Preserving Your Past at DRO tomorrow

As part of the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site Discovery Days festival, I will be holding a talk at the Record Office tomorrow to explain how you can protect your family’s photographs, letters, diaries, etc. so they will survive to be enjoyed by generations to come.  You’re welcome to stay on after the talk for individual advice.

Place: Derbyshire Record Office, Matlock

Date: Tuesday 25 October

Time: 2pm to 3.30pm

There are still a few places available; the event is free, but booking is essential – call the Discovery Days booking number,  01629 536831.

Come along and prevent your precious memories being destroyed by insects or mould:

insect-damage       silverfish-damage-photograph


Past Times Discovery Day at Alfreton Library

Come and join us at Alfreton Library today, discover local treasures from the archives, old photos with Picture the Past, dress up through the decades, touch and feel everyday objects from the recent past and explore the tracks of our lives from the 50s to the 80s – We’re here until 4pm, come down and say hello and share your memories of Alfreton and Derbyshire     

Treasure 35: Records of the National Union of Mineworkers, Derbyshire Area, 1880s-2015

The archive of the National Union of Mineworkers’ Derbyshire Area documents 135 years of trade unionism within the north-east Derbyshire coal industry, from the early days of the Derbyshire Miners’ Association, formed in 1880, through to the formation of the NUM in 1945 and the Area’s closure in 2015. It reflects the great changes that took place within the industry, such as nationalisation and colliery closures, and their influence on the economy, culture and communities of the East Midlands.

These records provide an insight into various aspects of the union’s activities, as well as significant national events, including the strikes of 1972, 1974 and 1984-5. They also provide an unparalleled resource for the study of miners’ health and welfare in Derbyshire, with thousands of individual case files of miners who applied for injury and disablement benefit under the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act 1946. Derbyshire Record Office has received funding from the Wellcome Trust for an exciting project to catalogue this important collection and make it available to the public.

Paul Carlyle, archivist for the Miners’ Health and Welfare: cataloguing the NUM Derbyshire Area archive project

Derbyshire mining material.JPG

The photograph above shows some of the material on display as part of the 50 Treasures exhibition. It includes:

  • A volume of Derbyshire Miners’ Association minutes covering the years of the First World War.
  • A brochure for the Rhyl Holiday Centre, 1963 season
  • A large poster advertising a rally and march through Chesterfield on 19 February 1972 organised in support of striking miners
  • ‘The Bathers’ Handbook’. Markham Collieries Pithead Baths, c1938

Treasure 11: An Exact Mapp of Risley and Breaston

Today’s the first day of National Map Reading Week.  To mark the occasion, we’re re-blogging one of our 50 Treasures, an amazing map of Risley and Breaston dating from 1722. To find out about local map reading events, or to see if you can beat my score on a special maps quiz (75%), visit the Ordnance Survey’s Map Reading Week page.

Derbyshire Record Office

This wonderful map was purchased by Derbyshire County Council in 1966 for £20.  It was surveyed by Matts [Matthias] Aston, in 1722, and the man standing beside the scale on the map is presumably Matts Aston himself.  The scale is 20 perches:1 inch; a perch was an old form of measurement (also called a rod or pole) equal to 5 1/2 yards.

D393 1 resized photomerge

In the top left corner is the coat of arms of the baronets of Aston in Cheshire, so this map must have been made for the 3rd baronet, Sir Thomas Aston (1666-1725).  It measures 60 x 30 inches (about 150cm x 75cm) and is made of parchment which has been backed with linen.  These are two very long-lasting materials, which explains why the map is still in such good condition.

Paula Moss, our Artist in Residence between 2011 and 2013 chose the map for our 50 treasures.  She says:  “I love the fact that…

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A Victorian Lobster Curry to celebrate National Curry Week

A recipe for Lobster Curry, from Clara Palmer-Morewood's recipe book

A recipe for Lobster Curry, from Clara Palmer-Morewood’s recipe book

Lobster Curry

Get fresh boiled lobsters, and take as much of the meat, spawn & head as will be about a pound. Melt a table spoonful of butter in a stew pan, and add to it the Lobster and two table spoonful of fish curry paste to be had of the oilmen (not powder) and one and a half wine glass of cold water; stew quickly for fifteen minutes, and it is done –

Le Papier de Nouvelle

An oilman was usually the person who sold or filled the oil for lamps – more investigation required as to where to buy fish curry paste in 1837. Unless anyone out there already knows?

For a list of other recipes in this book, belonging to Clara Palmer-Morewood of Alfreton Hall see our catalogue, ref: D7555/1

Derbyshire Heritage Awards Success!

Our Mining the Archives project won the Behind the scenes at the museum category of the 2016  Derbyshire Heritage Awards!  A big thank you to the judges for appreciating the quality of the work, to the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust for their funding and to Clare Mosley, Madeleine Marshall and Ian Maver for their hard work and expertise.



Lien Gyles and Sarah Chubb receiving the award


Congratulations also to our colleagues at Buxton Museum, who won the Young people in heritage category, and to all organisations who entered projects. The evening highlighted the imagination, creativity, determination and enthusiasm that thrives throughout the heritage sector in Derbyshire – a full list of winners and highly commended projects is on the Facebook page of the Derbyshire Museums and Heritage Forum.


All the winners and Highly Recommended projects

“On Their Own Account: Victorian Pauper Letters, Statements and Petitions from the Midland Counties” – A talk by Dr Paul Carter

This sounds like a fascinating talk, by someone who really knows his stuff.  Paul Carter works for The National Archives, where his job title is Principal Records Specialist for Domestic Records. He also is researching the history of poverty at University of Nottingham, where he holds a fellowship.

The talk is hosted by Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Labour History Society and will be delivered at 2pm on Saturday 22 October at The Nottingham Mechanics Institute, 3 North Sherwood Street, Nottingham NG1 4 EZ.  Members of said Society will be having their AGM at the same place from 1pm, and we are told there will also be a Northern Herald second-hand book stall. Continue reading