Twitter Digest October 2022

Welcome to the latest Twitter Digest!

We’re going to bend the rules a little this month, as we got inspired by the Archives & Records Association for Scotland’s Archive Box initiative, which began on September 26th. Each morning they would release a number and we would find something in our collections to match. Here’s our countdown:

For Archive Box Number 53 we have D2546/ZZ/53, a letter written by Florence Nightingale to Dr Dunn on 14 November 1879 in which she discusses various local (to Lea Hurst) patients of theirs.

It reads:

“Lea Hurst Nov 14/79 5. am.

My dear Sir

In bidding you farewell for the present, I have some circumstances to mention about our common proteges.

Alfred Peach was drunk on Saturday.

Adam Prince was ill in bed on Wednesday: I had no reason to think there was any drinking:

Walker is spitting blood.

Mrs Broomhead’s daughter at home I am persuading to put into the Women’s Club.

Please add her to those whom you will “pass” if you can.

Do you know that Mrs Limb’s son is to be married at Christmas, & that then the newly married wife will take the charge of the mother in law, Widow Limb, & that Elizth Sims will leave?

I have induced Lizzie Holmes not to go to work till next Friday

I shall follow your directions about my Fanny:

she says she “has no indigestion except when she eats.” that is rather a bad state of affairs. I think you were kind enough to propose sending me the prescription for her Pills, if you wish her to continue them.

With every best wish for your highest success pray believe me in great haste ever yrs faithfully

F. Nightingale

C.B.N. Dunn Esq.”

At Number 46: D1429/A/PI/46

A lovely pencil drawing of Osmaston Church which was rebuilt in 1843, the first neo Medieval Gothic church to be built in Derbyshire. It was built at a cost of £8000 by William Evans of Ellastone, relative of the novelist George Eliot.

In at Number 37, a 19th Century folder of sketches by Ellen Turbutt.

We especially like this little booklet – good to know babies back then didn’t want to sit still either.

Next, up to Number 32:

D2375/J/A/1/2/26/32 is a rather bland looking envelope, but it’s full of photographs taken by amateur photographer Richard Harpur Crewe in the early 20thC.

Unfortunately, none are dated or say who or what the images are.

New in at number 26: [an Archive] box full of deeds from the Gell family of Hopton Hall. The oldest item in this box?

A land lease from 1242 from Avicia [Avis], a widow, to Peter de Hurl.

Moving up to Number 25, we have a poem advertising 25 years of trading for John Stenson of Bag Lane, Derby in 1823. Can you work out what he did?

Can you work out what he did? [Photo] The poem reads:

“To those who chase he’ll hire an instrument

On terms that cannot fail to give content

If you will know his terms on price or Meter

Call at his House not far from Peters

At small expence he’ll take them 40 miles

Whether the roads be Turnpikes Gates or Styles

Has served the public 25 Years

And means to do so till death appears July 19 1823”

No, we wouldn’t have known either if it didn’t say so at the top of the document – he was a glass blower!

Young and keen at number 15 (relatively, at least): a programme for Fred Penley’s ‘The Timbertown Follies’, which also happens to be from 1915!

The play features a motorist on his way to Portsmouth, and this programme is for a performance in Groningen, in the northern part of Holland!

Rising all the way to  Number 8, from our collection no. D8, we have this wonderful 1804 invoice account written by Georgian botanist Lucy Hardcastle, who ran a day and boarding school for girls in Derby during the early 19th Century.

The note attached reads:

October 9th 1804 – Rec’ed of W.G Lockett Esqr. The sum of twenty pounds sixteen shillings & threepence, for board and other expenses of Miss Colclough from January 1804 to Midsr 1804 – Lucy Hardcastle.

But straight in at Number 3, we chose one of our few boxes that contain 3-D objects.

See what we did there?

All of these are part of the archive of Ferodo Ltd of Chapel-en-le-Frith, brake and clutch lining manufacturers.

We especially like Babs’ original brake lining!

Still on the numerical theme, the celebratory dates in October were:

14th October – World Egg Day!

Here we have Thornhill and Sons Egg and Poultry Factory which was a major employer in Great Longstone in the 1950s, with trays of fresh eggs ready to go out on delivery.

What an egg-cellent photograph!

15th October – International Day of Rural Women. So, we went back to 1938 and Cliff Hill Farm at Clowne.

On the right is Mrs Spicer who lived at the farm, posing with her neighbour Mrs Thickett – plus a couple of friendly sheep, completely unfazed by Mrs Thickett’s dog.

16th October: World Food Day.

We paid a visit to A B Gibson’s Butchers and Grocer’s Shop on the Market Place, Shirebrook in the 1900s, with their extraordinary display of produce.

You’d need very long arms to reach everything!

17th October: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

Here’s the Mission Soup Kitchen in Grassmoor from 1912.

These men and their fellow Methodist missionaries must have given a lifeline to many.

When we weren’t thinking of numbers, we spent a little time being intrigued.

Firstly, by this copy of a Medieval Latin Astronomy text, written at a time when the Earth was still regarded as the centre of the universe.

Contrary to modern misconceptions of medieval thinking, it states that the Earth is round. It was International Astronomy Day on 1st October.

Secondly, we were intrigued to learn about an Ilkeston ropemaker who supported American independence and anti-slavery campaigns. You can find out more from his son, Thomas, whose letters are held at the US Library of Congress, available to view free online.

And Finally

For those of you missing your Archive Of The Week news; how’s this for a fun headteacher!

Could it explain why Mr Barlow only stayed 2 years?

School log books & admission registers for 41 English and Welsh counties are available to search on Find My Past – free access at any Derbyshire library.

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