National Civil War Centre

Volunteer Insights - Frances

"I have two favourite objects in the National Civil War Centre. The first one was in the main Civil War gallery when I first started volunteering but more recently it had been moved to the World Turned Upside Down Exhibition which shows just how special it is! The object I’m talking about is the little posey ring, which bears the inscription 'Let No Calamatie Separat Amitie'.

It was probably given to a close friend/relative who was on the opposite side during the civil war, which shows how as today you can have different political/religious views but still remain friends, which I really like. It is quite small, made from Gold and Enamel and as far as I’m concerned beautiful. However, I have another reason for choosing this object. It was found in the village where I was born and my father had some small involvement with its discovery. He was church warden & treasurer, playing a major part in the addition of toilets and kitchen to the church. This involved footings being dug in the churchyard and it was then the ring was found. I knew nothing about this until I mentioned the ring to my mum and her reaction was 'we always wondered what the Vicar had done with it?'

My second object is in the Newark galleries and is the folding bicycle. It is often overlooked by visitors, because it’s just a bike! I usually find that if I mention it to them they are impressed. I just try and imagine what it must have been like to have to parachute out of an aeroplane with that strapped to your back. Then after you landed, you had to unfold it and pedal off somewhere, all behind enemy lines! These are the first two objects that came to mind but actually there are so many interesting things in the galleries I could have talked about!" - Frances, National Civil War Centre Volunteer