School Sports Day, 1924

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Some while ago, we mentioned the acquisition of some photographs of the 1924 sports day of St James CE School in Derby (D6560/6/5/6).  You can see all the photos in the search room (just ask for CD187), but here are just a few of them.


Our new manager

We are pleased to announce that Sarah Chubb (currently Borough Archivist at Sandwell, West Midlands) will be starting work as Archives and Local Studies Manager for Derbyshire County Council in August.  This role replaces those of County Archivist and County Local Studies Librarian.

Record Office extension project and Local Studies relocation

Pending planning permission to extend and refurbish our current site on New Street, the Record Office will be closing for three weeks between 12 and 30 September 2011. During this time the service will move to alternative premises (site to be confirmed) where we will re-open on Monday 3 October. The works will continue for 18 months, after which the Record Office service will return to the New Street site, which will be shared with the County Local Studies Library. Due to the works, the Record Office car park will be closed until at least Friday 1 July. Alternative car parking is available in the town centre; please contact us for further information. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Probate Registers – free to a good home!

We no longer need our set of probate registers, covering 1901 to 1935.  The volumes are mostly in good condition, but as the information in them is now available online, we no longer need them.  Anyone who wants them should contact  And anyone who wants to use the online versions without paying for an subscription should visit our searchroom (or your local Derbyshire library) and ask to use the Ancestry Library website.

James Watt Jr. writes to William Strutt about successfully lobbying parliament, 1809

D5303/45: London, 13 June 1809

Dear Sir

We have just terminated a successful opposition in the House of Commons to an attempt of a set of speculators in this city, styling themselves first the National Light and Heat Company Continue reading

James Ledekin’s description of the Bahamas

D37 M/H 20/14: Beaumont, Long Island, Bahamas

Mr Holland,

Sir I make no doubt yow was surprised at the steps I have taken, in leaving England for the Bahamas.  Indeed it was a thing unthought of untill I arrived in London; Continue reading

Smedley, Duesbury and the football

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D6808/3/1: St Andrew’s Middle Class School, Derby, April 14th, 1882

[Pupils who fell foul of this school’s laws had to submit written apologies to the headmaster – here are two, about the same incident]

 Dear Sir,

Somebody told me that Sharp had a ball, so I asked him to put it down.  Smedley then said if he did, he (Smedley) would throw it over the wall.  Continue reading

Byron embraces Gally Knight, rejects fame

D239 M/F 16302: April 4th 1815

Dear Knight

I have read “Alashtar” with attention and great pleasure. It appears to me preferable to the Yaniote but that may be owing to the measure which is a favourite of mine. Continue reading

A transported convict writes home

D4716/1: Sydney, New South Wales, 20th June 1841

My dear father and Mother, I have taken the opportunity of writing you these lines trusting the same will find you both in good health, Brothers and sisters, and all relations and enquiring friends, as it leaves me by the blessing of God in good health at present. Continue reading

Letitia Gresley writes to her sister

D77/4/4/1 : c1720

Dearest sister, This is to give you a great many thanks for all your kindness to me, both when you was here and at all other times. I do sadly want your good company Continue reading