Become a Volunteer. Contact the Curator at the museum and have a chat.
'The Wardrobe' as the Rifles (Berkshire and Wiltshire) Museum is known locally, has a very limited number of paid staff, consisting of a Trust Manager (full time); Assistant Curator (part time); Museum Assistant (full time). All the other activities at the Museum depend on a hard working group of some 20 to 30 people who work voluntarily and, without whom, it would not be possible for the Museum to function the way it does.
Our 'front line' where we welcome our customers, take entrance fees, set them off on their tour of the Museum or the garden and sell items from our modest Museum shop.
A key position is our Museum Archivist and assistant who deal with the many enquiries, normally relating to individuals, that we receive every week. This is an invaluable service to families, researchers and a variety of people wishing to find out about the regiments.
Many documents both from the National Archives at Kew and from the Museum's own archives have been transcribed. This includes the Battalion War Diaries for both The Wiltshire Regiment and The Royal Berkshire Regiment for both World Wars (now on sale from the Museum shop). Some of this work is carried out at the Museum but over the years much has been done in the comfort of volunteers' own homes.
All items need to be accurately recorded in our database, scanned or photographed, and if not going out on display, to be suitably packed for storage. A number of people work on different aspects of this process which is essential to ensure that we know what objects we have and where they are as well as making them available for viewing on the Museum's website. The Museum is particularily grateful for the ongoing help provided by the local NADFAS group who, among other tasks, have spent many hours photographing uniforms and medals so that they are available on this website.
Other Tasks (by no means an exhaustive list!)
Helping prepare temporary exhibits; staffing the Museum's display at public events such as those put on by English Heritage at Old Sarum and by Family History Societies; assisting with visiting school parties; proofreading; practical tasks like putting up shelves; answering the phone – and writing copy for this website.
A Volunteer's Viewpoint
Having volunteered at the Rifles Berkshire & Wiltshire Museum, in the centre of Britain's largest and most beautiful Cathedral Close, for the best part of three years, I have by now welcomed thousands of people into what is undoubtedly one of the finest small regimental museums in the land. In doing so, I have been fortunate enough to meet some of the most interesting people whom I have ever had the pleasure of encountering, both in the form of visitors from across the world and, of course, in the form of the museum's own dedicated band of staff and volunteers.
More important, wherever they are from, and whatever their backgrounds, few visitors leave the museum unimpressed and without having had their perceptions of Salisbury - coloured as they maybe by recent events - enhanced by their experience. I would therefore not hesitate in recommending the Rifle Berkshire & Wiltshire Museum to anyone who wishes to devote a few hours, wherever and whenever possible, to such a worthwile and rewarding endeavour.
There are nearly always new projects waiting to be undertaken, and inevitably as the years pass some of our volunteers feel they can no longer help us. Whatever your skills and interests we would be pleased to hear from you if you can give us some time on a regular basis.
To contact the Assistant Curator send an Email to firstname.lastname@example.org, phone us on 01722 419419 or write to us at The Wardrobe, 58 The Close, Salisbury, SP1 2EX