On this day… Belper Union Meeting of Guardians 10th June 1916

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

As part of my work experience at the Record Office, I recently carried out a transcription of a meeting from Minute Book of the Belper Union Meeting of Guardians. Here is a summary of what I discovered as an example of a typical meeting and showing the kind of information you can find in other similar records.

From 1835, Boards of Guardians were elected by parishioners and were responsible for ensuring the poor were housed, fed and given work they were fit enough to undertake, this was instead of giving money to them to look after themselves. As years went by the guardians were given additional duties which were not related to the poor, and the county councils took over the all the jobs when the Boards of Guardians ceased in 1930.

Photograph of Babington Hospital, formerly Belper Workhouse (1999) See more at www.picturethepast.org.uk

Photograph of Babington Hospital, formerly Belper Workhouse (1999) See more at http://www.picturethepast.org.uk

Exactly 100 years ago today on the 10th June 1916 the Belper Union meeting, was chaired by J H Starkey. Twenty four people attended the meeting. The minutes from the previous meeting on the 27th May 1916 were taken and confirmed.

The Clerk examined the Master’s Day Book from the past two weeks and all was correct, he also looked at the other books required to be kept by the master. He reported that he had looked at the Outdoor Relief lists, receipt and expenditure book and Relieving Officers Relief Order books which were in accordance with orders from the guardians and was certified and signed.

The report on state of the workhouse accounts and books relative to the relief of the poor were looked at, directions were given regarding the future management and discipline of the workhouse, and an order of all the invoices totals were posted in the ledger to the credit of invoice accounts.

Invoice for the Midsummer quarter of weeks 9 and 10 for provisions, clothing, furniture, property, necessaries, repairs and drugs looked at in the meeting.

Out relief order for the past two weeks appear on the relieving officers receipts and expenditure books were posted in the Ledger to the credit of relieving officers for Arthur Dicken and Hubert Jauncey for out relief and non-settled poor for weeks 9 and 10.

Several sums on accounts for the guardians appeared to have been paid from the master’s receipts and payment book and these payments were ordered to be posted in the ledger. The payments included salaries for the engineer, clothing from the tailors and firewood for the month of May. It appeared that several sums on account of the guardians had been received.

The total amount was posted for the ledger to the debit of the master and credited as follows for May: firewood sales, pig, Sark Foundry Co and the common fund.

An order was given for cheques to be signed and all amounts to be posted to the ledger for credit of the treasurers and debited for accounts of the relieving officers, A Dicken and H Jauncey. There were also the salaries for the various people working in the workhouse from the probationers to the foster mothers. There were also the collector’s salaries for J G Walters in Alfreton, to the lunatic asylum for the removal of A G Morrell by A Dicken, subscriptions for Idridgehay Nursing Association, establishment for books from Shaw and Sons, maintenance for the Leicester union maintenance of C Spencer, and an invoice payment for F P Westridge for wood.

In the treasurers book it appeared the following sums had been received and the amount was posted to the ledger to the debit of treasurers and credit of the Parochial ledger from May 29 to June 9 for contributions for various areas in and around Derbyshire.

The collectors account includes payments for maintenance, out relief, lunatic asylum and rations.

The clerk had a letter from Mr F W Walters of Pentrich requesting a temporary sum of money due to the absences of the rate collector who had been called up for military service for the Parish of Pentrich. The move was made by Mr Towlson and seconded by Mr Bridges, and it was resolved to let payment to go ahead and charge to the Parish of Pentrich.

A circular letter from the Local Government Board which was dated 26th May, dealing with the Local Government Emergency Provisions Act 1916, was read by the clerk.

There was a leave of absence letter from Dr Clayton for a Dr R G Allen as Medical Officer for the Cottage Homes for leave from the 1st July, he had taken a commission in the R.A.M. Corps [Royal Army Medical Corps], which was granted. They then read out the report of the vaccination officer.

