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 (1904-1967).  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

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 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”.

One book, three centuries: Derby Canal Company minutes arrive

We have just received a single volume containing Derby Canal Company minutes from the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  As you can see from these pictures, they start with the inaugural “General Assembly” in 1793, and end with the 150th such assembly in 1940.  Just for good measure, we have included shots of the meetings held 100 and 200 years ago.  Isn’t it amazing that they kept recording the same type of information in the same way for such a long period of time?

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As ever, if you want to see this stuff, just contact us and we will arrange it.  (See “Visiting Us” on www.derbyshire.gov.uk/recordoffice).  The reference number to quote is D5751/4/1 for the minute book, or D5751/5/1 for a book containing copies of the company’s deeds.  We have also taken in another volume of Cromford Canal boat permits (D501 B/B 67).

Harry and Monica (2)

Monica's reply to Harry

D5994/2/90: Teddington, 30 November 1940

My very Dear One,

Your surprise, your letter, your thought, and your words were so perfect – you are good to me – and I thank you with all my heart.  It is a lovely gift, one that I shall treasure always, and it looks beautiful on my dressing table.  Continue reading

Harry and Monica (1)

 

Harry's letter to Monica

 

D5994/2/87: Norwich, 24 November 1940

My Darling

            A breathless dash, an effort to race time itself finishing with that relief expressed in other and quieter days at the cinema by “Hurrah! Here come the U.S. Marines”…  Just in the nick of time as the vernacular has it.  Continue reading