History Articles

The Box | Blue plaque unveiled in honour of Plymouth air raid shelter
History - Apr 2021

Blue plaque unveiled in honour of Plymouth air raid shelter

A new plaque marking the site of an air raid shelter where nine people tragically lost their lives during the Blitz has been unveiled today.

The Box | Blitz 80: King George VI microphone
History - Apr 2021

Blitz 80: King George VI microphone

This microphone with its chrome mouthpiece and black plastic base is from our historic collections and was used at a really important event connected to World War II.

The Box | Blitz 80: Images from the archives
History - Apr 2021

Blitz 80: Images from the archives

Royal visits, the role of women, that famous Resurgam sign and the re-building of the city.....here are some more insights about Plymouth and World War II to mark Blitz 80 using some key images from our archives.

The Box | Plymouth History Festival 2021
History - Apr 2021

Plymouth History Festival 2021

The Plymouth History Festival is set to return this year. It will run from 7-30 May with a series of exciting events brought to you from local heritage groups and The Box. The overarching theme for this year's Festival is wellbeing.

The Box | Blitz 80: Insights from the archives
History - Apr 2021

Blitz 80: Insights from the archives

We'll be continuing to mark the 80th anniversary of the Blitz throughout April. Here, thanks to documents held within the city's archives, we highlight two lesser-known stories about Plymouth during the Second World War.

The Box | Blitz 80: The Bomb Book
History - Apr 2021

Blitz 80: The Bomb Book

We continue our commemorations for the 80th anniversary of the Plymouth Blitz with a document, well-known to many as the ‘bomb book’. It was compiled during World War II by the Town Clerk’s Department, which was based at Pounds House. It and can be seen on display in our 'Active Archives' gallery when we re-open from 18 May.

The Box | Aftermath of The Blitz
Art - Mar 2021

Blitz 80: Aftermath of The Blitz

80 years ago Plymouth was reeling from two massive bombing raids which marked the start of the Blitz. This oil painting from our art collections dates from 1947 and is called ‘Aftermath of the Blitz‘.

The Box | Blitz 80: The bombing of the Westminster Hotel
History - Mar 2021

Blitz 80: The bombing of the Westminster Hotel

Like many other British cities, Plymouth was a target for aerial bombardment by the German airforce during the Second World War with the most intense air raids taking place between 20 March and 30 April 1941. At least 1,140 high explosive bombs, 17 paramines and thousands of incendiaries were dropped. Behind these stark statistics lie the poignant stories of people.

The Box | Plymouth Blitz remembered 80 years on
Press Release - Mar 2021

Plymouth Blitz remembered 80 years on

The city of Plymouth will come together in March and April to remember the 1,174 civilians who died during the 1941 Blitz in a special series of commemorative events.

The Box | In my true element: Mark Weston (1905-1978)
History - Feb 2021

In my true element: Mark Weston (1905-1978)

Throughout February we’ve been marking LGBT History Month. The theme for 2021 has been ‘Body, Mind, Spirit’ and ‘Five Faces’ were selected to represent the LGBT+ community. One of these was Plymouth-born Mark Weston - an intersex* individual who was raised as a female named Mary Edith Louise Weston.

The Box | There's a human story behind every object
History - Jan 2021

There's a human story behind every object

The police have been an important part of our frontline workforce over the last year – not just here in the UK, but in other parts of the world too. This police truncheon and whistle were donated to our collections in early 2020 by a Mr Brookshaw. We believe they once belonged to a man called Sidney Hannam, who passed away 80 years ago, on 13 January 1941.

The Box | A letter to home from World War I
History - Jan 2021

A letter to home from World War I

This week is ‘Universal Letter Writing Week’ – an annual event designed to encourage us to take up pen and paper and write to someone. In this digital age, methods of communication have certainly changed and we’re now more likely to message someone with our mobile phone or send them an email – making the act of writing or receiving a handwritten letter quite special.