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Do you have a story of life in the RAF?

PUBLISHED: 13:40 31 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:00 31 October 2019

RAF Stories is a project recording anecdotes of life in the Royal Air Force past and present  Picture: SAC Neil Chapman/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

RAF Stories is a project recording anecdotes of life in the Royal Air Force past and present Picture: SAC Neil Chapman/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

Students in Ipswich are inviting anyone with stories to tell about life in the Royal Air Force to come and put them on the record as part of a national archiving scheme.

Crowds lined the streets to watch RAF Honington be officially awarded the Freedom of Thetford this summer  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCrowds lined the streets to watch RAF Honington be officially awarded the Freedom of Thetford this summer Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The University of Suffolk is supporting the Royal Air Force Museum's 'RAF Stories Big Weekend', a nationwide story-collecting event taking place around the country.

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The students want to hear the experiences and anecdotes of life in the RAF from veterans, currently serving personnel, air cadets or from anyone with family links to the service.

Anyone with stories to tell is invited to the university's Waterfront Building on November 2 between 10am and 4pm.

RAF Stories is an oral history project which digitalizes and makes accessible historical and contemporary stories of people's personal connections to the RAF and the service's influences on their lives.

Dr Antonella Castelvedere, senior lecturer and course leader in English Literature at the university, said students on the English and history courses would be taking the public's stories using the RAF Stories app.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for them to engage with the community, hear fascinating stories and have a chance to preserve history," she said.

"They will gain experience working in a multi-disciplinary project, drawing links between creative writing, linguistic analysis and 'real world' applications of knowledge and skills.

"In this way, students will also be able to develop an archive, which reflects and preserves community development and identity."

Jess Boydon, RAF Museum Community Engagement Officer for RAF Stories, said: "We are extremely grateful to the staff and volunteers at the University of Suffolk for hosting one the RAF Stories Big Weekend events.

"Whether its stories about courage, love, tragedy, friendship, bravery, triumph, humour and everything in between, we hope people will find their local participating venue and take up the opportunity to share their story with us.

"By working together with venues such as the University, the Museum is able to widen its reach and together this catalogue of stories will expand and enrich people's understanding of the RAF today."

The project is being supported by Suffolk Archives.

Paul West, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for heritage, said "Alongside ongoing activities through The Hold project, this collaborative event contributes to Suffolk Archives' vision to uncover unique stories about Suffolk's past and create a richer picture of the people, places and events of our county.

"Our volunteers will be supporting RAF Stories to interview local people to capture their experiences and memories of the RAF."

All stories will be uploaded to the RAF Stories website for audiences around the world.

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