Volunteering with the IBCC Digital Archive – Lynn Corrigan

Lynn Corrigan started volunteering with the IBCC in 2022. She has been involved in multiple roles, each time delivering consistently high-quality output. Lynn has kindly produced a blogpost reflecting on her experience, which we’re delighted to publish.

The IBCC Digital Archive team


Since retiring I was looking for something to do which was useful, fulfilling and which would get me out of the house. To this end I was encouraged by our son to look at volunteering with IBCC. I knew that a ‘people facing’ role, like the tour guides, was not for me but I liked the idea of learning more about the Digital Archive. After a zoom call with Dan I knew that archiving was the job for me.
My dad had served with Bomber Command and my first task was to archive his collection of photographs, followed by his log book and service records. The process began with the scanning of the front and reverse of each photograph and page. I found this a bit monotonous but luckily I had joined with another new volunteer, David, who shared this job with me. It was only later that I realised how important the scanning process is. With the scanning complete I moved on to the cropping and watermarking of the scanned images. Robin was very patient and would always leave his desk to help if I made a mistake or got in a muddle. He would check the work that I had done and would leave any amendments for me to do the following week – just like getting your homework marked but with less anxiety involved!
I was then passed on to Alex for metadata training and I soon knew that I would enjoy this role. It was interesting how my training progressed, building on what I had managed to remember from the previous week, with the help of copious notes. It has been great examining the enlarged scans of the original small black and white photographs, mainly taken in India, for the first time. Giving each image a title and then a more detailed description is a fairly disciplined task as you have to be objective and not make any assumptions. Alex has been patient and approachable and with his encouragement and gentle advice I hope to become a more useful member of the ‘metadata team’.
Having completed by dad’s collection (which is now live at  https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/admin/collections/show/2182 ) I have moved on to another one of the remaining collections. The standards we are using to archive the history of Bomber Command are really high and I do feel that I am part of a long term digital legacy. Having worked in tax, for more years that I care to remember, I am used to working to rules and set parameters which are necessary, especially when creating metadata to ensure that the material is searchable and discoverable.

Albert Frederick Nye standing by a Lancaster rear gunner’s position. Note his scarf.

Albert Frederick Nye’s scarf, which has been digitally preserved as well. Scarf and period photos point to each other, providing a richer experience.

My keyboard skills, although a bit rusty, help as do the great cakes and snacks provided by my fellow ‘Wednesday volunteers’.
I am really enjoying the tasks I have been given and think that I am making a useful contribution to the overall project and I would recommend others to join the archiving team. It has given me an opportunity to learn, use my brain in a useful way, improve my computer skills, meet new and interesting people whilst adding to a long term and worthwhile project.

Lynn Corrigan

Lancaster: Above and beyond (2022) Review

I watched this documentary film half expecting to see 100 minutes of Lancaster porn. However, to the disappointment of some viewers, this is not a film about the Lancaster. It is not even a documentary about Bomber Command – this is effectively a documentary about Bomber Command veterans and the public memory of the bombing war.

A group of aircrew and one ground crew member arranged at the rear starboard side of Lancaster PA964. Six are standing and three are sitting on the tail plane.

Fred Phillip’s crew and Lancaster https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/6707

The documentary is high quality and well-crafted; it is beautifully researched and makes good use of classic and archive films, still photographs, news report audio, voice over and veteran ‘talking heads’. The veterans’ individual stories glue the whole thing together and the quotes were skilfully used to tell the bigger story. The filming of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster is emotive and unusual in that several air-to-air shots were taken towards dusk. While the film does not directly address that the Lancaster was designed as a killing machine it does attempt to engage with the technical, military, strategic, moral and political complexities of the heritage of RAF Bomber Command and the roles the Lancaster, the veterans, and the Command played in the war.

