Roger Davis’ legacy for the volunteers at M Shed

Posted on by Lauren MacCarthy.

Roger Davis was an Industrial Chemist who travelled across the globe to different paper mills.

Retirement gave Roger the time to do more of what he enjoyed so he joined M Shed’s team of Industrial and Maritime volunteers – a perfect fit with his interest in Industrial Archaeology.

Roger continued to enjoy volunteering with us for 15 years. In his will Roger kindly left a legacy to the volunteers of M Shed, showing the clear connection and fond memories he held for ‘Bristol’s museum’.

Roger’s daughter Sarah shared some fond memories of her father with us.

Steam train outside the M Shed. Train driver waves the flag ready to go.“He became a volunteer at M Shed. He’d come back home with his big boots and overcoat, Breton hat and when you asked him if he’d had a good day he would always say ‘Oh, yes.’

Dad loved being part of the volunteer team at the museum. He loved seeing people enjoying the working exhibits, enjoyed being with the team and loved playing with the boats, the cranes and the trains. Many people would recognise him and stop to say hello, he would always remember them too.”

Roger spent time volunteering on all of our working exhibits, even taking a wedding party up in the crane! But being a champion canoer and swimmer when he was growing up, he was most at home on the docks in a boat.

The Pyronaut. Boat full of people sails on the Thames.

“I think there were many special times at the museum for Dad but taking Pyronaut to London in 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee was certainly a massive thing. The rain may have poured down all day but in a boat where you expect to get wet anyway that was not going to spoil their excitement.

The whole weekend from the launching into the river Thames for the flotilla, spending time with the London fire fighters and taking part in the pageant itself, made him beam as he regaled us with stories. We heard tales of the trip for a long time afterwards.”

Options were put to the volunteers to choose how Roger’s gift should be spent and they decided to purchase uniform fleeces to help keep them warm on colder operating days. Roger’s bequest will also enable us to make a few more improvements for our volunteers at M Shed.

“The final message he left us with summed him up perfectly: Always look on the bright side of life.”

We are incredibly grateful to Roger and his family for leaving our charity this gift. Bequests small and large have made a huge difference to our work and ensure our treasures can be enjoyed by everyone for generations to come

If you would like to find out more about leaving a gift in your will please contact Katie Lee on 0117 352 5568 or [email protected].

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