The Alan Turner Opera Company’s eye-catching archives

Last month, Derbyshire Record Office was delighted to accept the donation of five rather extraordinary albums of photographs and news-cuttings (D8089) assembled by Alan Turner (1902-1965).  Turner was Managing Director of the Ernest Turner group, which included the Spa Lane Mills in Derby.  However, the principal focus of the collection is not textile production, but theatrical productions.  Alan Turner’s eponymous Opera Society/Company put on numerous performances in London in the 1920s and 1930s, before relocating to Derby in later years.  Here is a sample of some of the fantastic photographs and ephemera in the first volume:

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It wasn’t just opera, though Continue reading

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New book

kt scan

Popular local historian Keith Taylor has written a new book on Buxton. Following the success of his Buxton Remembered in World War One, this covers the period 1920-1950 and continues the story into World War Two with details of the servicemen on the war memorials and their families in Buxton, Burbage, Chelmorton, Earl Sterndale, Fairfield, Harpur Hill, Peak Dale, King Sterndale, Taddington and Wormhill.
If you or your family hail from the White Peak of Derbyshire, this could be the ideal Christmas present.
Illustrated with 760 archive photographs, and published by Country Books of Little Longstone. Available priced £12 from Buxton Library and Derbyshire Record Office, or your local bookshop/online.

Sue Peach, Local Studies Librarian

Treasure 26: Ferodo’s imaginative advertising

This treasure is an extraordinary map of another world called Nevacantell – a world filled with motoring hazards, mitigated by brake linings manufactured in Chapel-en-le-Frith.

D4562/17/2

D4562/17/2

It has been nominated by a former archivist at Derbyshire Record Office, Gary Tuson, who is now County Archivist at Norfolk Record Office. He writes:

The business archive of Ferodo, brake-lining manufacturers, contains a superb collection of advertising and promotional material. Ferodo’s advertising was imaginative: in the inter-war years, one theme which seems to recur is that of driving off a cliff if you haven’t fitted your car with Ferodo brake-linings – just one of the many hazards identified on the map of Nevacantell.

D4562/17/2

There are many more scenes within this map, which may be seen in our searchroom as a high-resolution scan on CD/173 or in its original form by ordering item D4562/17/2. For instance, have a look at the groups of bikers in this image:

D4562/17/2

Did you also spot the satirical tribute to the League of Nations? And how about this for an accident waiting to happen?

D4562/17/2

We are grateful to Ferodo’s current owners, Federal-Mogul, for letting us use this image.

Drive safely, everyone!

Treasure 20: The Sheffield Clarion Rambers Guides

Here’s another treasure from the Local Studies collection at Derbyshire Record Office: some of the handbooks for walkers published by the Sheffield Clarion Ramblers. The driving force behind the group was George H B Ward (1876-1957), a Labour Party politician and activist. You can read more about him on the Kinder Trespass website.

The books were nominated as one of our 50 Treasures by Sue Peach, Local Studies Librarian, who writes:
I love these guides because of their delightful miniature size, so easy to slip into the rambler’s pocket, and for G H B Ward’s exhortations: “None but sturdy and proven men-ramblers must attempt this walk. Beginners must stay away”.

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)

(D5679/1)

(D5679/1)

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!