blackburn: Happy to be a volunteer!

Zippadee Doo Dah, Zippadee Day, Oh what a wonderful feeling, the day I walked into the archivist’s treat! This basically sums up the absorbing, enlightening, informing and enriching experience of voluntary work at The Centre for Cultural Collections. Blown away are all the myths of drear and drab librarians in half-rimmed spectacles, shushing over their library desks, absorbed in dull tasks and dusty spreadsheets! There’s much to learn and entertain in this fully worthwhile work; not only on a personal level but also its impact on a wider public and social history scale.


Penny working on her box-listing!

We learn about ourselves; others; how we lived; worked; played and died. It’s taught me in some way – we are all connected; the story of experience, incident and progression with one eye always glancing over our shoulders to the past – a very human story.

Marion and Albert


Picture from Marion’s sketch book. Easter chicks 1920.


Today, I was fortunate enough to list a box which contained personal and family papers. These were very intimate and personal records of Marion’s progression from a 16 year old school leaver to primary school teacher, to courtship and eventual marriage to her beloved Albert. It was a touching and endearing reflection on the bonds of love and affection formed between two people during the early stages of courtship and the elation they felt on their wedding day. It must have been a very happy marriage! And Marion carried on teaching well into the 1940s!


Penny discovers more about Marion and Albert!

I was humbled and privileged to see and read something of their lives together. Marion was a well-loved and respected lady in the community in which she lived and worked, as well as being an accomplished artist and poet.


Penny re-ties the tapes of the records she’s listed. A job well done!

For more information on volunteering for our service please do not hesitate to get in touch. Or if you feel you would like to lend a hand with our Heritage Lottery-funded project, please check our Bury Remembers blog for more details.



This entry was posted in Volunteering and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A personal Reflection on becoming a Volunteer.

  1. Chris says:

    I’m her very proud Dad

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s