It goes to some length to explain the context behind the aircraft’s design and use. It does a good job of describing crewing up and the different roles for each aircrew position, it discusses the changes of strategy around D-Day, considers the technical advances in radar and countermeasures and the difference between area and precision bombing. The film well describes the Hamburg, Peenemunde, Nuremberg operations, ‘Happy Valley’ and the ‘Battle of Berlin’. For many people, the cultural memory of Bomber Command is either the Dam Busters (Operation Chastise to breach the Ruhr dams) or Dresden. The film considers both.[1] In this documentary, the section on 617 Squadron’s attack on the Ruhr dams was slightly too long, even though this is the operation that underpins the Lancaster legend. However, probably because of their interviews with Johnny Johnson, the last remaining ‘Dam Buster’, it focussed on the usually under-told story of the Sorpe. In the section on Dresden, one veteran indicated that the Russians requested the attack as the city was a legitimate military target as a transport hub, but perhaps unhelpfully, the bombing was illustrated by animated archive film of Meissen porcelain figurines waltzing.

Four rows of personnel standing and sitting in front of a Lancaster. In the background, trees.

Squadron personnel in front of Lancaster https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/17107

If you are familiar with the history of the strategic bombing campaigns during the Second World War, the film ticks all the boxes you would expect, but it also repeats the tropes and clichés we’ve been hearing over the last decades. Fighter Command and the Spitfire ‘saved the country in its hour of need’, but the Lancaster was ‘the aircraft that would help Churchill win the war’. The film repeats Arthur Harris’s famous ‘they started it’ speech and highlights that 43,000 people were killed in the London Blitz.

With interviews with Neil Flanigan, a Jamaican ‘erk’, WAAF veterans, Elizabeth Mortimer-Cook, Betty Tring and Wendy Carter, and Ursula Dickinson, a German witness, the film is inclusive, however there was no mention of class difference within the RAF, and they could have done more to tell the story from both sides. For a documentary that relies so heavily on oral testimonies, it fails to address some of the issues about using these sources. The veteran testimonies are unquestioningly accepted, but as Bomber Command veteran and historian Noble Frankland admitted, eyewitnesses tend to be unreliable.[2] As in some of the IBCC Digital Archive’s interviews, the veterans retell well-rehearsed ‘crystallised narratives’ and frequently say with confidence things they could only have learned after the war.  In the film, Peter Kelsey, Ernie Holmes, and Bill Gould describe their disquiet with what they had been asked to do, but Johnny Johnson opens the film on the defensive with a comment about ‘retrospective historians’. Reinforcing the ‘powerful memory narrative of veterans as victims of neglect,’[3] almost all the veteran testimonies fit into a heroic victim framework. They discuss desperate corkscrew maneuvers away from night fighters, the ‘chop’ and ‘empty chairs at empty tables’. Although New Zealand veteran, Ron Mayhill said that the unveiling of the Bomber Command memorial in London in 2012 changed things, Jo Lancaster, John Bell, and Jack Watson talked about the lack of recognition for Bomber Command, and Rusty Waughman reiterates that Harris ‘carried the can’ for Churchill and politicians after Dresden.

Target indicators are descending from a cloudy sky; anti-aircraft fire on the left. The silhouettes of barbed wire and an utility pole are visible.

Target indicators over a POW camp https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/1905

Directorial choices including the use of pyrotechnics and the musical score subtly amplify these narratives and continue to reinforce the way Bomber Command has been remembered. Fireworks are used as a metaphor for Flak, but not for the falling target indicators from the perspective of those on the ground. The emotive air-to-air shots of the solitary Lancaster approaching the coast at dusk appears after comments ‘defences unbelievable’ and ‘suicide’. On its own and at low altitude, it appears vulnerable, and the documentary fails to convey the size and power of Bomber Command towards the end of the war when over 1000 aircraft could be operational every night.

Air-to-air photograph of ten Lancasters against backdrop of cloud and terrain, submitted with caption; “514 sqdn on way to Regensburg 20/4/45”

Ten Lancasters in Flight https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/28569

The Lancaster continues to be a symbol for Bomber Command and its veterans, and this documentary is very much a product of today. Like John Nichol’s recent book Lancaster: The forging of a very British Legend, the focus of this documentary is on the memories of the few remaining aircrew rather than the aircraft. It is a must watch for the new footage of the Lancaster in flight and for the clips of the veterans, but to be able to access the unedited interviews recorded for the film would be incredible.