A letter from J Smith the barber thanked the guardians for granting leave, due to illness. He resumed his duties after illness.

Willie Mathers from the Training Ship in Exmouth was given permission to spend his time at the workhouse on his summer holidays.

A Deputation consisting of members and the Clerk, visited the Mickleover Asylum, and their expenses are to be paid.

The Clerk read a letter from the Reliving Officers requesting annual holidays – all were granted their annual holiday, and that the costs for substitutes for each were covered.

That brings an end to my post.

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Finding my house on a Matlock tithe map

Tithe map of Matlock, showing my house

Tithe map of Matlock, showing my house

As a student on work experience at the county record office I always wanted to find my house on a map to see if it was there or not. Therefore I decided to look for it on an 1848 tithe map. After a short while I concluded that this was my house (see map on left). The reason why I knew that my house would be on a map like this was because the previous home owners told us that the house dated back as early as the seventeenth century.

Tithe map2

The map was really exciting because it was evidence that the house was there at that time and it backed up what the previous home owners said. After that I found my house on the tithe award showing the plot number (394) and the home owners who owned it. In 1848 George Keeling was the occupant of the house with a court, privy, road and garden! 167 years from then the house is still occupied (and standing!).

Alex Jackson

A week in the life of a work experience student…

As a student with an interest in history (hoping to go on to studying this at university), I chose the archives as the ideal work placement for my year 12 work experience. With this in mind I applied to the Derbyshire Record Office in Matlock and have been spending a week here observing the work that is done.

On Monday morning I began my week of work experience at 9 o’clock starting with a tour of the record office itself (including archives and local studies). I was surprised by the amount of resources available especially in terms of the number of documents kept at the record office; with almost five miles of shelving to boast of throughout one can only imagine the amount of information available. Then there are the documents themselves. It was amazing to see the original and unique documents kept at the record office as well as how well they have been preserved. My first afternoon was spent in conservation, something I was eager to see; as well as being made aware of the different dangers posed to the documents kept at the record office (including temperature, humidity, insect damage, wear and possible fire damage) and how these risks are managed (for example through carefully monitoring the environment), I was also shown the different methods of repairing documents that have been damaged. I was even able to try a preservation technique for myself in the form of cleaning some documents.

On my second day I helped in a year five school session, in order to complete a project on local history they wished to use the facilities at the record office. The areas of interest included John Smedley, the hydros of Matlock, and begin to look at how leisure has changed from the industrial revolution. In order to fulfil this a session had been planned in which the children would look at documents relating to John Smedley, use documents to create their own exhibition on hydros, and create a timeline of leisure activities which had been sourced from the information available from the archives. There were two groups of students; those who weren’t at the record office were taken into Matlock in order to see how the town has changed from past photos to the present day. I found it enjoyable to work with the children and see how enthusiastic most were about the activities that had been planned for them. They seemed pleased to be able to use primary sources to find out more about figures they had studied (such as John Smedley).

Wednesday morning was spent in local studies which houses books relating to Derbyshire and also has computers where people can begin to research their family history. I was given a tour of the facilities offered then using Ancestry.co.uk was able to look at different types of census data (for example how the census changed between 1911 and 1841). Then, using the available facilities, I was given an example enquiry and had to find information about the given person – this included looking at their family through different censuses and finding baptism records to place approximate dates of birth. Although I did attempt some family history the fact that my surname is so common made it difficult. After lunch the project work began and my first task was re-cataloguing documents relating to Derbyshire sent from Sheffield Archives, this was a rather broad collection (ranging from a deed from 1386 to accounts). Admittedly some of the text was difficult to read (especially the older documents), however it became much easier over time to provide a description and locate a date. The information will soon be input into the online catalogue. The documents also needed to be numbered so that they worked with the system employed at the record office. Part of what I enjoyed most about the placement was the fact that I was able to get so close to the original documents therefore the project work was some of my favourite that I completed over the week.

