It was with some trepidation that I joined the volunteers at Lancashire Archives for my first day. However, the trepidation was soon dispelled and replaced with an eager anticipation for our Tuesday volunteering days to come around. Such was the infectious enthusiasm within the group and staff.
For 12 months, 17 of us volunteers, supervised brilliantly by staff from the Lancashire Archives, transcribed 70,000 details of Seamen from trading ships and fishing vessels registered at the Lancashire ports of Preston, Fleetwood and Lancaster. This new online index details not only UK sailors, but many from around the world too.
This week, a wonderful thing happened. Lancashire Archives has just been awarded the prestigious Archive Volunteering Award for 2018, from the Archives and Records Association of UK and Ireland, for this project called Ancestors at Sea.
Not only did the project benefit the many people whose Ancestors are included in the new Index, but it also bonded the volunteers with a wonderful camaraderie that has moved us to continue onto further projects and to enjoy fun social events.
I would recommend being an Archive Volunteer to anyone who has the time to do it.