English Self-Storage Operators Participate in 'Wave of Gratitude' Celebrating Women of WWI

Update 11/12/18 – Smart Storage of Altrincham, England, has joined more than a dozen self-storage operators participating in the “Wave of Gratitude” campaign nationwide. The company recently hung a 13-foot banner on the side of the building to celebrate the role women played in World War I. It’ll adorn the structure on Craven Road until Armistice Day, according to the source.

An unveiling ceremony included participation from local veteran Vince Hastings and members of the Royal British Legion. “Using our forklift and cage, we have hung the enormous banner down the center of our building right above our trade counters, so it will be seen by everyone passing by on the busy Craven Road,” said facility manager Emma Greenwood. "We are so proud to celebrate the role that many local women played in the war.”

“We were struck by how few women were remembered in the history books, even though they formed the backbone of the war effort. From making ammunition to serving at the front, they showed such courage, determination and resilience,” added Rennie Schafer, CEO of SSA-UK. "When we appealed for local stories, we were extremely touched by the memories people shared. Many of these personal accounts will be posted on our website leading up to Remembrance Sunday. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who came forward to honor their female family members.”


8/8/18 – Two more English self-storage operators are participating in the nationwide “Wave of Gratitude” campaign. Armadillo Self Storage of Newcastle upon Tyneside and St. Neots Self Store of Cambridgeshire are asking the public for inspiring accounts about women who served their respective communities during World War I. One story from each community will be imprinted on a banner to be displayed at their respective locations.

“We are appealing for people to come forward to tell us about their grandmothers and great-grandmothers who played a part in World War One,” said David Griffith-Owen of Armadillo. “We will be commemorating them all across social media, and 33 faces will be chosen for banners to be displayed around the country for 100 days—each day representing a year since the end of the Great War.”

“It is no secret that women formed the backbone of the war effort during the 1914-18 Great War. From making ammunition to serving at the front, their courage, determination and resilience kept together a nation torn apart by war,” added Emma Chesterton Kay, a board member for the Self Storage Association of the United Kingdom (SSA-UK). “We hope that this initiative will acknowledge and celebrate the lives of these extraordinary women.”

Jim Williams, general manager of St. Neots Self Store, said his great-grandmother, Daisy, worked in a munitions factory in East London during the war. “It is a privilege for us to act as a gateway for local people to share memories of past local female heroes, and we are proud to work with other members of the Self Storage Association UK to collectively keep their histories alive.”

Armadillo is a member of the Big Yellow Group PLC family of storage properties, which operates 97 locations in the United Kingdom, with most concentrated in Greater London. Its total portfolio comprises 5.6 million square feet.

The recently opened St. Neots Self Store also serves the community of Bedfordshire. The property is the only purpose-built self-storage facility in the city, according to the operator’s website. Offerings include 24-hour access, business and personal storage, and shredding services.


7/19/18 – Storage King of Dudley, England, is participating in the nationwide “Wave of Gratitude” campaign, which celebrates women who contributed to their communities during World War I. The company is seeking stories about local heroines. The names of the most inspiring will be added to a banner that will hang from the facility at Unit 8 Ionic Park on Birmingham New Road. The campaign starts next month and will run for 100 days, concluding on Armistice Day, according to the source.

“World War I altered women’s status in Britain forever. Women like Lilian Hodgkiss, who worked in the local munitions factory here in Dudley, fearlessly assumed roles previously reserved for men throughout the hostilities,” said Rachel Cornaby, manager of the Dudley store. “Each and every one of them helped win a war with their courage, hard work and resolve. They have changed the future for all generations of women and should never be forgotten. We are proud to be a part of this national campaign to bring these amazing women into the spotlight.”

Wave of Gratitude is part of The Royal British Legion’s “Thank You” campaign to commemorate the centenary of World War I. “One of our key ambitions this year is to highlight the contribution of the whole first-world-war generation,” said Catherine Davies, head of remembrance at The Royal British Legion. “Women played an utterly essential role in the war effort, seizing the opportunity to prove their worth and take another step toward getting the vote. Each and every one of them deserves our thanks.”

Nominations for the campaign can be sent to womenwethank@ssauk.com.

The Storage King portfolio includes 13 owned facilities and 12 properties under licensing and management agreements, primarily in Southeast England. It comprises about 577,000 gross leasable square feet. The portfolio was acquired last year by Stor-Age Property REIT, which operates the Stor-Age Self Storage brand in South Africa.

Sources: 
Messenger, First World War Veteran Unveils 13ft Remembrance Banner
Dudley News, Forgotten Women of WWI to Be Remembered
The Hunts Post, Women’s First World War Stories Sought for St Neots Banner
Chronicle Live, Remembering the Lost Stories of Tyneside Women in World War I

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