Another part of the record office I experienced on my placement was the search room, this was on Thursday morning. After a tour and introduction to the services offered (including how specific documents could be found), I was able to order recipe books so that the second project could begin. This involved typing up the contents of recipe books which would then be available on the online catalogue. Whilst some of the recipes were familiar to me (including Bakewell pudding and gingerbread), others were not for example the extraordinary variety of wine. As these had been hand written it was often difficult to decipher exactly what the recipe was of, especially due to the fact that multiple authors were sometimes involved, although eventually the meaning could be found resulting in a lovely sense of accomplishment. The afternoon was then spent with ‘Picture the Past’, a project involving Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Derby City and Nottingham City aiming to digitise original photographs of the areas. These could be from libraries sent by the local authority or donated by the public and, as a result, there are photos of most areas on the website. Work here included checking links on the website and discussing how the services offered by ‘Picture the Past’ could be used in schools. To see the work done by the ‘Picture the Past’ project please see http://www.picturethepast.org.uk/. From searching the area in which I live I was able to see images of the railway and factories that had been present. It was fascinating to see how much the local area has changed even if there was some sense of familiarity in the landscape.

On my final day at the record office I continued with the work sent from Sheffield Archives (as several boxes were to be catalogued). Handling the documents myself made me aware of the huge amount of information held by the record office not only including legal documents but also personal letters and pedigree charts.

My week spent at the record office has been a truly interesting one, I have been fascinated by the documents I have seen and also the amount of resources that the record office and local studies offers to the public. As a result of my interest in history it has been remarkable to view and touch the documents that have evident historical importance.

Anna Burton

 

 

 

Charlesworth Cow Club

Charlesworth is a rural village in Derbyshire. Whilst not wishing to offend anyone who lives in this obviously great village, I had never heard of it. That is until I discovered the Charlesworth Cow Club (hence the reason the village is “obviously great”; I mean come on… it’s a Cow Club!)

Joking aside Cow Clubs were not that uncommon in the 19th century. They provided a specific form of insurance for cow farmers. Members paid in a certain amount of money to the society and were recompensed if one of their cows died or was “incurable”. In the case of Charlesworth members paid in two shillings per cow and received eight pounds in return when after a cow died or was deemed “incurable” (i.e. dried up or was terminally ill). After the farmers had been recompensed for their animal, the cow belonged to the society who state in their rules that that they would then “make the most of her” (I can feel the shudders of vegan and vegetarians).

The existence of this society and others similar (such as Clothes Clubs) prove that 100% new ideas truly are hard to come by. When I came across this form of micro insurance the micro credit unions established by Muhammad Yunus immediately came to mind (Yunus has helped set up credit unions who, to this date, haven given small loans to seven million of the world’s poor).

Societies such as these are truly “bottom up” ventures; there help people help themselves and are ultimately helping the wider community. Certainly the Twenty Third Rule of the Charlesworth Cow Club is a testimony to this; they are aiming to pursue “Order and Goodwill” amongst themselves as well as “peace, success and order.”

D370/1/1, Derbyshire Record Office

Rules of the Charlesworth Cow Club, 1879 (D370/1/1)

Researched and written by Charlotte Gregory, Work Placement Student, Jan-Mar 2015

Derbyshire During the civil war and the involvement of Sir John Gell

The civil war of 1642 – 1653 was as close to a social revolution as Britain ever came. It granted us the gift of a Parliamentary Government and moderated Monarchy that we still enjoy today. Indeed, the brief Republic of Oliver Cromwell was revolutionary, happening years before the famous French and Russian revolutions. For many historians, what happened in Britain is far more interesting, more a case of evolution of a tired and tested system of government; than a total revolution of leadership. This is clear, as following the restoration of Charles II in May 1660, early modern Britain, constitutionally at least, remains recognisable to British politicians today. Continue reading

Work experience at the Record office

This week I went to the record office for my year 10 work experience. I had an excellent time as it was extremely interesting and informative, and I learnt a lot. During my placement I took part in a range of activities such as , working in the search room , finding documents in the stores , using the microfilms , spending time in picture the past , cataloguing documents , working in the computer room and local studies library and my favourite activity of the week , working in conservation for a morning. Also I got to experience reception as well, although it wasn’t exactly planned….

