FEATURE: Massive boost for new WW2 museum at Freiston

Paul Britchford takes youngsters through a World War II reenactment.
Paul Britchford takes youngsters through a World War II reenactment.

A couple who work tirelessly to bring history to life for the next generation are celebrating a cash windfall from the government to continue their dream.

Paul and Linda Britchford have spent the last seven years taking their mobile Second World War museum into schools to give children a chance to learn about life during the war.

Now they have received funding of £200,000 from the very top level - with Chancellor George Osborne giving the go-ahead for the award as part of his recent budget structure.

It means they are able to build a permanent educational museum on donated land at Freiston Shore in Boston, where there are bunkers nearby, for future generations to continue learning.

The permanent museum, called We’ll Meet Again, will demonstrate life on the Home Front during the war so that people can learn what it was really like for children and adults at home during the difficult war years, including rationing, evacuation, The Blitz, the Home Guard and the Land Army.

The plan is also to have live animals at the site, including ponies which were used in the Land Army, plus pigs which were fed food that would otherwise be thrown away as nothing could be wasted during the war.

Paul said: “We were very kindly donated the land by local landowner Janet Bland who wanted to help us continue to educate children about the site’s history.

“MP Matt Warman has given us lots of support as we applied for funding and the Chancellor himself commented how impressed he was on our level of dedication and commitment to the We’ll Meet Again project over the last seven years.”

The mobile museum has been a big hit but the couple have been self-funding it and were often up at 3am to load up their army truck to take the museum to various schools.

Paul said he wasn’t sure how much longer they would have been able to continue.

He said: “With this funding we will be able to make the museum something big for the area.

“We want it to continue into the future and build it up to become a centre for education for years to come. The museum will be very interactive and bring history to life.”

The museum originally came about from a hobby Paul started at the age of eight when he began collecting Second World War memorabilia. After years of collecting he decided to put the items to good use to help educate others.

He said: “The permanent museum at Freiston Shore will help raise money for military based charities and provide future employment.

“We also intend to work with the elderly in the form of memory recognition.”