Sunday, 14 March 2010

From Cradle to Grave Exhibition

Friday and yesterday an exhibition was held in a vacant shop in the Ridings Centre, Wakefield, the second in the series of 'A Window to your Past' organised by Allan Black - sorry to let you know after the event but I did promote on the messageboard and mailing list that Wakefield & District Family History Society ( were involved with the libraries, archives and museum and Christine Ellis with her displays of costumes.

Anyway, with one of my other 'hats' on I manned our section with a few other stalwarts. What a couple of days. The doors opened at 9.30 but eager beavers were waiting outside. Many people came only to see the exhibits, but many, many more were shoppers and passers-by who just 'dropped in'. Or, visitors to Wakefield that had come to the City to see the Yorkshire Regiment being granted the Freedom of the City. But either way, all from the young to the old enjoyed their stay.

The young played with toys from a past era, wrote with a quill pen or tried to put money into a money box. While, the more mature person looked at the photographs or looked for relatives who were killed in mining disasters. Many of those visitors were ex-miners who brought in their own memories and photographs.

At all the stands people asked questions and listened eagerly at the replies. I recognised faces from my childhood and caught up on years lost. I remember in particular one lady came in and said she had some glass photographs hanging on the wall, she knew who two were but not the other, although it was a family member. She went on to explain that her late husband had tried to clean them but the image came off as a powder and he quickly left them alone. I told her I thought they could be late 1800's from the costumes she described but could not be sure. I told the lady she should keep them safe and pass them on to someone who would appreciate and care for them. I called the lady from the museum over and she confirmed what I'd said but again would need to see them. The lady went away happy as she did not realise that glass photographs were rare - you can drop a paper photograph, but drop a glass one and its more than likely destroyed.

Another visitor I spoke to stated he had a small display of old photo's where he worked but did not know who many of them were. He went onto explain how he had a number of military pics and again was not aware of who they were. At this point my 'hat' changed into Wakefield Family History Sharing mode and I spoke of how sad it was that no one knew who they were and could I loan the images to put on the internet and see if anyone was recognised. At this point he also told me there were letters included in this batch and I could have them. So watch this space for the soldiers info.

After two days, many of us had aching feet and backs and really wanted to sit down with a good cuppa but the high of the past two days and the fact that nearly 3000 people had come through the doors all made it worth while.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

The snow has gone !!!

As I sit writing to you, the sun is shining and it is a glorious spring day. The snow has gone, which means my car can come out of hibernation and Ben's car (the fire engine) can now have a rest.

During the past few months the bird feeding station has been working overtime and it was on occasion funny to watch the poor birds hunting for dropped seed in the snow and the squirrels hunting for their secreted dinner. Oh! and the foxes, they are back after being away for years. It was so nice to look out of the kitchen window and see two foxes playing in the show - running around the garden, stopping and then charging off chasing each other.

The snow was a godsend to the website as during the past few months I have uploaded quite a few memorials gathered from last years visit to Scotland and a few days on the south coast. The new pages can be found on the 'What's new' page of Wakefield Family History Sharing. But I will list a few examples :- Dewsbury South African War Memorial ; Carrbridge, Inveress-shire War Memorial ; Forest Row War Memorial and memorial from inside Holy Trinity Church + memorials from East Grinstead, including those inside the church ; Beauley memorials ; Blair Atholl ; Advie, Avoch and many more + there are many more to do - keep me busy.

Since Christmas I've moved my 'office' into the loft and Ben has now taken over my old space for his 'music' room. I still cannot believe how much stuff I managed to squeeze into a small space. I still have to sort some things out but I have books I now can see, printers I can reach and scanners also within easy reach. I have also a work table to house my sewing machine, a big tv with dvd and a large settee for visitors - not that I get any in the loft, but if I did they would be very welcome and I would supply oxygen !

A couple of weeks ago we made a trip to London for our daughters London engagement party and just while we were there I managed to snap a few memorials from around the Staines, Windsor area. The following week I drove down for a girly weekend - you know mum and daughter days.

We caught the train into London and it just so happens that as I walked out of the station there were a couple of memorials - well what luck and I just had to photograph them, it would be a shame to waste the opportunity.

But after that it was a trip to the London eye and then afternoon tea just off Leicester Square - sandwiches, fresh scones with jam and clotted cream + other fancy cake, what more could you ask for ?

Last weekend the children, sorry that's wrong, but you can't say 'the adults came up for the weekend' can you, came home to celebrate three birthdays. Up until the evening before we had no idea where we were going - a quick google for 'fine dining in Wakefield' came up with just the right place - yes, you can fine dine in Shakey Wakey!! I won't tell you where it is as I don't want it to get fully booked when we go again, but I will say its a 10 minute drive from the town centre. The pate was superb and the lamb, done to a tee with pickled walnuts. Pudding, I have never seen Eton Mess on a menu before. I've made it at home, but it was so nice to see it in a restaurant and it was fantastic.

Yesterday evening another photo gallery, Hensall, was handed over to one of my technical directors - Ben, for him to do his bit to make it web-ready. While he was doing that I started and completed the Dallow Gill churchyard photo gallery.

I'd better go now, there is a cup of tea awaiting me and so are a lot of partially completed web pages, so keep checking in on Wakefield Family History Sharing as things are always being added too.

See you later