family history group activities - 2011
Family History in 2011
It was another busy year – with real links to the past – the first when we heard the recorded voice of Shirley’s uncle remembering his grandmother who was born in the 1850s. A variety of heirlooms were brought in and the first few 'heirlooms' were all from the 1880s - Sunday school prizes, punctuality medals, a Boer War handkerchief that was a give-away with the Mail, and two beautiful rings. We had a wonderful afternoon when Janette brought her collection of 78s and a wind-up gramophone and we spent a happy afternoon listening to music that took us back in time. We were amazed when we realised that the change from wind-up gramophone to MP3s has happened in our lifetime - what progress! A group of us spent a day in London, starting at the Geffrye Museum which shows how rooms in a London House have changed through the years and then to the beautiful Wesley Chapel. [Again we travelled using the 4for2 tickets and on London buses.] We had sessions about problems, favourite resources and record keeping [not always using the computer] and Clive gave us lots of IT hints/solutions. We watched part of Pauline's DVD about Essex in the past and saved the rest for later. We were entertained by two ‘outside’ speakers - Dr Jane Pearson who painted a picture of how our ancestors would have used the churchyard - with markets, football, gambling and all sorts of activities taking place; and Meryl Catty who told us about Mrs Goodwin's commonplace book and encouraged us to 'add flesh to the bones' when researching family history to make it more interesting and that books about the local area could prove helpful. The year ended with Isobel telling us about her grandfather's worst Christmas ever - one he remembered all his life - when he cancelled Christmas for the local children after having taken on the role of Father Christmas for several years!