Dedicated volunteers at The D-Day Story are celebrating a well-deserved victory after receiving a highly esteemed award at the ‘Volunteers for Museum Learning’ awards event held at the British Museum, with the team winning the regional South East award. This award recognises the invaluable contributions made by volunteers in enriching the museum experience and engaging with visitors.
The accolade highlights the outstanding work carried out by a dedicated group of volunteers who developed an immersive guided tour for Landing Craft Tank 7074, a cherished local attraction. The tour, aptly named “Survivor! From North East to Nightclub via Normandy”, brilliantly brings the gripping tale of the landing craft to life. It allows visitors to connect with the personal experiences of the men and women who constructed these crafts, the courageous crew, and the soldiers who embarked on the historic D-Day journey.
“Survivor!” not only showcases the vessel’s pivotal role during D-Day but also narrates its post-war journey—from a bustling nightclub to a state of disrepair and, ultimately, its remarkable restoration. This captivating story now allows everyone to enjoy in its history while visiting Portsmouth.
Ross Fairbrother, General Manager at The D-Day Story, said: “I am delighted that The D-Day Story volunteer team who developed our guided tours of Landing Craft Tank 7074 have been recognised as South East regional winners of the award for Volunteers for Museum Learning. Since launching at the museum, the Survivor! tours have seen an overwhelmingly positive reaction from visitors. The extensive knowledge, passion and dedication shown from all those involved, led to an offering which not only has wide appeal and tells the varied and interesting history of LCT 7074 but also one which includes the personal stories of those involved, something which 79 years on from D-Day and the Normandy landings is more important to remember than ever.”
Cllr Steve Pitt, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, with portfolio responsibility for Culture, Leisure & Economic Development, expressed his heartfelt congratulations to The D-Day Story volunteers, saying: “Congratulations to the volunteers at The D-Day Story on winning this prestigious national museum award. Thanks to their ideas and passion, we can all embark on an enlightening journey into the history of the landing craft—an iconic landmark on our seafront.”
Sarah Saunders, Head of Learning and National Partnerships at the British Museum, said: “Volunteering brings so many benefits to the nation’s museums and galleries and the communities they serve, helping to promote health and well-being, and learning and enjoyment. Volunteering brings so many benefits to those people who generously give their time freely, from making new friends to gaining confidence in a new skill. I’m sure that this year’s Marsh Awards winners will inspire new volunteer projects giving people across the country increased opportunities to get involved in supporting their local museum.”