South Gloucestershire arrivals

Earlier this year, we were pleased to receive a large deposit of over 500 minute books, documenting the business of South Gloucestershire Council, mainly for the period 2005-2009. This was the latest addition to our existing holdings for South Gloucestershire Council, and all predecessor authorities for this region, dating from the 1890s up to 2009.

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Join us at upcoming Heritage events – Part 2

Our last post announced our History Festival events over the coming week, but there’s much more happening involving the Hub and its heritage partners over the rest of the Festival.  At 14.30 on Friday 7th September Dr John Chandler, a Trustee of the County History Trust, delivers his talk Before the Spa at the Heritage Hub, looking at Cheltenham‘s development from Anglo-Saxon times until the 18th Century.  The event is fully booked though, so please don’t attend it if you don’t already have a ticket.

Image of Gloucester's first royal charter, from the time of Henry II (c.1155)

Gloucester’s first royal charter, from the time of Henry II (c.1155)

The Archives cares for a range of royal charters relating to Gloucester, and these will be on view at Blackfriars Scriptorium between 10.00 and 14.00 on Saturday 8th.  You can also attend an illustrated talk about them in the Buttery at Blackfriars at 11.30 that day.  Again the exhibition and talk are free, but pre-booking is required, quoting reference CV15. Continue reading

Join us at upcoming Heritage events – Part 1

Yes, Heritage time is firmly upon us again, beginning this Saturday (25th August) with Gloucester Retro Day.  We’ll have a stall providing information about the Heritage Hub in Kings Walk, and we’ll be joined by members of the Fielding & Platt Heritage Group with a display about the Company, and by Gloucestershire Society for Industrial Archaeology with a Lister’s display.  We’ll be there 10.00-16.00, so do come and say hello.

Image from Retro Day 2017: Members of the Fielding & Platt Heritage Group meet some famous faces

Retro Day 2017: Members of the Fielding & Platt Heritage Group meet some famous faces

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District Nurses and the Central Midwives Board

A recent addition of the personal collection of Mary Doyle, Nurse Dundon McGuane, District Nurse of Brockworth, led to interesting questions regarding ownership of case registers, the history of district nurses, the Central Midwives Board and trends in pregnancy care.  It can be found on our Gloucestershire Archives online catalogue under D14737.  It’s a small collection, but covers a fascinating time in British and Irish medical and social history.

To establish context, we begin in 1902, with the passing of the 1902 Midwives Act, which was designed to regulate the practice of midwifery.  It ordered that midwives be certified practitioners and established penalties for those without certification.  The exception to this was those giving assistance in emergencies.  The act established the Central Midwives Board, which continued to exist until 1983, whereupon updated legislation and multiple mergers with other nursing organisations formed the current Nursing and Midwifery Council.  The Central Midwives Board was responsible for the regulation of the certification and examination of midwives, admission to the Roll of Midwives and annual publication of the Roll, along with regulating the practices of the midwives and the appointment of examiners.  Training would take at least three months, whereupon certified midwives were encouraged to keep case registers of their attended deliveries. These registers passed from district nurse to district nurse, each successor picking up where the last left off, often hopping across the country during her working life.

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Innocuous covers, but holds information on: the name and address of the patient, her age, date of booking, and expected date of delivery; the name of the doctor, when they were booked, if they were called in case of an emergency and if they were present at the delivery; the previous number of children and miscarriages the patient has had; any antenatal care given, the date and time of the midwife’s arrival/patient’s admission; the date and hour of the baby’s delivery; the weight, sex and health of the infant; the date of the last visit/discharge; the condition of the mother after giving birth; along with any drugs given during labour and finally any additional remarks.  It’s a lot of information for such small books, and obvious why the closure periods are necessary!

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Volunteer Enhancement and 76,680 More Records to View

My colleague Roz and I have in recent weeks begun to undertake a project which will hopefully increase the usage and visibility of the archives – importing volunteer enhanced records onto our database. Over the next few months, we aim to import much of the hard work our volunteers have put into making our collections more detailed and accessible for researchers.

Our first project was marriage licence allegations and bonds. These are useful additions to marriage registers, as an allegation or bond can provide details such as place of residence, occupation, age, and the occasional family member. As such, they can be a great resource.  Or rather, they can be a great resource once you have sifted through thousands upon thousands of entries. To help mitigate this, our volunteers had painstakingly listed each and every entry for the usage of our visitors, and now they have been imported onto our online catalogue for you to see. If you click this link, then enter  GDR/Q1, or GDR/Q2, or GDR/Q3 in the Finding Ref field, then click search, you can see for yourself the records, and refine the search by year, narrowing down the massive series.

Therefore, if you search for GDR/Q1, you will find over 21,300 individually recorded entries for each marriage bond we hold, from 1730 to 1823. If you search GDR/Q2, you will find over 18,400 marriage licence allegations (or affidavits) sworn before surrogates, from 1747-1837. Some of the allegations from September 1822 to March 1823 have certified copies of the baptismal entries of both parties attached, as required by the Confirmation of Marriages Act 1822. If you search for GDR/Q3, you will find over 36,800 entries from our volumes of marriage licence allegations (or affidavits) sworn at the Diocesan Registry in Gloucester before the Chancellor and his surrogates between 1637 and 1823. The records have been transcribed in their entirety, and as such there is now no need for the originals to be brought out to view in person. All the information provided in these documents is contained in each entry on our database.

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So, let’s provide some context and more details for these records.

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Another website returns!

We blogged recently about the Barton and Tredworth website going live again after its designers, Community Sites, had converted it to a more accessible WordPress platform.  The same process has been happening to another of our partnership sites, celebrating the Gloucester engineering company Fielding and Platt. Fielding and Platt was founded in 1866 on the site of what is now the Quays retail outlet, and two blue plaques on the site commemorate its previous use.  This photograph from the 1950’s shows the rail entrance to the site from Southgate St (can you spot the poster for the Ealing comedy the Ladykillers?).View from Southgate Street c.1950 (D8489)

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Remembering the Holocaust

You may have seen Gloucestershire Archives’ online exhibition telling the story of ten young Jewish refugees who came to Gloucester in 1939. As we mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2018, we’re pleased to be able to share the moving story of one of those boys, as told by his son, Michael Zorek.

My father, Warren Zorek, passed away in December of 2006 at the age of 81. 68 years earlier, when he was just 13, his family was awaiting word about his admission into a program started soon after Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass. This program allowed parents to send their children, some as young as 2, but not older than 16, out of Nazi occupied Europe until the political strife blew over. Continue reading