On the Friday 27th February 2009 I took the day off from the day job and made my way to Olympia for Who Do You Think You Are Live 2009 and here are a few thoughts on the show:
I wanted to go on Friday because I hoped it would be quieter than Saturday and Sunday, the country boy in me still doesn’t like lots of crowds, I like to be able to roam effortlessly, and on Friday I was able. There were plenty of people about, but the queue were on the whole quite short (with the exception of some of the WDYTYA Theatre presentations).
I was a bit disappointed that there were so few county and local societies there (and not the ones I wanted to talk to). There was a nice selection of regional stands (Scotland, Ireland and Wales) but not really of any help to me and my mainly south of England ancestors.
The two WDYTYA Theatre presentations I attended were both good. The interview with Ainsley Harriott was entertaining and Nick Barratt has gone up in my estimation after his thought provoking presentation on “Personal Heritage” as opposed to family history.
My only real problem with the event was the cost of tickets. In the weeks and months prior to the event I received many offers (mostly by email) of 2 for 1 tickets. I was disappointed (but not entirely surprised) to find I couldn’t use these offers to by two tickets for seperate days. My original plan had been to attend all three days, but instead I only went for one day. Admittedly I could probably have found someone else to share the cost with me if I had got organised, but I didn’t want the hassle, and wasn’t sure which day(s) I was going to attend.
There were a couple of interesting new websites which had stands at the show and seem quite promising (www.seekitfinditfast.com and www.ancestralatlas.com) as well as most of the established names from genealogy. Plenty of books for sale, but I was very restrained and only came away with the 11th edition of “The Family and Local History Handbook” and the compilation CD of editions one to ten (that will enable me to free up some space on my bookself).
All in all it was an enjoyable day, despite the rather cramped train journey home, and will definitely go again next year if I can. I can’t say I really learned anything new or discovered any more about my ancestors, but it was fun to be totally overwhelmed by family history for a day!