Rain Stops Play?

Grounds of Smedley's Hydro, Matlock, c.1930 (D2618 Z/Z 1/3)

Grounds of Smedley’s Hydro, Matlock, c.1930 (D2618 Z/Z 1/3)

Now that Wimbledon is well under way, here’s a sprinkling of Derbyshire tennis-themed items from our collections for those hoping the covers keep off the courts of SW19.

Smedley's Hydro tennis courts, c.1930 (D2618 Z/Z 1/4)

Smedley’s Hydro tennis courts, c.1930 (D2618 Z/Z 1/4)

Hayfield Church Sunday School Tennis Club membership cards, 1930s (D2426 A/PI 35/3/2)

Hayfield Church Sunday School Tennis Club membership cards, 1930s (D2426 A/PI 35/3/2)

Wirksworth Grammar School girls' tennis team, 1926 (D271/10/6/10)

Wirksworth Grammar School girls’ tennis team, 1926 (D271/10/6/10)



Detail from Buxton tennis tournament supplement titled 'Ease + Elegance' (D5679/1)

Detail from Buxton tennis tournament supplement titled ‘Ease + Elegance’ (D5679/1)

Amongst many other tennis images on Picture the Past, I spotted this photo of the Goodall family of Ockbrook c.1896 (ref: DCER 001172).

The chap at top left is giving a classic (and early?) demonstration of the tennis racquet-as-guitar!

A mystery solved…

We now know for sure what the mystery document is, that turned up unexpectedly at Buxton Pavilion Gardens. (See https://recordoffice.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/what-does-this-document-say-how-did-it-end-up-in-buxton/). It’s the birth certificate of a very well-travelled missionary (http://en.messianicjudaismwiki.com/wiki/Jonas_Theodor_Meyer).

Archivist Juliane Galle, based in Dublin (and who is, I should add, available for freelance work), responded to our request for an explanation of the document with the following transcription and translation.

Der frühere Lehrer, jetzige Licentiat der Theologie
Theodor Jonas Mayer
ist in hiesiger Stadt am dreißigsten Januar einstausend achthundert und achtzehn (30 Januar 1818) ehelich geboren; Das wird aus dem Grund der von den Vorstehern geführten Gemeinde-Geburtsliste seinem Antrage gemäß hierdurch obrigkeitlich unter dem Stadtsiegel bescheinigt.

Crivitz, den 24sten August 1850

Der Magistrat Rönnberg

The former teacher, now Licentiat of Theology
Theodor Jonas Mayer
Was In this town on thirtiest January eightthousand eighthundred and eighteen (30 January 1818) legitimately born: this is therefore noted in the by the principals kept Birthregister of the county according to his application authoritatively under seal certified.

Crivitz, 24 August 1850

[signed] The Magistrate Rönnberg

Our fullest thanks go to Juliane. We are still unsure of what Mayer/Meyer’s birth certificate was doing under the kitchen floor, though! Perhaps that part of the mystery will remain unsolved…

Preservation Workshop

Last week the conservation team held a whole day Preservation Workshop for representatives of various heritage groups, teaching them how to clean and package their archive material.  The day was a big success and we received some lovely comments, like

Both trainers were fantastic, presented very well and a pleasure to come to their training session.

It’s the best I’ve been to!

We’ll be organising more workshops in the autumn, but if you belong to an organisation that has archive material – letters, maps, photographs, etc. –  and would like some training on how to look after it all, just get in touch.

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What does this document say? How did it end up in Buxton?

The mystery document

The mystery document

We are used to dealing with “mystery documents” in our outreach work – but that’s where we invite people to examine a document and take a guess at the what/where/when/who/how of it. This one is a genuine mystery. The original is not in our collections – it was recently uncovered at the Pavilion Gardens in Buxton, during work on the floor in the Octagon Hall kitchen. The Gardens were not opened until 1871, yet this document is dated 1850. Where is it from? What was it for? And in what language is it written?

My first thought was German, because I can see the month written as “Januar”, but I didn’t recognise any of the diacritics. We have enough in-house expertise to determine that the language is neither Dutch nor Swedish. One attempted transcription has the date as “24ten August, 1850” and, before that, under the underlined name, “ist in ? Stadt am dreissigsten January 1818 … geboren”. Which makes it sound like a birth certificate. It may also say “das Magistrat” before the name of the town. And what of the town? If it says Roonburg, then we are in modern-day Germany, or, in 1850, the western extremity of Prussia. But maybe it doesn’t say Roonburg… You see what I mean about mystery. I wonder if anyone out there can identify it by the seal? We would be very impressed, and our friends at the Pavilion Gardens would be very grateful.