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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.

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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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.
Creative Commons Licence This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
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Negotiating the roadworks at the LFHC

18 Mar

Don’t be put off by the obstacles if you are planning on visiting the London Family History Centre.

It is not really as awkward as it looks to get across the road and into the building, but it is more than a little disconcerting as you emerge from the London Underground pedestrian subway to be confronted with barriers and fences.

Today when I visited there was a crossing point and break in the fence just to the right of the subway entrance in front of the Science Museum, but I suspect this changes on a fairly regular basis, so that piece of information may not be a lot of use unless you plan to visit in the next few weeks.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea seem to be the people responsible for the disruption. It is part of the Exhibiton Road Project which according to the project’s website will convert the street to a place “where culture and learning are accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds with a streetscape that makes that ambition a reality.”

The road and pavement are being merged together and re-surfaced and the volume of traffic is being reduced and slowed down, although not completely removed. It sounds like a good idea and probably worth the disruption although it isn’t scheduled for completion until next year.

It seems particularly apt that the London Family History Centre should be part of an area for “culture and learning”, it certainly deserves greater recognition for the work it does and the resources it provides.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011 – Day Three

27 Feb

Day three of Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011 and fatigue was starting to take its toll. Fortunately it was a much shorter day for me, due to the deficiencies of public transport on a Sunday (don’t get me started on that).

The show was also a lot quieter than the previous two days which pleased me, there were still plenty of people about but it seemed a lot calmer and relaxed, or was that just me. I took the chance to take advantage of the Society of Genealogist’s Ask the Experts service, I spent twenty minutes or so discussing the missing 1841 census entry for Henry SHORNDEN/WRIGHT. I have one or two things to try out which might help solve the mystery, but it is just great to be able to discuss a problem with someone else, you know what they say “two heads are better than one”.

I deliberately didn’t go crazy with the talks/workshops today, although there were several I would have liked to see, but I really wanted to spend a bit more time visiting the stands, taking advantage of the fact that there were fewer people about. Time seemed to fly by and I had a fascinating discussion with a representative from the Science Museum Library and Archives about one of their exhibits and what records they might have relevant to my family history (there is another story in there that I need to research and write about). I learnt so much in those few minutes and not just about the museum but also about research beyond the museum itself.

I also had a fascinating discussion with a lady from the Isle of Man Post Office, about their new genealogy stamps and genealogy in general. It turns out that as well as working for the Post Office she is also a genealogist herself. The stamps themselves have even more depth than I first realised (I will tell you more later). I could quite easily have stood and chatted for hours, but I had to move on.

The first of the talks I attended was given by Dr. Chris Watts and entitled “From census entry to Google Maps”. This was an unusual one, I had heard the talk before because it had been made available as a podcast by The National Archives, but it was a very visual talk about taking addresses from census returns and using different types of maps to learn further details, so seeing it in person was a much better experience.

My final talk of the show was by Celia Heritage and was entitled “Do You Know Who You Are Yet?”. To be honest I chose this talk because the title intrigued me and I didn’t really know what it was going to be about. It turned out to be about the reasons why people research their family history, largely based on the speaker’s own motivations and genealogy research. It was definitely thought provoking, I am not quite sure about my motivations, but it has made me think that it would be interesting to look back and see how and why I got started on my family tree and whether those motivations are still the same now.

I then spent a bit longer wandering around the stands, the show was beginning to wind down and I was able to pick up a couple of bargains on my way out, but on the whole I don’t think I spent so much money this year, which is probably just as well. Then began the marathon journey home and I think I actually spent longer getting home than I actually spent at the show today! It was sad to say goodbye to Olympia for another year (hopefully there will be another one next year) as it was starting to feel a bit like a second home after three days.

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