I didn’t really get a great deal achieved last week. Of course there was the trip down to Chichester yesterday, but I spent most of my free time thinking about this blog and the way forward, essentially trying to streamline things and make more time for actual family history research.
I have scanned my latest batch of postcards, like I was planning to, but I never got around to scanning the four wills, let alone start transcribing them. I must at least get them scanned this week and try to make a start on transcribing them. I also need to scan the two newspaper articles that I copied down at Chichester, and transcribe them as well.
I have done more work on the BOXALLs of West Dean, Sussex and I think I have achieved my original goal of identifying the six BOXALLs on the war memorial at West Dean. I am still a little unsure about one of the men, and there may also be one other who is not recorded on the memorial. This week I need to start pulling everything together, but also there is so much more work that I could be doing on the BOXALLs, there are so many of them that I could keep going for ages.
So this week is going to be mostly organising and sorting out, a bit of scanning and possibly some transcribing. I will be really interested to see if my blogging plans actually help free up my time for family history. Also I need to try and decide what I am going to do with the bundle of maps that I bought yesterday.
The postcard below is one that I have had for quite a while. It shows the ivy clad St. Andrew’s Church, West Dean (near Chichester), Sussex and a few of the headstones in the churchyard.
There is not a lot more that can be said about this postcard. The card was posted from West Dean on the 6th September 1920 and sent to Mrs C BOXALL of Brown Hill Farm, Ashington, Sussex. The BOXALL connection was naturally of interest, but from what I can find it doesn’t look like this Mrs BOXALL was a close relation.
In light of my current obsession with the parish of West Dean I have decided that I am going to start seriously collecting picture postcards of the parish. It is not that I haven’t been collecting them already, just that I haven’t been making a special effort to find them.
What makes collecting postcards of West Dean (in West Sussex) particularly challenging is the fact that not only is there another West Dean in East Sussex (as I previously mentioned), but also one in neighbouring Hampshire. From what I saw at the Shoreham Postcard Fair last Saturday most postcard dealers don’t distinguish between the eastern and western parishes, and sometimes Hampshire cards are to to be found amongst the Sussex cards. Likewise I probably should check for Sussex cards in with the Hampshire cards.
Examining postcards of an area, working out where the views were taken from and when, is a great way of learning about a place and how it has changed over the years, although of course the bulk of the postcards I am likely to find will only cover a short period of time, probably from 1900 to 1930.
Apart from learning more about the parish of my ancestors the other bonus is that my increased attention on West Dean postcards will hopefully turn up a postcard sent to (or by) one of my closer relations.
I had hoped to go down to Chichester today, to do some research at the West Sussex Record Office and the public library, but it became obvious early in the week that I wasn’t going to be prepared in time, so I decided to postpone to visit (probably until next weekend).
To be honest I wasn’t really too disappointed, it was a good excuse for me to stay in bed. Many weeks of getting up early nearly every morning have taken it’s toll and I really couldn’t face another early start. Besides there were plenty of other things that I wanted to do.
Top of those lists of things to do was a visit to Shoreham Postcard Fair, at Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex. So after a lazy start to the day I took the bus to Brighton and then Shoreham, and spent some more of my hard earned money on postcards.
Shoreham Postcard Fair is a fairly small postcard fair, probably twenty or so dealers, and not all postcards, some coins, stamps and cigarette cards. There was plenty to keep me occupied for several hours, and I came away with another eleven postcards for my growing collection, including some great bargains from one dealer’s 50p box.
The great thing about Shoreham Postcard Fair is that it is pretty convenient for me to get to, just two bus rides. Unfortunately it means passing through the crowded city of Brighton. Perhaps it is just me getting older, but I am starting to get very “crowd intolerant”. I am really starting to go off buses packed full of passengers and crowded pavements (and as we get nearer to Christmas it can only get worse), so I was very pleased to get back home, put my feet up and study my new postcards.
I don’t know quite what happened last week, the last seven days seem to have just flown by and I don’t seem to have achieved anything in my family history.
I suppose I did spend some time fiddling around with my to-do list, and there was a bit of searching, but for the life of me I don’t remember actually achieving anything. In my defence I would say that I probably didn’t have quite as much free time as I would normally, but that is not really a very good excuse, because there were opportunities to do some research.
I am struggling to remember if I have actually updated my database last week, I probably did add one or two bits and pieces, but nothing major (or indeed memorable as it turns out). If there was an event at the Commonwealth Games for procrastinators I would be in line for a medal, I seem to spend a lot of time thinking about what I could do, but I just never seem to get around to doing anything about it.
I did get all my latest postcards scanned, and I feel I could probably spend a couple of weeks just writing about my postcards. I would like to write more about postcards and using them in family history, but whether I will ever get around to it is a different matter.
I think the big problems is that there is so much that I would like to do but don’t have the time, whether it is blogging or family history. I think the answer is going to be to capture all the thoughts that are running around my head and put them all into my to-do list, where I don’t have to worry about them unless I want to.
The exciting news is that whilst searching for one of books in my parent’s attic, I discovered (or re-discovered) a few family history treasures, which had once belonged to my grandfather, including a tiny little birthday book, which lists the birthdays of many of my relations (from the TROWER and GASSON side of the family). I am going to have great fun going through that and extracting all the details.
I couldn’t resist this card when it came up on eBay, partly because I have ancestors from Seaford, Sussex but mainly for the novelty value of the size of the thing. The actual size is 292mm x 82mm, which is about the same height of a normal postcard but over twice the width.
If you click on the image you can have a look in detail, but the print quality is a little disappointing to be honest. I don’t know whether that is because of the size or just a poor quality printing process. It is clear enough to make out some of the buildings in the town on the right-hand side, but not much detail of the people strolling along the seafront on the left-hand side.
I have had a look on Google Street View, but I haven’t been able to find exactly the same viewpoint. It looks like a lot of the buildings along the Esplanade have either been demolished and rebuilt or heavily altered.
I know virtually nothing about the publisher of the card, or when it was published. It has not been used and the back of the card names it as a PANORAMICARD. Down the left-hand side of the back is the name of J.B. Armstrong, 52 High St., Seaford. As I have seen other Panoramicards from different parts of the country I assume that J.B. Armstrong was the person who commissioned this particular Panoramicard, rather than the actual publisher.