Dan Ellin & Nigel Moore

[1] Ellin, D and Lawrence, C (2018) ‘After Them, The Flood: Remembering the Dam Busters and Bomber Command through Performance’. In: Staging Loss Performance as Commemoration. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 109-129.

[2] Frankland, N History at War: The campaigns of an historian, Giles de la Mare, London, 1998, p.34

[3] Hughes, H ‘Memorializing RAF Bomber Command in the United Kingdom’ Journal of War & Culture Studies 2021, p.10.

IBCC Digital Archive interviews with veterans included or credited in the film: 

Benny Goodman https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/show/514

Bill Gould https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/10832

Bob Leedham https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/11304

Cecil Chandler https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/10736

Charles Clark https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/show/229

Daphne Brownlie https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/8364

David Fraser https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/5527

Ernie Holmes  https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/11118

George Dunn https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/show/510

Gerry Norwood https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/11429

Hal Gardner https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/10823

Harry Hodgson https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/11113

Jack Watson https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/11760

Jan Black https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/show/333

Jo Lancaster https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/show/551

Johnny Johnson https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/show/252

Ken Johnson https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/show/546

Len Manning https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/3448

Ron Mayhill  https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/17900

Rusty Waughman https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/show/348

Tom Rogers https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/10331

Volunteering with the IBCC Digital Archive – Sally Coulter

Sally Coulter has been volunteering with the IBCC Digital Archive since September 2021. She has produced detailed, accurate, and highly readable summaries of items in French and German. A wealth of previously inaccessible information is now discoverable, allowing users to get a good sense of the content without reading pages and pages of text. We asked Sally to reflect on her valuable contribution, which she kindly did.

The IBCC Digital Archive team

My father served as a pilot and navigator in the RAF during the Second World War, hence my interest in the work of the IBCC. I knew very little about his experiences, other than he went to Canada for his training. My mother explained that he rarely talked about his war time experiences; too many people he knew were no longer there.
We were very impressed by the volunteer guides when we visited the IBCC; they were interesting, knowledgeable and had a good sense of humour. The website piqued my interest in volunteering and I was impressed with the number of interesting avenues for volunteering.

After taking early retirement, my volunteering started after I received a delightful email from the IBCC Digital Archive staff. They noticed that I had a French degree and enquired whether I would be interested in summarising French documents into English. Staff provided gentle guidance, a lot of encouragement and positive feedback, which has made the whole experience enjoyable and fulfilling. There has been no pressure to fit the work into any timescales; the pace is entirely up to me and can be done from home.

There has been such a variety of material: newspaper articles, propaganda, newsletters, letters, posters, leaflets, flyers. I have also summarised a number of German documents, some in Gothic script, and have deciphered signatures. I have even looked at some English captions from Italian for a wonderful collection of artworks.

The IBCC website has the strapline of ‘A story of discovery, education, and remembrance’. This has been my experience of volunteering. I have learnt so much about the Second World War, often looking up and learning about the places and protagonists described in the articles. It has taught me about the power of propaganda and shown how conflict today has many resonances with the past. Individuals have gained an identity and it has brought history to life. I have hopefully enabled people to search the website by identifying names, places, significant dates and events. I have found it hugely rewarding and have enjoyed putting my knowledge of languages to good use.

