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Family History Open Day at East Sussex Record Office – Sunday 30th October 2011

24 Oct

East Sussex Record Office will be hosting a Family History Open Day on Sunday 30th October 2011 between 10am and 4pm.

According to their website there will be a range of activites available throughtout the day, with some specially designed for children and families. Download the pdf from their website for more details.

I have spent many hours in the ESRO (not as many as I would like), but this will be a great opportunity to have a good look around and see what goes on behind the scenes, as well as being able to “ask the experts” about some of my more problematic relatives.

Hopefully the weather will stay fine and I can not only explore inside the record office but perhaps I will have the chance to explore more of the town of Lewes at the same time, or perhaps even escape to the surrounding hills for a little stroll.

Finding Postcard Fairs in the UK

31 Aug

I mentioned yesterday The Picture Postcard Show which opens in London tomorrow and lasts three days. Most postcard fairs are only one day affairs, although there are a few two-day fairs and some evening fairs. Whether they last one, two or three days postcard fairs are a great place to find postcards to illustrate your family history.

When it comes to finding out where postcard fairs are held there are two main places to look:

The Postcard Traders Association website

The Postcard Traders Association has a calendar of postcard fairs on their website. The good thing about this calendar is that you can click through and find out more information about the organiser, including contact details and possibly their website.

The main drawback with this list is that it doesn’t always get updated regularly, but it is a good starting place especially as a lot of the fairs take place on a regular basis. Also this doesn’t always feature some of the smaller fairs.

Picture Postcard Monthly

Picture Postcard Monthly magazine has a much fuller list of postcard fairs including some international ones (along with auctions and exhibitions). These usually cover the coming three months and also includes contact details for the organisers as well as indicating the number of postcard dealers likely to be attending.

As well as the list of fairs in Picture Postcard Monthly, it is also the main place where postcard fairs are advertised, as well everything else you would expect in a magazine such as news, letters and articles.

The Postcard Traders Association website has a page entitled How to Win at Fairs with advice to get the best out of your visit to a postcard fair. My own advice would be to set yourself a budget and stick to it, otherwise it could get very expensive!

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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The Picture Postcard Show 2011

30 Aug

The highlight of the postcard collecting calendar is the annual Picture Postcard Show, also known as BIPEX (British International Postcard Exhibition), which takes place this week, running from Thursday 1st September 2011 to Saturday 3rd September 2011.

The three-day show is held at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Lawrence Hall in Greycoat Street, London and is described as “the world’s most prestigious card show”. Full details including admission prices and opening times can be found on the Postcard Traders Association website.

The Picture Postcard Show is like a normal provincial postcard fair on steroids, with a greater diversity of postcard dealers in attendance, including many from overseas. This means a greater diversity of postcards and as the website says, “some of the best cards available today”.

Unfortunately it doesn’t look like I am going to be able to make it to this year’s show, but you can read about my previous visits here and here.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Wordless Wednesday: Shoreham Airshow, West Sussex – Saturday 20th August 2011

24 Aug

Is it too early to get exicted about Who Do You Think You Are Live 2012?

18 Aug

I must admit I found myself getting just ever so slightly excited the other night about next years Who Do You Think You Are? Live. By a roundabout sort of way I found myself on their website and realised that the dates were there for next years show.

I can’t remember now if I had seen the dates before, I suspect they have been there for a long time, but it was probably far too early last time I looked for it to make much of an impression.

The show is on the 24th, 25th and 26th February 2012, so just over six months away. There are no further details yet on their website, but just having those dates gives me something to look forward to. To be fair it is not the only thing I have to look forward to, but it will probably be the genealogical highlight of the year.

I really ought to be getting excited about the new series of Who Do You Think You Are? in the UK, but in reality this annual family history event is much more interesting to me than the TV programme, because it will have much more relevance to my research.

Perhaps it is a little too early to get excited about Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012 but it is at least time to start getting organised, by booking the time off work and maybe even getting those t-shirts printed that I say I will do every year!

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Time to think about Sussex Day 2011

23 May

Sussex Day 2011 is fast approaching and like the last two years I want to celebrate the 16th June in some special way. The previous years this has involved spending the day walking and visiting ancestral locations.

Unfortunately this year I will not be able to get the day off work (the 16th June is a Thursday this year), so my options are going to be rather limited in terms of walking. I still hope to be able to spend at least part of the day walking. I should be able to get three or four hours walking in after work so I will be looking for a walking route home that is a little different to my usually walking route.

With limited options for walking I will have to divert my energies to researching and writing about Sussex and my Sussex ancestors. I know I normally write quite a bit about Sussex already but I am thinking of a having a week-long celebration of all things Sussex.

If I am going to do that then I need to start planning, researching and writing now. I won’t have much opportunity to get out and do much new research between now and Sussex Day, but I have plenty of material already at hand that needs writing up, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

For the first time in a few weeks I am starting to get excited at the prospect of have something special to write about. Even if I can’t get out for a decent walk on Sussex Day I will find other ways to celebrate the day.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Happy anniversary to the trig point

18 Apr

Regular readers of my blog will know I have a fascination with trig points, the concrete pillars that were used to map Britain (or at least one of the methods used).

Today is the 75th anniversary of first observations made using a triangulation pillar and the beginning of the Retriangulation of Great Britain. The pillar in question is located in Cold Ashby, Northamptonshire and unfortunately I was unable to join the small group of devotees who made a pilgrimage to the pillar today.

The Ordnance Survey have marked the anniversary with a special blog Happy birthday to the Trig Pillar – 75 years young today” href=”http://blog.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/2011/04/happy-birthday-to-the-trig-pillar-75-years-young-today/” target=”_blank”>post today and I understand that the pillar in question will be featured on the local BBC news bulletin.

I have long been aware of trig points, although it wasn’t until recent years that I really began to appreciate their history and function. For a long time I knew they were used in map making and were a physical reminder that I had reached the top of a hill, but now I know a lot more about their history and their part in producing the maps that I still use today.

So happy anniversary to the trig point, and because I can’t be at Cold Ashby here is one of my favourite trig points instead, at Blackcap near Lewes, East Sussex.

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