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RAF Stories Big Weekend

28 Oct 2019 3:15PM

The University of Suffolk's English and History departments will be supporting the Royal Air Force Museum’s ‘RAF Stories Big Weekend’ by hosting one of the national story collecting events taking place around the country, capturing local stories relating to the Royal Air Force.

The University is one of several venues across the UK participating in the RAF Stories Big Weekend, taking place on Saturday 2 November.  Whether you’re a veteran, current serviceman or servicewoman, an air cadet or have family links to the RAF, whatever your connection, however big or small, you’re invited to attend and share your favorite anecdotes.

RAF Museum Community Engagement Officer - RAF Stories, Jess Boydon, said, “We are extremely grateful to the staff and volunteers at the University of Suffolk for hosting one the RAF Stories Big Weekend events.  With venues up and down the country taking part, it’s easier for members of the public to get involved and ensure their RAF memories are captured.  Whether its stories about courage, love, tragedy, friendship, bravery, triumph, humour and everything in between, we hope people will find their local participating venue and take up the opportunity to share their story with us.”

“Over the last two years, the RAF Museum has recorded hundreds of stories now available online for the public to view.  By working together with venues such as the University, the Museum is able to widen its reach and together this catalogue of stories will expand and enrich people’s understanding of the RAF today.”

RAF Stories is a global oral history project, which digitalizes and makes accessible engaging, historical and contemporary stories of people’s personal connections to the RAF and the service’s influences on their lives. 

Dr Antonella Castelvedere, Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for BA (Hons) English Literature with Creative Writing and BA (Hons) English Literature with Language is organising the Big Weekend at the University on 2 November.

Dr Castelvedere said, “Students on the English and History Courses will be welcoming members of the public to record their stories using the RAF Stories app. This is a fantastic opportunity for them to engage with the community, hear fascinating stories and have a chance to preserve history. Students on the English Courses will then collaborate in a series of workshops and student-led projects creating a complementary oral and written database of micro-memoirs in response to the memories recorded. They will gain experience working in a multidisciplinary project, drawing links between creative writing, linguistic analysis and ‘real world’ applications of knowledge and skills. In this way, students will also be able to develop an archive, which reflects and preserves community development and identity.”

Cllr Paul West, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for heritage, said “Suffolk Archives are pleased to be supporting the ‘RAF Stories Big weekend’ at the University of Suffolk. Alongside ongoing activities through The Hold project, this collaborative event contributes to Suffolk Archives' vision to uncover unique stories about Suffolk's past and create a richer picture of the people, places and events of our county. Our volunteers will be supporting RAF Stories to interview local people to capture their experiences and memories of the RAF.”

All stories captured over the RAF Stories Big Weekend will be uploaded to the RAF Stories website for audiences around the world to hear first-hand some of the inspirational and ground-breaking recollections from former RAF personnel and their families about their RAF journey. 

Whether you have one anecdote or ten to share, join us at the University of Suffolk’s Waterfront Building on 2 November between 10am and 4pm

The RAF Stories project is proudly supported by National Lottery Players through the National Lottery Heritage Fund. 


University of Suffolk Press Office
T: 01473 338476