Tribute for Windrush Day 2021: remembering ‘invisible’ RAF veterans

Tribute for Windrush Day 2021: remembering ‘invisible’ RAF veterans

Some of those on the historic journey of MV Empire Windrush in 1948 were returning, rather than seeing the UK for the first time: veterans who had served with the Allies during the Second World War, especially in the RAF. It remains the case that they and other black and brown veterans are largely invisible in mainstream historical studies of the wartime RAF. Their stories are, however, acknowledged in studies such as Mark Johnson’s Caribbean Volunteers at War, Stephen Bourne’s The Motherland Calls, and Marika Sherwood’s Many Struggles.[1] Some wrote memoirs recording their experiences, among them Cy Grant, E. Martin Noble and Ralph Ottey.[2]  There are ongoing projects, too, that seek to recover more personalities and experiences.[3]

Less remembered in the public imagination are the Maori crew who served in the RAF, or the few indigenous Canadians based in the UK with the Royal Canadian Air Force.  Some 45 Maori aircrew have been identified, the majority of them serving in 75 (New Zealand) Squadron, based in Cambridgeshire. Several of these aircrew were decorated and one, Flying Officer Porokoru Patapu Pohe of 51 Squadron was shot down and taken prisoner at Stalag Luft III. His story featured in the movie The Great Escape; he was one of those recaptured and murdered. [4]

There seem to be few traces of indigenous Canadians. The Royal Canadian Air Force, like the RAF, prevented all but those of ‘pure European descent’ from joining until 1940 and very small numbers seem to have volunteered as a result. Among them were James Ray Lightbown DFC, Jack Beaver, Willard John Bolduc DFC and Gib Whittamore.[5] Another is remembered in a poignant note written by veteran Phil James MBE on the back of a wartime crew photograph (above) in his possession: ‘I am on the far right, next to me is our W/AG [wireless operator/air gunner] a Canadian red indian [sic] JOHN YAKIMCHUCK, he shot himself, he could not cope with civilian life…’[6]

Source: BharatRakshak Indian Air Force| The twenty four Indian pilots (bharat-rakshak.com)

Thousands were recruited into the RAF from South Asia. A celebrated group of 24 pilots arrived from India in 1940; most flew with RAF Fighter Command; they are pictured on the left  .[7]

Yet there were many more. Some 200 Indians resident in Britain volunteered for the RAF [8] and according to the Open University’s ‘Making Britain’ database on South Asians in Britain from 1870 to 1950,

The Royal Air Force needed to make up a shortage in pilots by actively recruiting personnel from across the Commonwealth. It dispensed with the colour bar of the armed forces that stipulated that only ‘British subjects of pure European descent’ could join. After October 1939 people from across the Commonwealth, regardless of nationality or race became eligible to join the RAF. By the end of the Second World War, over 17,500 such men and women had been recruited, serving in a variety of roles. A further 25,000 served in the Royal Indian Air Force. [9]

Motivations for volunteering were many and varied – sometimes there was a strong family tradition of military service, sometimes there was a desire to escape and see the world. For most, fears of a return to enslavement should the Nazis emerge victorious were real.[10]  Caribbean and African volunteers hoped to fly, yet Cy Grant’s observation that ‘things were not to work out exactly as I had expected’ [11]  applied to the vast majority of the over 5, 000, who instead became ground personnel on RAF stations. As Jamaican Ralph Ottey, who trained at RAF Hunmanby Moor in 1944, recalls in his memoir,

My trade test was quite easy really. My tester told me:

  1. That there wasn’t much need for Air Gunners
  2. That there weren’t many vacancies for wireless operators
  3. There was a need for motor transport drivers

So that would be my trade … There was no point in arguing… [12]

Around 500 African and Caribbean personnel were accepted for aircrew training, mostly in RAF Bomber Command where the need was greatest.  The expectation was that all these volunteers would leave at the war’s end; some managed to stay, while many more returned to the UK after brief periods ‘back home’, some on the Windrush. As has been well attested, they generally had a very rough time: ‘Black ex-servicemen confronted racist exclusions in the job market as well as the housing market’ and their war service was doubted.[13]  This affected the way that they came to remember their war: the details of squadrons and stations were of less significance than the fact that they had served with pride and distinction.

