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Two weeks and counting …

10 Feb

Two weeks today sees the start of Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012 at Olympia, London, billed as “the biggest family history event in the world”.

Everything is in place for my three days family history extravaganza, all that I need now is for the snow to clear off and I am all set.

Looking through the list of exhibitors I noticed a rather surprising, but welcome, addition to the usual list of names. The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum from Singleton, West Sussex will have a stand in the Society of Genealogists’ Family History Show.

The description from the list of exhibitors gives a good idea of what the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum is all about, “Over 45 rescued buildings rebuilt in a beautiful setting in the South Downs National Park, bringing to life homes, farms and workplaces of the South-east over the past 500 years.

Although there isn’t really a direct connection with family history (except there is in my case), it is a perfect fit for those wishing to learn more about the rural lives of their ancestors. Most rural crafts and occupations are represented at the Weald and Downland in one way or another, especially when you factor in the special events that are held throughout the year.

On top of that you can also take courses at the museum, from working with heavy horses to hedgelaying. As is to be expected from the once heavily wooded counties of Southern England there is a particular emphasis on the use of timber, from charcoal burning to construction techniques.

The museum is a superb place to explore, as I have done on several occasions, and not just because it is set in the Singleton in the South Downs, home to many of my ancestors. If you are at WDYTYA Live then make sure you stop by and find out what they have to offer.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Three weeks and counting …

3 Feb

Three weeks today sees the start of Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012 at Olympia, London, billed as “the biggest family history event in the world”.

All being well I shall be there for all three days, I have booked the time off work and my tickets have been bought (I like the new three-day ticket option), all that is left is to decide which train to catch each day and work out what I am doing whilst I am there.

The third celebrity guest has now been announced, Emilia Fox will be appearing on Saturday 25th February, joining the previously announced Larry Lamb (on Friday 24th February) and Richard Madeley (on Sunday 26th February), making it a hat-trick of celebrities from the most recent series of Who Do You Think You Are? in the UK.

The February 2012 issue of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine comes with a copy of the show guide, so you can get a head start on planning how you are going to spend your time, although it has to be said that most of the information in the show guide can also be found on the WDYTYA Live website, but I for one find it easier to have all the information bound and gathered in one place.

Another interesting addition to the show this year is a section entitled Our Working Past which is described as a “new, interactive feature for 2012 which aims to throw a little light on the occupations of our ancestors.” In this area you can examine the tools of our ancestor’s trades and learn more about their working lives. I see that the British Postal Museum and Archives are going to be contributing to this area.

Reminder: Don’t forget to buy your ticket for Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012

9 Jan

This is a reminder for me as much as anyone else. We are about a month and a half away from Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012 and I still haven’t bought my ticket.

I have taken my eye off the ball somewhat where WDYTYA? Live is concerned and as it is fast approaching I really ought to start getting organised. I know I say that every year and still every year I leave it to the last minute. I don’t expect this year to be any different. At least I have booked the time off from work, which is the most important bit, but now I need to get my credit card out and buy a ticket.

The website seems quite comprehensive, two out of the three celebrity guest have been announced, Larry Lamb (on Friday 24th February) and Richard Madeley (on Sunday 26th February), both from the most recent television series and neither on my “must see” list this year.

There are plenty of other talks and workshops going on that will make it on to my “must see” list instead, the timetable is almost complete (there are still a few gaps), so I can start choosing what I would like to see, and not standing in the queue for tickets frantically trying to make a decision as I move closer and closer to the front of the queue.

An interesting addition to the schedule is the Keynote Workshop on Saturday afternoon, the interesting thing for me is not the subject (“the development of social networking in technology and how it can help in genealogical research”) but the fact that there is a separate charge for this and it seems to have replaced the “conference within a conference” element of the show from previous years. However, I am not interested enough to warrant buying a ticket, although I might be in a minority.

A quick look through the list of exhibitors throws up the usual mix of stalls, I did notice one or two new names. It looks like the flip-pal scanner could be making its UK debut at show (although the URL for the website just goes to a holding page). There seems to me to be more exhibitors involved in getting your family history into print than previous years, although there are still a fair number of societies and archives due to attend as well.

Remembering Ernest Arthur TROWER (1895-1917)

11 Nov

Sunday July 24 [1927] Today was unveiled the Menin Memorial Gate at Ypres. ‘To those whose graves are unknown’ Unknown or rather graveless, those blown to fragments during these ghastly years as you my brother was. How well I remember your last words to me when I saw you for the last time. And how did you die? how can I ever know. Were you mercifully killed or were you wounded & died slowly. Died slowly in a strange country amongst strange people & knowing all the time that you would never see your loved ones again. Oh my poor brother what an ending to your life, hard for you, hard for us what hardship of mind & body must you not have endured in France & no doubt you often thought of the time when these years of anguish would end & that you could return to us again.

I recall again in memory all the days of our childhood, when we were boys & companions together. The only real companion I have had in my lonely life we had no secrets from each other. How straightforward & courageous you were too my dear Ern.

But never, never again can you & I meet. In memory only can I see you. Our days of boy-hood are long past now and you, my boy-hoods companion are dust in Flanders whilst I have gone much further in my journey & these days seem long, long ago now, but whilst life is in my body I can never forget you, even if I may have found someone who may be a dearer companion than ever you were.

These worlds were written by my 2x great-uncle Percy Ebenezer TROWER about his older brother Ernest Arthur TROWER who lost his life during the First World War. Whilst I have no memories of Ernest, only facts and pictures, I feel privileged to be able to honour the life and sacrifice of Ernest this Remembrance Day.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012 tickets go on sale tomorrow

1 Nov

According to the new look  Who Do You Think Are? Live website tickets for next year’s event go on sale frpm the 2nd November 2011, although some pages of the website just say early November.

The good news is that this year there is a larger range of ticket options including the option of a three-day ticket for £30.00, for people like me who intend on visiting for the entire show this is a big improvement on previous years and represents great value for money.

The new look website has been around for a while and is still a little bit devoid of information yet. Hopefully this will change soon and we will start to find out the details of who, what, where, when and how.

It might be worth waiting a little while before buying your tickets to see if there are any special offers this year, like there has been in previous years.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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