Investigating the impact of the Second World War, Derwent visited the National Emergency Services Museum last week to find out about Sheffield during the Blitz, to see a new exhibition. The National Emergency Services Museum opened in 1984 as the "Sheffield Fire and Police Museum", it was given its present name on in 2014. It is the world’s largest joint 999 museum showing an insight into all of our Emergency Services through hands-on learning with history. There are over 50 vehicles on site from manual and horse power to steam and motor and three floors of exhibits to explore, discover and learn from, including real Victorian Police Cells.
The focus was the Sheffield Blitz, the name given to the worst nights of German Luftwaffe bombing in Sheffield during the Second World War. It took place over the nights of 12 December and 15 December 1940. At the time, Sheffield was a city of about 560,000 people and contained many heavy industries, primarily centred on steel and armaments and the Hadfields steelworks was also the only place in the UK at that time where 18-inch armour-piercing shells were made. Most of the factories were located in the East end of the city beside the River Don. Documents captured at the end of the war showed that the targets for the raids included many of these steel works, but the majority of bombs were dropped in the city centre. Derwent pupils investigated possible reasons for this ‘error’ through using archives.