Howlers from the archives – or, the Gloucestershire Archives Christmas Quiz!

In my post yesterday I promised you two treasures from the Hicks Beach family archive. Ellice’s Victorian Christmas cards were the first, but for the second I want to take you nearly a century further back in time to the 1820s, where we meet Ellice’s great-aunt Jane Martha Hicks Beach and her book of riddles.

Jane Martha was the youngest sister of Ellice’s grandfather William, and after William’s wife (also called Jane) died, she helped him bring up his children. Jane was the family’s maiden aunt until she was 47 when she married a man called Edward St John, and she was known as “Aunt Jane” to at least two generations of the family. Ellice will have known her, as she didn’t die until he was seven years old.

Jane was a talented artist and was interested in botany and photography; the collection also includes some of her sketchbooks and photographs. She also seems to have had a fairly keen sense of humour, as the riddles in her book will show you. Many of them don’t make sense to modern eyes, some of them rely on early 19th century cultural knowledge, and some of them are a bit of a stretch, to say the least, but some of them still make sense (and are groan-inducingly funny) today. We have been posting some of them on our social media this last week, with their answers, but to entertain you over Christmas week, I thought I’d put together a few without their answers for you to puzzle over. Answers will follow in the New Year! Continue reading

Christmas and New Year cards from the archives

Gallery

This gallery contains 28 photos.

One of my favourite collections of all those I’ve catalogued over the years is the archive of the Hicks Beach family of Williamstrip in Coln St Aldwyn, Netheravon in Wiltshire, and Oakley in Hampshire. It is full of all sorts … Continue reading

National recognition of some hard work behind the scenes…

As part of our work on the County Council’s archive, my colleague Helen and I have spent the last couple of years cataloguing social care and education records relating to the safeguarding of children. We are delighted to report that our work has been featured in the National Archives’ latest annual review – here is what it says: Continue reading

Munching on archival cakes for The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning! By Rachel Wales

The staff and volunteers at Gloucestershire Archives have always been keen to support the Macmillan Coffee morning, and this year saw our Tea Room table groaning under the weight of brownies, blondies, biscuits, cakes and other yummies.  When trying to decide what I’d bring in, I remembered a recipe I have made before – one that had come to light in one of our collections (GA reference D2455/F3/10/9/3).  This is a small handwritten volume of recipes, compiled by Michael Hugh Hicks Beach (a gentleman, politician and officer who led a very interesting life but who sadly was killed on the 23 April 1916, in the Battle of Katia, thirty miles from the Suez Canal.)  Most of the recipes were for soups or beef dishes, but there were some baking recipes included too, such as one for Oatmeal Scones, and this one, for “Guard’s Cake”.  Continue reading

150 years of Engineering Excellence

The celebrated Gloucester engineering firm of Fielding & Platt (F&P) was based, until the early years of this Century, at the site of what is now the Quays retail unit. Eagle eyed visitors to the Quays can spot information panels giving background information about the Company in a number of locations. In its day F&P had a world-wide reputation and was involved in the building and developing of machines and equipment that have touched our everyday lives – everything from Concorde to the first vacuum cleaner! Continue reading

A voyage from the Port of Hull to South Australia, by Catherine Vaughton

Gloucestershire Archives has been granted funding by the Federation of Family History Societies to catalogue the papers of Yearly & Wadeson Solicitors of Mitcheldean. In the collection is the journal of George Eaton Stanger, a surgeon and chaplain employed by the South Australian Companies, which was set up to assist merchants colonising South Australia.  Stanger served aboard the Sarah & Elizabeth, a ship sailing from Hull to South Australia under Captain Wakeling.

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More Gloucestershire Archives resources available on Ancestry

As part of our ongoing partnership with Ancestry, images of additional resources have been added to the Gloucestershire’s section of the Ancestry web site:

  • Records of prisoners in the county gaol and houses of correction 1728-1914
  • Land tax assessments 1713-1833
  • Electoral registers 1832-1974

To mark this launch on 16 June 2016, Liz Jack, author of the book A Rogue’s Gallery: Victorian Prisoners in Gloucester Gaol, has kindly provided this article about the youngest and oldest prisoners to be photographed in Gloucester gaol in the Victorian period:

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