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Time capsule prompts call for artefacts for centenary exhibition

14 September 2016

Time capsule prompts call for artefacts for centenary exhibition

• Discovery of time capsule prompts nationwide appeal for artefacts
• Everyday items of Wren life sought

A time capsule, buried at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in 1974, and which defined the life of a naval Wren 40 years ago, has resurfaced and prompted organisers behind a major new exhibition to make a plea for artefacts to fill in gaps in the 100 year-long history of women in the navy.

Next year marks the centenary of the Woman’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) formation and on 08 March 2017 – International Women’s Day – The ‘Pioneers to Professionals: Women and the Royal Navy’ exhibition will be launched at The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN).

It will chart the history of women working in the Naval Service, revealing some of the lesser-known stories of women dating right back to the Age of Sail more than 250 years ago.
The capsule was placed under the foundations of the new Wren’s accommodation block in October 1974, by the then head of the Wrens, Commandant Mary Talbot. Culdrose was undergoing a 5 million base refurbishment programme.

It contained everyday items that defined the life of a Wren, including badges descriptions of their trades, clothing and official documents.
The NMRN holds items from the WRNS Historic Collection but wishes to include personal stories, anecdotes, documents, photos or personal possessions to help to show what women have achieved.

Exhibition curator Victoria Ingles said: “The discovery of the time capsule has made us think there must be many more treasure troves of everyday life out there. We would love to hear from people who might be happy to lend us items for the exhibition. The role of women in the Royal Navy is a fascinating and relatively untold story. We are really keen for items that show daily work or social activities from any period but particularly from:

 First World War
 Permanent Service 1949-1993
 Post integration, 1993 onwards


If you can help with any of these please contact Victoria Ingles: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.