Tag Archives: annoyances

Soapbox Saturday: The most annoying thing about the British Newspaper Archive

5 May

 I haven’t really spent much time on the British Newspaper Archive website since it launched last year, but I decided today that I would fork out some money for a few credits to spend over the couple of days. I had bookmarked a few pages over the last few months, waiting until the time was right to actually view the images.

So today for the first time I have started to discover some of the website’s annoyances. The poor quality of the OCR in places was a little annoying, most of the images I was looking at were of a reasonable quality, especially for someone used to searching newspapers on old and worn microfilms.

Some of the PDF downloads were not such good quality, in fact some were unreadable, and it is quite fortunate that the images of the Sussex Advertiser appear to be quite good quality. All in all the website is useable, not outstanding, but acceptable.

There is however one thing on the site which was soon getting on my nerves, that damn Twitter feed below the main header.

I am not a fan of Twitter, quite frankly I find it annoying to keep being encouraged to follow people and organisations on Twitter, almost as annoying as being told to “Like us on Facebook”.

There I would be reading a newspaper extract when another message would appear in the banner above, no matter how hard I tried to ignore it I couldn’t help but be distracted. The movement of the scrolling text was impossible to ignore.

But what’s that, there is a pause button at the right-hand end of the banner, that would do it. Sure enough it did, the annoying scrolling text stopped. I could focus again on the image I was interested in without fear of distraction.

However my relief was short-lived, the minute I moved to another screen, the scrolling text was back again. Please brightsolid if you must inflict highlights of your Twitter feed on me then please give me an option to turn it off and keep it off.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
.

Horsham is in Sussex not Surrey

4 Dec

One thing that really annoys me is when I find references to the town of Horsham being in the county of Surrey, it’s not, it is in Sussex. I should know I have spent most of my working life there, and it is the closest town to where I live.

I saw another example this week, the December 2009 issue of the Family Tree Magazine (the UK one) has an interesting article on sources available for researching postal ancestors. It includes a photo of postmen trying out a new type of cycle, known as the pentacycle or Hen and Chickens. The British Postal Museum and Archive (BPMA) have the same image in their Moving the Mail: Horses to Horsepower online exhibition.

The BPMA have got their facts right and have put Horsham in the correct county, but Family Tree Magazine has moved Horsham into the neighbouring county of Surrey. Family Tree Magazine are not alone, because I have seen many examples of Horsham, Surrey.

Out of curiosity I asked some of my work colleagues about the subject, they too had noticed it in the past, but were obviously not as concerned as I was.

I would love to find out where this all started, who first thought Horsham was in Surrey not Sussex. I suspect people might be confusing Horsham, Sussex with Hersham, Surrey. Although they are about thirty miles apart geographically, they are only one letter different in spelling.

Interestingly when I search on just birthplace in the 1901 English census on Ancestry.co.uk, it gives me 322 results for Horsham, Surrey compared to 11,159 for Horsham, Sussex. Hersham, Sussex comes up with 269 results and Hersham, Surrey comes up with 2,227. Clearly many of these are probably transcription errors, but it could still cause confusion if you are not sure which county you should be looking in for your ancestor’s birth, especially when the error is repeated elsewhere off the census.

Are there any place name confusions or mistakes that get you angry or annoyed? Have you come across any in your research? Let me know in the comments.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 113 other followers

%d bloggers like this: