Sunday, January 21, 2018

Query about a trade union banner (dated 1 August 1920)

All good things eventually come to an end, and I am currently working on the Genealogy in Hertfordshire web site to get it into a form where it can safely and usefully be archived. There is a long backlog of Hertfordshire postcards waiting to be loaded onto the site - and there is an embargo on purchasing more (although I am always happy to receive digital images which augment existing pages).

Even if I am not buying I occasionally see interesting cards on ebay - and one has just caught my eye. It shows a procession, photographed by Albert Arthur Durrah (1890-1973) of Rickmansworth. A group of men are carrying the above banner. Can anyone suggest the full name of the trades union (which is unfortunately obscured)?

Changing Comic Post Cards when the First World War started

When the First World War broke out there was a rush of new post cards which showed our soldiers in a good light. 

But there was a problem in that in the years before the war there were "comic" post cards which painted a less favourable view of our armed forces. 

The answer was to redraw and reissue the cards to show things as they were now that our gallant men were fighting at the front.

Note - If you could only afford one domestic servant she did all the jobs around the house and was often referred to as "The General."

Upgrading Pictures of Little Gaddesden

The Rectory, Little Gaddesden
I have upgraded the Little Gaddesden pages so that now you get a larger image if you click on any of the early 20th century post card images.
I have also added new pictures of The Rectory

Saturday, December 30, 2017

My New Year Resolution: Don't Panic, Be Realistic, Keep Fit

See other 100 year old post cards by "F S"
I am currently making plans for 2018 as I clearly did not get as much done in 2017 as I had hoped. My Must do list is as follows:
  1. Don't Panic - I don't have time to put the world to rights - and if I get depressed about things I can't control I will achieve nothing.
  2. Be realistic - as I am almost 80 and old age has a limiting effect on what can be done.
  3. Keep fit - both mentally and physically so that I am in a position to do what needs to be done

That's it. There is no long list of specific tasks which are awaiting action - as such a list would be so long that I would panic at its size, I would fail by unrealistically trying to take on an impossible work load, and I would make myself too ill to achieve anything useful.

So I intend to relax, enjoy life, and do no more that I can comfortably do ....

Monday, December 18, 2017

Book: A Place in the Country: Three Counties Asylum 1860-1999

I few months ago I mentioned that this book had been published, and having now read and enjoyed it I have published a review on the main web site.

Booklet: Ashridge in World War II

During the Second World War troops were camped in the woods of the Ashridge Estate and a hospital was opened at Ashridge. This little booklet, Ashridge in World War II is based on the memories of people who knew Ashridge during the war and gives details of the regiments that were billeted there. The hospital not only took casualties from Dunkirk but also victims from the German bombing raids. In addition many women from London were taken there just before they were due, and some 3000 births were recorded there between 1940 and 1946.

While this delightful little booklet was published in 2009/10 I noticed that copies were still for sale at the National Trust shop at Ashridge a few months ago. 

More Information about Ashridge

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Booklet: The Story of Harpenden from Village to Town

There are already a good number of books about Harpenden, including booklets produced by the Harpenden & District Local History Society. The recently published booklet by Jean Gardner is an ideal introduction to the history of the town. 

It typically covers the main areas of interest with about a page of text and a small illustration, and there are two good maps.  Topics covered include the coming of the railways, early schooling, John Bennet Lawes and Rothamsted, the growth of the town, the churches, the world wars, and entertainment. It ends with a very useful bibliography. 

If you are just visiting the town, or have just discovered your ancestor came from Harpenden, this booklet will be a good place to start looking into the town's history.

Available from the Society

More about Harpenden

Book: Pitstone Windmill: The Rescue of an Ancient Landmark

Pitstone Windmill is now managed by the National Trust and is of interest because there were many similar post mills in Hertfordshire. David Wray and Roger Hillier's book, Pitstone Windmill, published in 2016, describes the history and restoration of the mill in detail - and also contains an excellent illustrated account of how an ancient post mill worked.