Saturday, February 18, 2017

More about Hertfordshire Wrench Cards

Allen Warren has written from Canada to say that he is compiling a catalogue of all the post cards by Wrench from the early years of the last century He has provided a list of all the Hertfordshire cards and I have used this to update my Wrench page. He has also provided a copy of this view of the Gates on Cassiobury Park, in Watford.

There are a number of Hertfordshire cards which he has not identified:

Bishops Stortford Nos 6289 and 6291
St Albans 6300 and 6306
Barnet 7757
Hitchin 8835 and 8836

If you can identify any of these cards please let me know (ideally with a digital copy) and I will forward the information to Allan.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Web sites for Hertfordshire Pubs

Beer & Brewing
Over the last 150 years a vast number of pubs and beer houses in Hertfordshire have closed - although a fair number remain (possibly with a name change). If you are interested in the history of one of these establishments you should start by looking at the UK Pub History and the Lost Pub Project.

Pubs were at the heart of most communities and there were often incidents involving them and their customers. In addition it was not unknown for an inquest to be held in the public house nearest the death. There are also licensing. applications - particularly when a new landlord is appointed. Such matters were frequently covered in the local newspapers - many of which are available online in the British Newspaper Archive.

Once you know the name of the publicans from the above sources you will often be able to get more information from the censuses between 1841 and 1911.

Because I am having to spend less time on running this web site I would appreciate it if, in future, you check these sources before you ask me questions about a pub's history.

Battle of Verdun - Herts at War talk on 15th February

The next Herts at War talk will be given by historian Clive Harris who will be talking about the pivotal battle of Verdun. Clive is very well known in history as one of the UK's premier battlefield guides and historians and always provides engaging talks with his incredible depth of knowledge. We strongly recommend that you book your place ASAP if you wish to join us on the 15th. Link below:

PLEASE NOTE: The venue is The Large Lecture Theatre, De Havilland Campus, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9EU, doors will be open from 7pm with the talk due to start at 7.30pm and lasting for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes. 

19th Century Sport in Hertfordshire

The British Newspaper Archive has just loaded copies of the Sporting Life from 1859 to 1909. 
So far I have only had time to do a very quick check to see what is there related to Hertfordshire and found the following entry from May 1860. If you find anything of interest let me, and other readers of this blog, know by commenting below.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Motor Car Accidents in 1905

Motor Cars
Several years ago I gave a talk (copy online) on The Road through Harpenden and since then the Bristixh Newspaper Archive has come into existence - making it far easier to get details of dated events. Recently Peter has asked where more information can be found about the fatal accident near Dunstable.that I mentioned in the talk and as a result I have updated the original page on Early Motor Cars to include details of both the Dunstable accident and also the earlier hit and run accident at Markyate where a 5 year old boy was killed.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Delays in responding to genealogy emails

Don't get too worried. I am not actually confined to bed but various factors, including a bad cold I caught before Christmas, have aggravated my Asthma and the picture represents how I am feeling at present.

Since Christmas I have had a number of emails on various matters - and the fact that people are still using the site and asking questions or suggesting updates, cheers me up - and at the moment I need cheering up - so getting even more genealogy emails is fine.

However if you are one of the people whose email is in the queue to be answered be assured that I haven't forgotten you - but the reply will have to wait till I feel better and cleared some of the more important domestic duties which have also been neglected because of my health problems.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Moss of Hitchin

In 2010 I answered a question about the shop run by Moss in Hitchin, and ther have been several updates since. One of the outstanding questions related to the number of branches and Diane, who worked for the company some 55 years ago has kindly provided a list of the shops circa 1960.

Herts Genealogy survived 2016. Will 2017 be better?

A year ago I reviewed the challenges to my time and how they might affect this web site.  I set the top priority as keeping fit and despite one dramatic incident,  involving a ride in an ambulance, which proved not too serious, my physical heath has continued at a reasonable level for my age. In particular the use of a fitbit with reasonable targets (8000 steps most days a week - and an average of 20 minutes brisk walking or a swim) kept me on the move.

As expected activity on the Genealogy in Hertfordshire web site decreased in 2016. I have definitely abandoned all attempts to move the maintenance of the site to Windows 10 because of software "old age" problems - which means that keeping the site running means keeping the desktop computer with the master copy operational as long as possible. One side effect of my decreased activity is that very little money has been raised in the year for the mentally ill of Hertfordshire compared with previous years.

As for the coming year I hope to keep things rolling along - but there may well be periods of several weeks where the site will have to take a back seat - and I may well concentrate on posting up some of the more important historical research stuck in the pipeline and try to avoid spending too much time on completely new research.

And a P.S. Various matters have kept me very busy over Christmas and the New Year - to the point that this message was prepared to go out on January 1st - and somehow got forgotten ....

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Seasons Greetings

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to All
A Christmas post card by "F S" from 1908
Increasing pressures this year on a number of fronts meant that taking time off to relax became a priority - with "keeping fit" walks a priority. Doing research helps me relax, and this year I found I needed a project that that had a significant "fun" element in it. Last October I told you that I was working on:

Who was "F S" and did he work in St Albans with "Karaktus"?

Since then, whenever I feel I need a break I can go online to ebay and search through the many tens of thousands of early 20th century comic postcards on ebay to try and unravel what looks like a complex story involving a postcard printer in Saxony , a wholesale stationer in Brighton, and several very short-lived postcard publishing companies!  Unfortunately there has been no progress in the original problem of identifying Karaktus. It is clear that the pages I put online in October will need a significant rewrite to accommodate the new. information - so expect a few mor ecomic post card blogs in 2017.

My wife and I are planning to enjoy ourselves over Christmas and needless to say Aylesbury duck is again on the menu.
The above picture shows our 2012 Xmas duck
This year we will be separating the crown and having two separate meals

The Parson's Turkey

Half a century ago, when the income of a dissenting preacher in England was not very large, his salary was often supplemented by a bountiful of provisions from the well-to-do members of his congregation. A Baptist minister in Hertfordshire used at Christmas time to be positively inundated with hampers filled with good things. On one occasion an enormous turkey was sent to him by the thoughtful kindness a neighbouring farmer; but, as the minister's family had already provided for the Christmas dinner, the bird was sent into the market and sold. A passer-by, seeing this fine specimen of poultry, said, "What a splendid turkey! Just the thing for the parson's Christmas dinner." And to the "parson it was sent. The prudent wife sent it second time to the market, and sold it again for a handsome sum. Another friend, similarly struck with the magnificent proportions of the turkey, purchased it, and also sent it to the " parson." Not wishing to fly in the face Providence, the good man said, last, " It very clear that the Lord means us to have this turkey" and, with the entire approbation of the family, it formed part of the Christmas dinner. 
From the Aldershot Military Gazette 18th October 1875