Amongst all of these activities I also studied some maps of Matlock, some were recent and some were from over one hundred years ago. From these maps I wrote down about what things are still here now and what things have gone and changed and also what new things have been built and on a whole how Matlock has changed. I studied ordnance survey maps from 1880 , 1899 , 1922 , 1967 , 1981 , 1986 and 2006 and found that my house was built somewhere between 1880 and 1899 as it was not on the 1880 map but it was on the 1899 map so must have been built during those 19 years. I also found out that Matlock has changed a lot over the years and especially between the maps 1899 and 1922, although that is 21 years but in that time there was a lot of progress as a lido was built and there was a town hall and post office and more houses so we can see that after the first world war Matlock started to develop more and began to become more populated. One of the main things I noticed when I was looking at the maps was that although some of the buildings were there and they were used they had their name changed overtime for example, Castle view primary school was once known as Matlock County Junior mixed and infant school in in 1967 but of course now is now as Castle view primary.

I really had a great time and feel as if I have gained some useful skills or enhanced the skills I already had. I also feel like I got a real insight into the type of work as I was dealing with real documents and was sorting them out, not only physically but also electronically on the computer.

It was a fantastic week, I thoroughly enjoyed it!!!

Written by Charlotte Davies, work experience student

Our week at the Record Office, by Emily and Harriet

Hi,

Our names are Harriet and Emily and we completed our Year 10 work experience at the Derbyshire Record Office this summer. We have done so many different things that we never thought we’d have a chance to do and have enjoyed every minute of them!

We’ve had a go at everything that the Record Office has to offer, from cleaning documents this morning in Conservation to wheeling them to the massive storerooms. Continue reading

“The best experience I have ever had” – Gabby

Back in October, we welcomed Gabby, 19 from Matlock, to the Record Office for 6-week work experience placement. Since then Gabby has been here punctually every Thursday afternoon and helped out with a number of tasks around the office, including sorting and labelling newsletters regularly received by the archives, preparing for an Explore Your Archives event, and labelling and preparing Ordnance Survey maps – a task which has lead to Gabby taking on the superhero nickname “map girl”.

Last week, Gabby was able to look at some of the older documents held in the archive collection at the Record Office as well as some items relating to Matlock.

D779/T 123

Royal charter of King John, 11 Jan 1215 (click for enlarged image)

Royal charter of King John, with his seal, dated 11 Jan 1215 (D779/T123)

I am very pleased to get to have a look at this document, I can’t read the document but the handwriting is lovely. I was so scared of breaking it, but I loved holding the seal and looking at the writing. The best experience I have ever had, to view something that is almost 800 years old. I am so excited to see this!

Deed of Anne of Cleves (before her marriage to King Henry VIII), dated 21 Dec 1551 (D77/1/86/5)

I am so happy to see this, I love Tudor history and can’t believe I am actually holding her seal! I can’t read the document very well but I can just make the words out.

Papers relating to Matlock vicarage (my house), which told me about the repairs being made, about putting new lighting in and new furniture and decorating.

Matlock tithe map, 1848 (D2360/3/28a)

Enlargement of Matlock in 1848 according to the tithe map (D2360/3/28a)

Enlargement of Matlock in 1848 according to the tithe map (D2360/3/28a)

“My experience”, by Emily from Highfields School

You may remember that back in July, the Record Office hosted Will for a two week work placement. We also were pleased to welcome Emily for two weeks from the end of June. Here she tells us about her experience

For my work experience, I knew that I wanted to go to somewhere that focuses on history. I had previously done 1 week in January at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent but, I prefer more recent history, particularly anything from the beginning of the 19th century onwards until now, this is why I decided to go to the Derbyshire Record Office for a fortnight.

