‘Is there any post?’ -FitzHerbert project catch up

The FitzHerbert project has been quiet for some time so I wanted to write a catch up blog to update you on progress and share with you one of the highlights of the collection.

Firstly, I want to mention the title of the post: this is surely a familiar phrase in every British household. Especially with the increase in email usage there is always a keen sense of anticipation when you are expecting something to arrive in the post, especially a letter. When something arrives unexpectedly it is always exciting (except if it’s from the bank!). Continue reading

Treasure 36: The Edmund Potter ‘shirt’ and fabric pattern books

I have chosen this collection because I was lucky enough to be involved in cataloguing and arranging the records (D1589). It is titled the Calico Printing Library of Alderman J G Hurst of Glossop, and includes records of Edmund Potter & Company Ltd, calico printers, Dinting Vale, Glossop.

The Edmund Potter & Company Ltd swatch pattern books are beautiful, and the colours are so vivid you would think that they belonged in the 1980s and not the 1880s!! It was my pleasure to be able to work on the collection every week, and to handle such delicate documents.

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This remarkable printed shirt was found in an envelope within the collection.  It was such a surprise to find it as no one knew it was there until I came across it. I found it difficult to describe in the catalogue as I’m used to describing documents!

The catalogue I produced is now accessible to the public. I hope everyone enjoys looking through the documents as much as I enjoyed cataloguing them.

Elissa, Derbyshire Record Office volunteer

Dastardly Deeds, Danger and Drinking Dens in Draycott & Church Wilne!

Just in time for Halloween, our Local Studies Library has an intriguing set of booklets on display, describing some of the ‘darker’ history of  Draycott. These have been produced by the Draycott & Church Wilne History Group.

draycott-1

‘Rogues and Miscreants’ starts with an interesting summary of Crime and Punishment including the ‘The Bloody Code,’ the justice system and the types of punishments available to miscreants.

The range of cases make a fascinating read, as does the personal information about the perpetrators.  Among the gory cases are some other interesting types of crimes such as ‘keeping petroleum for sale on premises without a licence, ‘riding without reins’ and ‘removing cattle along the highway without a license.’

 

draycott-2

As with ‘Rogues and Miscreants,’ this booklet starts with a useful historical background – highlighting the press’s tendency to sensationalise the stories and details of unfortunate incidents (as with modern media!)

Some of it makes stomach churning reading, involving injuries and deaths caused by fires (including in a fireworks factory), drowning and traffic accidents. I wonder if there is a place in Derbyshire that is known as the ‘most accident-prone?’ Let us know!

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Next is some slightly lighter reading, about the pubs of Draycott & Wilne (although there are some accounts of drink-related crimes  thrown in for good measure!). Again there is a really useful general background history ‘How did Pubs Come About?’ and a useful summary of existing sources of information specifically about Draycott’s Pubs.

On the last page, the Draycott & Church Wilne History Group say they are interested in hearing any memories about the pubs in the area – so whether it’s The Cleaver, The Traveller’s Rest or The Coach and Horses you have a story about, please get in touch with them!

Last, but not certainly not least, the History Group have also produced a fabulous Draycott Historical Trail Map.  It’s a really handy size to carry and has over 15 points of historical interest on a really clear map.  What a great excuse to go walking in the area, visit a couple of the public houses, pore over the stories of rogues, miscreants and accidents and toast your health, I’d say!

The History Group also have a Facebook page if you are interested in contacting them via social media.

 

Bomb nearly takes out the Blue Bell Inn at Melbourne

A post from Bernadette currently on a work placement at the Record Office

As part of my work placement at the Record Office, I currently working on a transcript of information gathered from the Derbyshire County Council Air Raid Precaution’s Register of Occurrence’s (Ref: D4710/1).On the first page of the register I came across the occurrence at Melbourne, which lead me to do further researching.

On 11th July 1940 at the Blue Bell Inn, 53 Church Street, Melbourne, Derbyshire, bomb damage and deaths occurred at around 8.10 a.m. 9 people were killed and 15 were wounded. Two buildings at the rear of the Blue Bell Inn and part of the boot factory near the grange were also damaged.

There must have been a lot of chaos, due it being the time of day when folk are getting up for the day ahead, it would have woken folk in the area from their beds. It was good job that the incident didn’t happen when the inn was open at the time and when the boot factory was open for business, otherwise the casualties could have been a lot higher.

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Ordnance Survey Map showing the location of the Blue Bell Inn Melbourne.

 

From the Melbourne Church of England Junior Boys School Log Book, 1933 – 1942 (Ref: D3575/1/5) on 11th July 1940 it was noted that there was considerable damage in the town. You would think people would have stayed away, but in fact only 5 boys and 2 members of staff didn’t turned up for school that day, one had her house badly damaged.

Yet, the Head Master at the Senior School called the Director of Education, it was agreed by the Director that the school be closed for the day. If I was in their shoes I would have been traumatised by the incident, especially being a child. School did open the following morning, with 33 of the pupil’s being absent in the morning and 35 in the afternoon and this isn’t surprising with the upheaval caused by the incident. It must have taken weeks for normality to come back to the surrounding area.

WATCH THIS SPACE… the completed transcript will be accessible via the online catalogue in the near future – we will let you know when it is

Pop Up -a Follow Up

Tomorrow we’ll be holding an open day at the record office for anyone who visited us at the Wirksworth Festival this year, when we ‘popped up’ with The Amazing Pop Up Archives Project.

For more information on The Amazing Pop Up Archives Project click on the ‘Treasure’ page above.

We’ll have all the wonderful contributions which people made throughout the weekend on show along with some treasures from our archive collections, relating to Wirksworth and further afield.

We hope we whetted your appetite for all things archive if you visited us at the Festival – so do come along between 10am-4pm and see what the record office is all about.

Missed us at Wirksworth?  That’s ok, you are most welcome to ‘pop’ in and see us tomorrow and take a look at our collections and have a tour of our office.

Hope to see you then!

 

 

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

mould

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

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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