Staff at Letchworth Museum were very sad to hear that our longest-serving volunteer, Ted Stonard, had passed away at the end of September. He had kept in touch since deciding to “have a rest” from volunteering, and had spoken of visiting us during the summer.
You may have seen the article about Ted in this year’s Spring Outlook Magazine: http://www.north-herts.gov.uk/outlook_spring_2013_web-2.pdf , which profiled Ted, and how he had volunteered for the museum for almost 30 years.
A Londoner by birth, Ted moved to Stevenage in 1952 where he continued to live with wife Doreen. As a young man, Ted lived through some of the most crucial events of the Second World War; he was at Dunkirk and at Alamein, and was a prisoner of war in Italy and Poland. Ted donated his memoirs and photographs to the Second World War Experience Centre near Weatherby, so you can read extracts and see some of them online:
Ted retired from a career at British Aerospace in the 1980s, and saw an advertisement for volunteers at Letchworth Museum. This was when the museum was involved in excavations in Baldock. He had always been interested in archaeology and history, so thought he would apply:
“I had a fantastic time digging, sorting through artefacts, repairing pottery and cleaning. The dig lasted about eight months, and then I just decided to stay on…”
When asked why he had volunteered for so long, Ted said that it was because of his interest in history, and because over the years he has been made to feel so welcome, meeting so many nice people along the way. Staff will be attending his funeral tomorrow. We will all miss him very much.