General

Posts about genealogy research and my experiences

Family & Local History Fair – Pudsey

Only five more sleeps until the Family & Local History Fair at Pudsey Civic Hall on Saturday 2nd April.

I’m really looking forward to what should be a good day.  The website promises a full programme of speakers although I can’t find any information about who they are or what the subjects will be.

There is also a long list of exhibitors.  I am particularly looking forward to meeting and talking to the folks from Keighley & District Family History Society; Lancashire Family History & Heraldry Society; Wharfedale Family History Group; and the Guild of One Name Studies.

I suspect that my wallet might take a bit of a hammering as I go in search of new and even more useful resources.

I am a bit disappointed that the West Yorkshire Archives and North Yorkshire Records Office don’t appear to be attending – but maybe the show is a bit too provincial for them.  Not to worry they will be at the Yorkshire Family History Fair at York Racecourse in June.  This will no doubt be the subject of further posts both before and after the event.

I am dragging my wife along on Saturday, although she won’t be quite as interested as her ancestors are from Lincolnshire and Staffordshire.  However I will need someone to carry my purchases!!

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Movies

This is the 12th challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy and  history, suggested  by Amy Coffin,  that invite genealogists to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.  Week 12 – Movies

My first memory of going to the cinema is with my dad.  I can clearly recall the first two movies I saw:-

– The Magnificent Seven released in 1960 and starring as the seven Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, Horst Buchholz and……the other one – you know the one you can never remember (answer at the end of this post).

– The Guns of Navarone released in 1961 and starring David Niven, Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn.

We saw both pictures not long after they were released so I was only perhaps eight or nine.  I don’t imagine that I asked my dad to take me – more like he wanted to go himself and took me along.  Another film I remember seeing around the same time was The Incredible Journey (Walt Disney movie)

The Crown

The local picture house was the Crown which opened in 1919 and closed down in the late 1960’s.  It was converted into a bingo hall for a while but I think it is now vacant.

The Lyric

Another local cinema I used was the Lyric, which opened its doors in 1922 and sadly is also now vacant.  Here I saw my first James Bond film with Sean Connery of course and others like Bullitt (Steve McQueen), Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid (Robert Redford and Paul Newman), Easy Rider (Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper), A Hard Day’s Night (The Beatles), Midnight Cowboy (Dustin Hoffman and John Voight) and Rosemary’s Baby (Mia Farrow).  I’m sure there are many others that I can’t recall anymore.

The Majestic

One of the weekly rituals when I was growing up was Saturday morning at the pictures.  The venue for this adventure was the Majestic in Leeds city centre. Here we would see a mixture of cartoons and other low budget movies like Roy Rogers and Zorro.  Great fun – ice cream, sweets and feeling really grown up having been let out on your own.

Of course in many places the small picture house has been replaced by the large multiplex.  It’s just a shame that the old buildings can’t be put to better use.  I know that around the country some have been converted to music venues and some are bingo halls – that must be better than allowing them to stand empty and derelict.  The architecture of some of the old buildings is truly amazing.  And the memories…oh the memories.  Going to the flicks, the flea pit – sitting in the back row, you know with that girl you’ve been desperate to date for ages.  The intermission and buying an ice cream, sweets or a Kia-Ora drink.  And who can forget Pearl and Dean.

BTW – it was Brad Dexter.  Now be honest you didn’t remember did you!

Almost A-Z of Ancestor Occupations

When I was at a bit of a loose end over the weekend I thought I would have a trawl through my database and see if I could come up with a recorded occupation for all letters of the alphabet.

I realised pretty quickly that unless I had someone who worked in a zoo or made / played the xylophone I would come up short.  Anyway in the end I was left with X, Y and Z.  I thought I must be able to get something for Y – especially coming from Yorkshire, but no luck.

Here’s my list with some examples from the census returns.  CAN YOU DO ANY BETTER?  Let me know.

   
A Agricultural Labourer; Asylum Attendant
B Blacksmith; Butcher; Builder; Baker
C Crofter; Carter; Coal Dealer; Collier
D Domestic Servant; Dressmaker
E Engine Tenter; Earthenware Painter
F Fence Waller; Farmer; Farm Labourer; Forge Man
G General Labourer; Gardener; Grocer
H Housekeeper; Hawker; Hatter
I Inn Keeper; Iron Worker
J Journeyman Tailor; Jobbing Smith
K Kitchen Maid
L Linsey Weaver; Limeburner
M Miner; Mangler: Marine Fitter
N Nail Maker; Nurse; National Benefit Trust Agent
O Overlooker
P Power Loom Weaver (Worsted); Paper Maker; Potter; Preacher
Q Quarryman
R Rag Gatherer; Railway Plate Layer
S Stone Waller; Sawyer; Servant; Shoe Maker; Shepherd
T Tollgate Keeper; Tailor; Tobacconist
U Under Gardener
V Victualler
W Warpdresser; Washerwoman: Wagon Fitter
X  
Y  
Z  

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Disasters

This is the tenth challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy and  history, suggested  by Amy Coffin,  that invite genealogists to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.  Week 10 – Disasters

Today, 9th March 2011 my home town of Sutton-on-Sea will be taking part in Operation Watermark. Funded by Defra and taking place all over the country it is an exercise designed to test both local and national preparations in the event of a flood.  Volunteers will be evacuated from their homes during the day, taken to a rest centre then returned  home in the evening.