One of the remarkable stories of ‘return’ is that of the Carby family, whose history has been traced by Hazel Carby in her award-winning study, Imperial Intimacies. In the late 18th century, the Carbys were living in the small village of Coleby, not far from the city of Lincoln. Several male members of the family joined the British army in the 1780s, possibly because of poor agricultural prospects.[14] One of them, Lilly Carby (‘Lilly’ was his mother’s maiden name), reached Jamaica with the 10th Regiment of Foot in 1789, but was soon discharged, possibly because of illness. He worked on various plantations before acquiring his own, which he called ‘Lincoln’. He named the enslaved people who worked for him, as well as his (known) children, after relatives in Lincolnshire,. Two of his children, William and Bridget, were born to a free woman of colour, Mary Ivey Mann; one, Matthew, was born to Bridget, an enslaved woman, in 1807 and though baptised, he was enslaved until abolition in the 1830s.

Four generations down Matthew Carby’s line, Carl Carby was born in Kingston in 1921. Although experiencing extreme poverty into his teens, he believed that education was his only means to social mobility and attended night school while working as the family’s main breadwinner. He was one of the first black Caribbean volunteers to be accepted for aircrew training in the early years of the Second World War. After completing his training in Jamaica and Canada, he was posted to RAF Coastal Command, later transferring to RAF Bomber Command. This transfer led to his being stationed at RAF Waddington, which is 2.4 miles from Coleby. Carl, who died in 2014, never knew how geographically close he had come to his origins; this only emerged during his daughter Hazel’s research.

Prof Hazel Carby being interviewed for the IBCC Digital Archive, March 2021

Listen to an interview with Hazel Carby discussing her family history and her father’s RAF service, at https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/32391.

Heather Hughes and Victoria Araj

[1] Mark Johnson, Caribbean Volunteers at War: The Forgotten Story of the RAF’s ‘Tuskegee Airmen’. Barnsley, Pen and Sword, 2014; Stephen Bourne, The Motherland Calls: Britain’s Black Servicemen and Women, 1939-45. Stroud, The History Press, 2012; Marika Sherwood, Many Struggles: West Indian Workers and Service Personnel in Britain 1939-1945. London, Karia Press, 1985.

[2] Cy Grant, A Member of the RAF of Indeterminate Race: World War Two Experiences of a West Indian Officer in the RAF. Bognor Regis, Woodfield Publishing, 2006; E. Martin Noble, Jamaica Airman: A Black Airman in Britain 1943 and After.  London, New Beacon Books, 1984; Ralph Ottey, ‘Stranger Bwoy’ in the Royal Air Force in Lincolnshire 1944-1948. Boston, 2004.

[3] See for example https://www.africansinyorkshireproject.com/ and https://www.caribbeanaircrew-ww2.com/ [accessed 20 June 2021];

[4] Compiled from https://75nzsquadron.wordpress.com/maori-aircrew-who-served-with-75nz-squadron-39-45/ and http://rnzaf.proboards.com/thread/17780?page=2

[5] Compiled from BC/Yukon Command Military Service Recognition Book Vol X, obtainable from https://www.dropbox.com/sh/sfuwolxzqyfanq4/AAB-eDD5P7Kbs7-ayCrBnw_ka?dl=0 [accessed 21 June 2021]; Jack Farley’s story at http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/82/a2244782.shtml; and Native Soldiers, Foreign Battlefields. Veteran Affairs Canada, 2005.

[6] Letter from Phil James MBE to Sue Taylor, no date, IBCC project.

[7] See the contemporary footage at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtLwn5sSmsI

[8] https://www.duhoctrungquoc.vn/wiki/en/India_in_World_War_II [accessed 21 June 2021]

[9] https://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/makingbritain/content/second-world-war-1939-1945

[10], Native Soldiers, Foreign Battlefields, p.22.

[11] Cy Grant, A Member of the RAF of Indeterminate Race, p.

[12] Ralph Ottey, ‘Stranger Bwoy’, p.3.

[13] Hazel Carby, Imperial Intimacies : A Tale of Two Islands. London, Verso, 2019, p. 240-41.

[14] Rex Russell, ‘Parliamentary enclosure, common rights, and social change: evidence from the parts of Lindsey in Lincolnshire’. Journal of Peasant Studies 27 (4), 2000, pp. 54-111.

