Today I was checking my diary for February and can’t believe how busy it is going to be. It looks like it is going to be a bumper month for family history and related events, and I am not sure if I am going to fit in any research in as well.
The three main events I hope to attend are:
1. The Sussex & South London Fair (Sunday 13th February 2011)
This is a nice little family history fair (organised by Family History Fairs) held at the K2 Leisure Centre, Crawley, West Sussex. A nice warm up for the big event a fortnight later. There is usually a good mix of trade and society stands, and a few postcard dealers thrown in for good measure (and to make sure my wallet comes away a lot lighter). I have a few genealogy supplies I need to get and will try to get them here rather than have to carry them around at WDYTYA Live.
2. The Pub History Society Conference (Saturday 19th February 2011)
Last year’s conference was an excellent event and hopefully this year’s will be even better. The fact that it going to held at The National Archives is a real bonus, but unfortunately I won’t have time for any research whilst I am there, although I might take the opportunity to renew my reader’s ticket ready for my next visit. I will have time to visit the bookshop and see what bargains they have. Further details of the conference from the Pub History Society website.
3. Who Do You Think You Are? Live (Friday 25th to Sunday 27th February 2011)
This is the big one, three days of family history indulgence. There is not much more that can be said about this event that I haven’t already said. It is certainly going to be a long weekend and I shall be glad to get back to work for a rest the following week.
On top of these I am already penciled in for a visit to London on the 12th February and I am supposed to be going for a proper walk on the 5th February (back to the South Downs). Throw in a couple of possible postcard fairs and both my wallet and energy are going to be stretched to the limit.
Fortunately things are a lot quieter for the rest of the year, with few convenient events to attend (still plenty of postcard fairs though) but this does give me more opportunity for some research and walking.
Whilst sorting through the files and folders on my hard drive today I listened to two new podcast episodes. I must admit that I am rather biased about these two podcasts, because they are both subjects close to my heart.
First was the next episode of the BBC Radio 4 programme Ramblings, in which Clare Balding walked part of the South Downs Way from Ditchling Beacon to Devil’s Dyke. It was wonderful to hear her talking about some of the places that I had seen on my walk last week, and some of the things I had mentioned on my blog post.
Next up was the latest podcast from The National Archives, this was a talk entitled Lost London Pubs given by Jack Adams at the Pub History Society Conference I attended back in February and wrote about here. It was great to hear the talk again and I hope that some of the other talks will appear over the next few weeks.
It is very rare to get a podcast that is so close to home, relevant and interesting, but to get two come along at the same time is unheard of, but nevertheless welcome.
I spent the day at The National Archives today, but didn’t do a single piece of research! Instead I attended the Pub History Society Conference held at the archives.
This was the first time the Pub History Society have held a conference, and hopefully it will become an annual event. For me it seemed that The National Archives was an ideal place to hold it, not only were the conference facilities excellent, but we also had the benefit of the other facilities at the archives, such as the café, cyber-café, lockers and bookshop.
There were five excellent talks, on varied aspects of pub history, some of which (if not all) will hopefully appear as podcasts:
- The Lost Pubs of London (Jack Adams)
- The Pub and the People (Simon Fowler)
- Women, Darts and the Pub in the Interwar Period (Patrick Chaplin)
- Pub Signs and Names (David Roe)
- A Short History of Coaching Inns (David Thomas)
I wouldn’t like to try and pick a favourite, they were all thought provoking and made me think about aspects of pub history aside from my usual family history angle.
However, I couldn’t get away from family history entirely, especially during the talk on coaching inns. I couldn’t help wondering what Thomas KINGHORN (my 4x great-grandfather) thought about the coaching inns that he stopped at whilst guarding the mail coaches.
All in all it was a truly memorable day, and what really made it extra special was a guided tour of The National Archives given by Simon Fowler (editor of Ancestors magazine), giving us a peek behind the scenes.