imageWe are a youth group dedicated to the history and culture of Leeds, working with Leeds Museums And Galleries. We have the opportunity to see exhibits before they are open to the public and help to change the museum spaces and they way they look and work.

Credited to Bev Cottrell Ellie, JP and James handling and reading about tomb pots.

Credited to Bev Cottrell
Ellie, JP and James handling and reading about tomb pots.

Our members are aged between 13-24 and come from a wide range of backgrounds. We are all volunteers and we meet weekly to discuss our projects such as helping to install the upcoming Voices Of Asia exhibition. We participate in other extra museum events and conferences too and sometimes go on group research trips. Of course, a wide range of refreshments are always provided to aid our contributions to the museum!

Our role is to work behind the scenes at Leeds City Museum, forming an integral part of the museum. In the past, we produced a temporary exhibition called ‘Treasured! Smuggled? Stolen? Saved?’, which drew more than 60,000 people. There will hopefully be another entirely youth-curated exhibition in 2016 to mark the centenary of the First World War. We will beginning early work on this project in summer.

Credited to Bev Cottrell. Connor and Tonicha brainstorming during a group discussion.

Credited to Bev Cottrell.
Connor and Tonicha brainstorming during a group discussion.

Recently, a Facebook timeline has been created by our group as part of the centenary commemorations. The timeline has key dates, events and stories related to the First World War in Leeds. We can add to it or people can contribute their own family stories either through us or via their own Facebook account. The main events are added through milestones with symbols to show what theme they are relevant to. The themes include: military, home front, industry, and the role of women. We invite you to see our latest project at www.facebook.com/WW1Leeds.

Furthermore, we organised and delivered some Facebook workshops, these were designed to help people with First World War research and stories to place them on our timeline. This was a great way of getting the community stories to the world! We hope you like our Facebook timeline and please feel free to post/like/share. The Preservative Party welcomes you to send any questions to our Facebook page or to WW1.timeline@leeds.gov.uk.

Preservative Party members helping to design the jewellery display for the upcoming Voices of Asia gallery at Leeds City Museum.

Preservative Party members helping to design the jewellery display for the upcoming Voices of Asia gallery at Leeds City Museum.

By being part of the Preservative Party, we gain valuable experience of teamwork and of how museums work. The people who originally worked on the Facebook timeline also received a Leeds Youth Award, which was presented to them by Councillor Yeadon from Leeds City Council. We enjoy coming to meetings because it is a chance to do something new and different and to meet new people and friends. And of course to drink tea and eat cake and biscuits!

If you would like to find out more about the Preservative Party or are interested in joining the group, please email us at preservativeparty@gmail.com or you can tweet us @presparty. We’d love to hear from you!