"When I planned my early retirement some years ago, alongside the obvious excitement, was a degree of trepidation. I had enjoyed work and the sense of purpose it provided so felt that I needed to find something to get involved with that might at least allow me to pretend I was still being useful.
News of a new Civil War Centre for Newark was finding its way into the press and it seemed to be just what I was looking for. The more I heard, the more enthusiastic I became to volunteer in what looked to be a rather fabulous new venture. From the early planning days when the building was still revealing its secrets; witch bottles, medieval graffiti, woodworm and dry rot, it has been fascinating to watch the Centre evolve.
Today the beautifully restored buildings are packed with exhibits which are ever improving. As volunteers, we are privileged to meet visitors of all ages from all around the world, united in a shared love of history. Many have wonderful stories to tell and are often highly knowledgeable, it is a particular treat when the re-enactors are in town with the living history exhibits. Children often visit with parents, grandparents and on school visits, their enthusiasm is always infectious and the Learning Team do a great job in making sure the Centre is accessible and interesting for all ages.
It has been really lovely to get to know the permanent staff team and fellow volunteers, a friendly and welcoming group who meet often, socially and for further training or learning. Since my move to Newark some 20 years ago I have always enjoyed living in the town without ever really feeling a part of it. Joining the team at the National Civil War Centre helped me to bridge that gap and I am happy to report that retirement is indeed a land of opportunity!" - Sarah, National Civil War Centre Volunteer