Recipe for Biscuit Puddings

D7555/1Biscuit Puddings

Take six oz. of Sugar, six oz. of flour, 6 oz. of Butter, and the Yolks of six Eggs, beat the Butter to a cream, then beat the Yolks of the eggs and add them to the Butter, Stir the sugar and Flour in separately by degrees, beat these Ingredients well together before you bake them, they require a moderate Oven – when [?]sent up they should be ornamented with a little orange marmalade – Mrs Miller, Radway


Send us photos of your biscuit puddings and we will put them up on the blog – please email

It’s a building!

Here are some of the latest pics of the new extension (which now looks remarkably like a building), and the ongoing work in Wyvern House prior to the refurbishment

Latest recipe from Clara: Lobster Curry

Lobster CurryD7555/1 Clara Palmer-Morewood recipe book p83

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

Le Papier de Nouvelle [The Paper of New]

Muriel’s Wedding?

Following on from one of our literature festival events, the curious case of Muriel’s ‘wedding dress’ came to light.

During a workshop, we gave participants two photographs from the Picture the Past photographic collection, then asked people to come up with imaginative stories which linked these images together.

 The images had been selected purely for their visual intrigue and potential for inspiring creative writing, and we had paired them up entirely out of context. For example an image of a sad looking newspaper seller from the 1970s was paired up with a photograph of a long, winding country lane, leading to a bleak-looking house.

One of the images was particularly interesting as it showed a woman called Beatrice Muriel Bagshaw in a beautiful wedding dress, presumably on her wedding day. We felt rather sorry for this woman, as she did not look particularly happy to be getting married.

Photograph of Muriel from Picutre the Past Website

Muriel’s picture was paired up with this photo of a prison from c 1850s-90s

We hoped that with the context removed, this would inspire all kinds of interesting stories. Heres something that a writer from the workshop came up with:

‘Louise is daughter of a wealthy merchant in the city of London.  She is persuaded by her parents into marriage with one of her father’s business acquaintances to cement their connection.  The wedding is a stylish affair and she wears a beautiful silk dress but she is not a radiant bride as she has great doubts about her new husband.  Within a few years she finds out that her doubts were justified as he is convicted of fraud and jailed leaving her penniless.’

 Strangely enough this was not the end of Muriel’s story. We were in fact sure that we had seen Muriel somewhere before… and noticed when looking at the Bakewell Old House Museum Facebook page that this image had been added to the site…

Muriel Bagshaw in her ‘Court Presentation’ dress, courtesy of Bakewell Old House Museum

…could this be the very same woman?!

We contacted Bakewell Museum, who confirmed that this was indeed Muriel Bagshaw, but it was not the wedding dress that we had thought, but a court presentation dress. What’s more is that they even had the actual dress in their collection of historical costume! They said;

‘The dress was Muriel’s court presentation dress.  She was presented to Queen Victoria…… a kind of coming out.  It is in very poor condition but we do get it out occasionally.  There is a wonderful, incredibly long train to accompany the dress along with shoes, stockings, fan and Prince of Wales feathers which had to be worn in the hair. She looks rather glum on the photo and we always feel rather sorry for her.’

We thought this was a wonderful twist to the tale, and just goes to show that every picture can tell a multitude of stories and that you can’t always judge something on first appearances.

Can you come up with a story for Muriel? We would love to hear your suggestions!

Why not take a look at Bakewell Museum’s facebook page: & find out how to visit the dress

See what inspiration you can find from the wonderful East Midlands Photographic Archive on the Picture the Past website


Derbyshire Literature Festival May 2012

May was a busy month for our outreach team as this was the first year that the Record Office took part in the Derbyshire Literature Festival. This was the 7th Derbyshire Literature festival organised by Derbyshire County Council which takes place every two years, and this year’s programme was exciting as ever, with more than 65 events happening in libraries and other venues across the county.

The Record Office contributed 3 events to the programme:

                                   ‘Ask the Archivist’

Glapwell Deed from 13th Century

An open day for those interested in historical research, whether it was advice on how to get started or how to get to the next step.  We had a great display of original material from our collections for visitors to read and we were very keen, as in all our events, to give people the opportunity to get hands on with the documents.  In this display we included material showing the range of material we hold, from prisoner records to a letter from Florence Nightingale, and our oldest records (we think!) a deed dating c. 1115.

‘Melbourne in the Archives’

Reading a 19th century Phrenology report out aloud from the original manuscript

An exhibition of historical records from the John Joseph Briggs collection (an author, poet, naturalist & historian from Melbourne) with the chance to read aloud from a selection of material from the exhibition and discuss and talk about the material. 

The exhibition featured letters, extracts, books, poems & illustrations concerning Melbourne local history.  The originals were on display and used during the read aloud session, which was enjoyed by all, and led to a relaxed and interesting group discussion.

Illustrations from a scrapbook found in the Briggs collection


 We received some lovely comments:

‘The event was excellent.  The staff were warm & friendly & knowledgeable; it was a privilege to see original documents; the readings were a special treat as was meeting local people’




‘Reading and Writing from the Archives with Sara Sheridan’

Looking at a late 19th century Asylum record to inspire creative writing or historical fiction

This session focused on how writers might use archive material as inspiration for creative writing and comprised of a full day of workshops, talks and activities.  We took along a large amount of original material, which provided examples of how you might use archives for writing, whether that was for characters or events, for accuracy, or what was like to live at that time – archives enabling writers to be authentic and true to the period. 

Participants were encouraged to use the documents to answer questions on how they might use the material and how to interpret them. We also had activities including guessing a mystery document, and using images from Picture the Past to inspire ideas for stories or poems. 

Following the Record Office session we had a workshop by the author Sara Sheridan who had come down from Edinburgh for the event.  Sara gave an extremely engaging talk on how she used archive material in her writing, and gave advice to the participants (most of whom were writing their own works) about how to write effectively for publication.

More information about Sara’s writing can be found on her website:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Troubled Times – new online exhibition now available

Long before the revolutions of the French and the Americans in the Eighteenth Century, Britain had experienced its own violent revolution that saw families split and friends divided, houses and churches destroyed, the king executed and a republic established.

This new exhibition looks at the how Derbyshire’s role in the civil war, and its impact on it, is reflected in the primary sources that have survived to this day and are currently available for consultation at the record office.

Click here to view:

Recipe for Ginger Beer

Why not complete the Jubilee weekend with a homemade ginger beer?

D7555/1 page 35

To one ounce of ginger well bruised, one lemon peeled, and squeezed 3 lb of lump sugar, 1 gallon of boiling water to be poured over all, and to stand till nearly cold, then strain it over one spoonful of yeast added to it, bottle it immediately, when it is cold. In two days it is fit to drink – Mrs Provost