Thanking our volunteers

International Archives Day is on the 9 June and this year, the IBCC Digital Archive team are marking the occasion by recognising and thanking the volunteers who participate in the Digital Archive’s workflow, as items move from scanning, photographing or recording, through to publication on the website. Our archive contents are so highly discoverable because of the work that they do.

Our digital technician, Robin Evans, is responsible for accessioning all new archival items.  His tasks include giving each new scan (or photo) a unique filename, ensuring all the paperwork is in order (permissions etc),  ensuring the digital master copes are safely stored,  and creating smaller files (such as PDFs and mp3s) from them, for purposes of publication.

A full set of cataloguing details, or metadata, must then be added to each item.  These include a description of the item, who created it, and date and place information. Once again, this information helps to connect users to items when they perform a search.  Our very skilled metadata creators are Nigel Huckins, Barry Hunter, Trevor Hardcastle and Peter Adams. Digital Archivist Alessandro Pesaro has trained them all and works with them on a daily basis. Many of the collections they created were then reviewed and proofread by Beryl George.

Written and printed documents are transcribed, so that text-based items are searchable. We have amazing teams of transcribers, led by David Bloomfield and Steve Baldwin. Our transcribers include Tricia Marshall, Steve Christian, Jan Waller, Peter Bradbury, Sue Smith, Robin Christian, Alan Pinchbeck, Frances Grundy, Claire Monk, Anne-Marie Watson, Georgie Donaldson, Roger Dunsford, Bradley Froggatt and Angela Gaffney. Transcription is a slow and painstaking task, yet they turn in impressive volumes of completed transcriptions every month.

We do not fully transcribe log books; however, we have developed a new standard for describing their contents, so that (like other documents) they can be searched.  Our experts in this area are Mike Connock, Mike French, David Leitch and Terry Hancock.  Callum Davies, a Bishop Grosseteste University student, is also helping out as part of his studies.  This example shows how the date of every operation is now captured, linking each log book with other events that took place the same day: https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/items/show/2205

Oral testimonies are processed slightly differently. As far as possible, these are transcribed – but with over 1200 now in the archive, we have not been able to do them all. At the very least, therefore, we ensure each one has a summary that is searchable. Both the full transcriptions and the summaries must be carefully checked for accuracy – another task that is painstaking and requires very careful attention to detail. Our archivist Dan Ellin does a lot of reviewing himself, but also has a fantastic team of reviewers: Jean Massey, Graham King, Steph Jackson, Chris Johnson, Yvonne and Nick Walker, Emily Bird, Caroline and Graham Smith, Eunice Watson, Michael Cheesbrough and Brent Lintin.

There are further ways we can assist users to find what they are looking for.  One is to add tags – these are words or phrases (for example, ‘childhood in wartime’ or ‘forced landing’ or ’166 Squadron’) that can be added to items, so that all items sharing a particular characteristic will show up in a search. Nigel Moore has quite literally checked every one of the over 24,000 items in our archive to ensure the tags are as accurate as possible: https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/tags

We also have an online map feature in the archive. Thanks to Graham Emmet’s skills over the past few months, we now have 2,000 places plotted on this map, each providing direct access to a host of documents; see https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/neatline/show/aerial-photographs-1.

Photographic images are among the most popular items in the archive. However, we have a large number of ‘mystery’ photos – individuals not identified, or places not identified – see https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/mystery-items. Andy Shaw has proven to be exceptionally talented at identifying places.  We did not think one aerial image of an industrial area could ever be identified but Andy managed it.

It is Dortmund, near the railway station, and he solved the mystery with the help of a more recent image of what is now a derelict area. “I am secretly very chuffed with this one! The wartime photo is of such a small area that I didn’t fancy my chances. However, I have got a perfect fit”, Andy commented.  So far, 438 aerial photos have been accurately positioned on a map and are accessible online.


Thank you, one and all! We could not have achieved so much without you.

Heather Hughes, Dan Ellin and Alex Pesaro