Bodmin Keep – Cornwall’s Army Museum celebrated Armed Forces Day over a fun-packed weekend.

Kicking off the celebrations, we started the weekend in Falmouth, taking part in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Youth Day at Princess Pavilion. Among the exciting STEM activities that had been organised, students (and other STEM leaders) enjoyed being taught how to send secret messages by Morse code and semaphore by staff from Bodmin Keep.

A fantastic day followed as we set up in the Military Village in Falmouth on Saturday, June 24, where we were joined by William, a young collector and re-enactor. Dressed in Second World War uniform, William engaged visitors of all generations in talks about military history and Bodmin Keep.

Encouraging visitors to get ‘suited and booted’ and showcasing our handling collection with items from the First World War and Second World War also proved to be very popular as we had a great day raising awareness of the museum. We met some fascinating people and enjoyed talking to and sharing stories with a wide range of veterans, cadets, families, and those who are currently serving in the Armed Forces. It was clear that people of all ages were captivated by Bodmin Keep’s collections.

To finish a fantastic weekend, Bodmin Keep hosted a navigation challenge and town trail where eager explorers took up the task of navigating their way throughout Bodmin, using a compass and map to find clues, cracking codes, and collecting points in the fastest time for the chance to win an axe-throwing experience courtesy of Footsteps of Discovery. Other families chose to take a gentler approach, using their map reading and code-busting skills, to learn more about Bodmin’s rich military history before exploring our new exhibition, ‘Dealing with Disaster’.

The afternoon concluded with a fantastic performance from Bodmin Town Band, a cream tea (jam side up, of course) donated from Cornwall Gateway, with cream from Trewithen Dairy, jam from Boddingtons Berries and scones from Malcolm Barnecutts. To round off the event and announce the winners, we were honoured to be joined by Squadron Leader Ollie Thornton from RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire, who noted, ‘an amazing day had been had by all’.

Helen Bishop- Stephens, director of Bodmin Keep, said: “It was a fantastic day, full of excitement, it was great seeing so many people take part in our Navigation Challenge.”