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.