During my two weeks I have undertaken work from both the Archives and the Local Studies sides of the Record Office. In the first week, I learnt how the public aspects of Local Studies works, shadowing both the Floor Walking and the Enquiry Desk, and also the public aspects of the archives, shadowing the Issue Desk and also looking at searches and helping with enquiries. I learnt how Lien and Clare preserve and clean documents in conservation and I was also shown how digitisation works. I was introduced to the cataloguing system for the archives but then I was set the task of preparing activities for the Reading Challenge that took place in the summer.

In my second week I was adding hanging strips to maps, adding information about documents onto CALM (the cataloguing system) and adding copies of documents onto CDs. I also was looking at documents that haven’t yet been catalogued, to see what kind of information they contained, and researched what Chapel-en-le-Frith was like in the 1900s, for an introduction to history for the new year sevens at the secondary school (in Chapel-en-le-Frith), in September.

During the course of my placement, I was also shown what some jobs entail as a profession, for example Librarianship, Records Management and Archives, this was extremely helpful, as I was shown exactly what each job is, and the daily requirements of these jobs.

I have really enjoyed my placement at the Derbyshire Record Office; this is because I was shown a vast range of all the jobs there, and as there are so many aspects and jobs, I was never short of something to do. I particularly enjoyed helping with the enquiries that came through, as it was really interesting to look through the documents, even if you don’t find exactly what you are looking for. I also really enjoyed helping to clean some of the documents that had recently come in because you can see how much of a difference it makes, and it was really interesting to see how documents are washed and repaired. These are just a couple of my highlights of the fortnight, and I enjoyed almost all of the work that I was given.

Overall it was a great experience and has given me a lot to think about, as I barely knew about half of the jobs that take place here.

Before and After photographs of one the documents Emily cleaned during her day with Conservation 

Will’s Work experience review

Having spent two weeks with the Derbyshire Record Office for work experience, I realised that archiving requires a surprisingly large amount of filing work! Watching programmes like “Who Do You Think You Are?” portrays a more simplistic view of local study offices where everything is prepared for the celebrity as soon as they arrive, with very little work clearly visible. So the level of research, attention to detail and thoroughness I met with at Derbyshire Record Office was surprising. I received a lot of valuable information about the correct way to store and protect documents…

(Below: How best to store delicate documents using the 4 flap folder method)

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…the importance of digitization to the Record Office and the heritage of both Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire through Picture the Past (http://www.picturethepast.org.uk/)
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In particular, I really enjoyed copying out the old recipes of several 19th Century cooks ready for digitization. Although this may not sound incredibly interesting to some, I found the quirky and sometime unintelligible recipes both amusing and a challenge. The recipes of Emily Mary Kilpin, a 15 year old domestic servant for the Thornhill family, were particularly entertaining with their unpredictability, supplying recipes for “egg jelly”, “furniture polish” and a a “cream substitute” in quick succession, and also for the insight into the trends in her cookery with recipes for two different types of lemon curd, a lemon pudding and lemonade all entered on the same page in her book.

(You can find Emily’s recipes in the Derbyshire Record Office online Catalogue by typing in “Mrs M Kilpin” or D307/H/28/5)
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On the other hand, the cookery book of her employers, the Thornhills, highlights a stark contrast between social classes in the early 1900’s society. For example, not only is the handwriting and language more advanced, there are far fewer recipes included by the family, possibly because they did less of their own cooking and relied more upon servants like Emily Kilpin herself.

(You can find the Thornhill’s recipe book by typing “D307/H/28/4” into the Record Office online catalogue)
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Overall, my work experience was hugely enjoyable, the new building and facilites are great, and the staff were all very friendly and helpful. I’d recommend anyone interested in local history or the humanities to make use of the opportunites that the Derbyshire Record Office provide, either for academic, professional or personal reasons.

By Will, the work experience student