I wasn’t born at the time of the flood in 1953 but my mother, father and brother (Ian), who was only five at the time, lived through the disaster.  My mum never really got over it.  In my youth I would love to go onto the promenade on a rough night and watch the waves crashing over the sea wall but for mum the fear was just too great.

My parents ran a glass and china business about 300 yards inland, but down the same street, from The Bacchus Hotel: the white building featured in this picture.  The hotel is still there looking much the same as is the building which housed our shop although we moved out in the early seventies.

Army Duck

Dad, Mum and Ian were rescued by Army ‘duck’ on 1February 1953 the day after the sea had breached the defenses.  By this time the water level had receded but they still had to be reached through an upstairs window.  They were taken up to Hannah Hill.  This is hardly a hill but the very flat landscape of Lincolnshire means we clutch at any incline we can.  It was obviously steep enough to stem the tide as this is as far as it reached – about 2.5 miles inland.

From here the family was moved to Alford.  I’m not sure how long they were here.  Ian went on to stay with an Aunt near Grimsby whilst mum and dad returned to Sutton to start the clean up of their own shop and that of my grandparents who ran their own business from the neighbouring town of Mablethorpe.

Of course for a five year old lad this was all a bit of an exciting adventure.  Ian doesn’t remember being scared even when he saw one of the beach chalets floating down the street or witnessed our dad, chest deep in sea water, bringing two of my brother’s young friends from over the road to his first floor refuge.  Their mum apparently wouldn’t follow so the three of them waved to her from Ian’s bedroom window.

It’d difficult to imagine how terrifying it must have been.  Over 2100 people died, many in Holland which was hardest hit.  There’s more here

In the following years Sutton-on-Sea, which had been protected by only sandhills for most of it’s coast line, was treated to a sea wall along with much of the rest of the east coast.  The first plans for the Thames Barrier started at this time.

The sea defenses have been updated at least twice since.  Most recently sand dredged from the sea bed has been piped to the edge of the beach creating a man made slope This prevents the sea ever reaching the sea wall.  Not so much fun but definitely safer.

Here’s a link to some Pathe news clips

Postcard Fair

I recently decided I wanted to add some postcards to my collection of family history material.  We saw a postcard fair advertised at Pudsey Civic Hall so went along this morning to see what we could find.  I had been looking on eBay for a while but hadn’t bought anything so was quite excited at the prospect of coming home with some purchases.

I was pleasantly surprised at the number of traders there and the huge selection of postcards available.  There was no trouble finding what we were looking for as they were all arranged either geographically or by subject.  I was looking for postcards of Cowling, West Yorkshire and Jayne was looking for postcards of Sutton on Sea and Mablethorpe in Lincolnshire.

I came home with five purchases and Jayne came back empty handed.  My search was somewhat easier as I was looking for any village scenes but Jayne was searching for more specific images.  Her parents and grandparents had shops in Sutton on Sea and Mablethorpe so she was hoping to find some pictures featuring the premises.

I’m happy with the postcards I found and will get them scanned and posted in my blog over the next few weeks.  There are a couple still on eBay that I didn’t see at the fair today so I might invest a bit more money in those.  This is an interesting change of direction for me – away from just researching individual ancestors and looking more at where they lived.

The postcard fairs in Pudsey are every couple of months and I’m sure we will be going again and spending more money.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Sounds

This is the ninth challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy and  history, suggested  by Amy Coffin,  that invite genealogists to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.  Week 9 – Sounds

I have always been awake early for as long as I can remember.  My dad worked shifts and I recall lying awake after the alarm clock had sounded and shouting from my bedroom to make sure he got up and off to work on time.  So the sound of a ringing alarm clock brings back good memories.

When I was old enough I got a paper round – first delivering evening papers then eventually doing mornings, evenings and Sundays.  I used to share the early hours with the milk man making his rounds.  In those days in the mid 1960’s the local milk man had a hand pulled cart stacked with milk crates and you could hear the milk bottles rattle and clink as the cart was pulled along the cobbled streets of Leeds.

The local park where we spent many an hour playing football was next to a railway track and I can remember the sound of the steam trains chugging and whistling as they headed to or from Leeds railway station.  I used to watch them and wonder if my granddad was driving or stoking the engine.

Another long lost sound is that of the rag-and-bone man walking the streets with his horse and cart.  They always seemed to shout out in some really incoherent way but basically they were calling something like “any rag and bones”.