Bury St Edmunds Guildhall will be sharing the untold stories of their unique Royal Observer Corps Operations Room, at their ‘Ration Books to Rock’n’Roll’ exhibition which will run from Friday 25th March to Sunday 10th April 2022.
The Royal Observer Corps was a civil defence organisation which played a crucial role in the Battle of Britain. Shop assistants, WW1 veterans, newspaper editors, brewers – a huge variety of people volunteered to join the Corps and be ‘the eyes and ears of the RAF’. With spotters out in the field reporting to plotters at Ops Rooms tables, the ROC helped defend the skies of Britain, tracking enemy aircraft movements and helping guide allied planes home.
The Guildhall’s Ops Room is the last of its kind, and the Guildhall team is looking forward to shining a spotlight on its vital, but little-known, contribution to the war effort. The ‘Ration Books to Rock’n’Roll’ exhibition will tell the stories of the real-life local heroes who staffed the Operations Room during its active years – 1939 to 1954 – and give an insight into their everyday experiences both on and off-duty. The team are particularly looking forward to exploring the changing roles of women throughout this period.
The Guildhall is also working with other organisations and individuals, to bring to life this fascinating period of British history for visitors to enjoy. The Guildhall’s Court Room will feature displays, talks, and workshops by other heritage attractions and groups. If you would like to be involved or want to find out more, please email Louisa Beattie at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01284 247037.