U3A volunteers research Sainsbury's and the Docks
29 April 2008
In January 2008 eleven volunteers from the U3A began using the Sainsbury Archive and the Port and River Archive collections to research areas of interest and present the findings in a format which would be accessible for visitors.
The University of the Third Age (www.u3a.org.uk) is a voluntary organisation which collaborates with museums, galleries and libraries so that both the individuals and the institutions may benefit through research and advancement of knowledge.
Claire Frankland, Archivist for the Port and River Archive, and Clare Wood, Archivist for the Sainsbury Archive, worked in partnership with the U3A students and provided archive material, administrative services and encouragement throughout. Claire said:
"The team and their leader were committed, enthusiastic and keen to use the archives for their research. These folders will be available for browsing in the Study Centre and will help to open up access to our archive collections for Museum visitors".
Ursula Steiger, Project Leader (who also contributed heavily to this article) said:
"The commitment of the group was matched only by that of the Archivists....As there were only four sessions from 11.30-3.30 for the work to be achieved, including presentations to be got ready, everyone needed to be focused...the temptation was great to explore related issues....Our thanks go to Claire and Clare for their help and patience and to all the Museum staff who have been friendly, helpful and welcoming at all times".
A tour of the Museum of London Docklands; a talk by Julie Carr (Adult Learning Officer) on 'Writing for the Public', and opportunities to interview former Sainsbury's staff were offered to the U3A volunteers to enrich their learning.
At the final session, representatives from each group presented their work to Museum staff and other U3A members. The illustrated presentation folders are now available on open access in the Sainsbury Study Centre - please do come and take a look!
The following subjects were researched by the following U3A members:
The History of St. Katherine's Dock - Allan Baxter, David Newland, Frank Warriner.
Food in War Time - Gerri Newland and Dorothy Perham.
Father and Son - Two Working Lives in the Service of the Port of London Authority - Pauline Booth.
Pleasure Travel on the Thames - Renee Crowe and Dorothy King.
Working for Sainsbury's 1894-1929 and 1929 onwards - Carol Lathwell and Janet Whitehouse.