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Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012 : Day Three – See you again next year

26 Feb

So that is it, the third and final day finished and Who Do You Think You Are? Live over and done with for another year, well almost.

Public transport being what it is on Sunday I had a much later start this morning (and an earlier finish) so when I arrived just after 11 o’clock things were already in full swing, although it has to be said that it wasn’t swinging quite as much as on the previous two days, things were a lot quieter.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012 (26th February 2012)

I only managed to attend two workshops today (I probably could have fitted in another) and both were excellent. First was Dr Gill Draper of the British Association for Local History talking about free local history websites for family historians. This was an interesting talk and although I had heard of many of the websites there were a fair number that I hadn’t looked at before (or recently).

The talk was based on one of the publications from BALH, “Internet Sites for Local Historians” and I felt inspired to buy a copy afterwards. Flicking through the pages of the booklet I can see that there are many websites that I have never encountered before (and some old favourites), this could keep me entertained and educated for weeks.

The second talk was again based on a book or rather about a book, entitled The Platoon: An Infantryman on the Western Front 1916-18. Andy Robertshaw spoke enthusiastically about the discovery and exploration of the manuscript and the validation of it’s contents. I didn’t have time to hang around and get a copy of this book, but I will put it on my wish list.

On a personal level not only did I bump into my distant cousin again, but also one of my first cousins, who I had no idea was going to be there. Another highlight was chatting to one of the people at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum display, who it turned it was the director of the museum, and co-author of one of the books on my shelf which has photos of my relatives, and who had met some of my Mitchell relations in West Dean, Sussex. It could only happen at Who Do You Think You Are? Live!

Tomorrow my world returns to normal, when my alarm goes off at 5:15am tomorrow morning I won’t be leaping out of bed excitedly, but rather trudging grudgingly to the bathroom to prepare for a week at work.

"Goodbye, Olympia. I'll see you again next year"

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Two weeks and counting …

10 Feb

Two weeks today sees the start of Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012 at Olympia, London, billed as “the biggest family history event in the world”.

Everything is in place for my three days family history extravaganza, all that I need now is for the snow to clear off and I am all set.

Looking through the list of exhibitors I noticed a rather surprising, but welcome, addition to the usual list of names. The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum from Singleton, West Sussex will have a stand in the Society of Genealogists’ Family History Show.

The description from the list of exhibitors gives a good idea of what the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum is all about, “Over 45 rescued buildings rebuilt in a beautiful setting in the South Downs National Park, bringing to life homes, farms and workplaces of the South-east over the past 500 years.

Although there isn’t really a direct connection with family history (except there is in my case), it is a perfect fit for those wishing to learn more about the rural lives of their ancestors. Most rural crafts and occupations are represented at the Weald and Downland in one way or another, especially when you factor in the special events that are held throughout the year.

On top of that you can also take courses at the museum, from working with heavy horses to hedgelaying. As is to be expected from the once heavily wooded counties of Southern England there is a particular emphasis on the use of timber, from charcoal burning to construction techniques.

The museum is a superb place to explore, as I have done on several occasions, and not just because it is set in the Singleton in the South Downs, home to many of my ancestors. If you are at WDYTYA Live then make sure you stop by and find out what they have to offer.

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