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.
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2 Responses to “Two weeks and counting …”

  1. Nicola Elsom February 11, 2012 at 8:54 am #


    I’m looking forward to the show and I’ve got a three day ticket, is that too much?!

    Just wanted to say that I have been to the Weald and Downland Museum as we have family in Sussex. My kids loved it (as did I). If anyone will be attending WDYTYA Live with kids, it is probably well worth visiting their stand.

    Have fun at the show!


    • John Gasson February 13, 2012 at 7:15 am #

      Hi Nicola,

      In the past I have found three days to be perfect. It allows you to take your time and gives you a chance to experience everything without feeling that you have to rush around to try and fit everything in. An added bonus was that I picked up some great book bargains at the end of the third day!

      Have a great time,

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