Articles tagged with: workhouse

The Memory Box Reading Group

on Tuesday, 01 October 2019. Posted in History Centre, Traditions and Folklore, Wiltshire People, Wiltshire Places

Do you love reading and history?

Our latest venture might just suit you down to the ground!

Our reading group is based at the History Centre on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, 2-3.30pm, free entry. It’s a chance for anyone who is at a loose end to come along and listen to extracts of books from our Local Studies Library on a wide range of topics, take a look at a range of documents from the Archives and photographs from our Local Studies Collection, not to mention tea/coffee, biscuits and a chat at the end!

Feel free to join in with any memories or comments you may have, or just enjoy the friendly atmosphere with others and the chance to take a look at the many fascinating and little seen items from our vast range of collections.

Sketch for an instrument to lop forest trees at Savernake, 1809 from ‘Royal Forests’ topic

Topics we’ve covered so far have been as wide-ranging as Royal Forests, the Workhouse, the Fair, Ironworks, Education, Cinema, 1950s Chippenham, Washday, Harris’ of Calne and Alfred Williams. The extracts mostly cover Wiltshire places but we also find out about the origin of the subjects to add context, covered by our general reference (Heritage) collection held at the library. The group also suggest topics of interest for us to cover in future sessions, which is proving to be very successful and interesting to date.

Eden’s State of the Poor 1797 Vol 3, Wilts – Seend entry from ‘Agricultural Labourers’ topic

You’ll be amazed by what there is to discover and uncover; we’ve found out about sea eagle bones which were purported to have been used in medieval bird hawking; the common labourer who was writing to tell others of the plight of his follow workers in the 18th century, the pioneer of the modern-day cinema, based in Salisbury, and much more!

We are a small, friendly group at the moment who would love to expand; please feel free to drop in and join us sometime soon; no appointment or booking necessary. A copy of our leaflet with further information can be found here.

If you have any questions or queries please feel free to contact me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tel 01249 705534

Comments from attendees include “Brings back memories I’d forgotten I had”; “It’s lovely to hear other people’s ideas and learn new things”; “Brings up questions and new things to think about”…

We look forward to meeting you!

Julie Davis
Reading Group Leader and County Local Studies Librarian

Living at the Workhouse in Secret?

on Wednesday, 19 June 2013. Posted in Archives

An interesting enquiry recently came in from a person seeking corroboration of the birth of her ancestor in Highworth and Swindon workhouse in 1909.
This child’s birth certificate gave her address as 8 Highworth Road, Stratton St Margaret. Read on to discover why……


It provided an example of the implementation of the advice of the Registrar General, who in 1904 suggested that the birth and death certificates of inmates should have a euphemistic address, one that spared the family the disgrace of the workhouse.

The correspondent will send this example to the website www.workhouses.org.uk which alerted her to this practice, which has interesting implications for family historians. Intrigued by this I did a spot check on two births in the Devizes workhouse in December 1909. The birth register gave the address as 7 Commercial Road, Devizes. In each case the address was for the roads in which the institutions stood.

Checking the Devizes example was possible because all but the most current registers of the Wiltshire Registration Service are held in the History Centre. Its copy certificate service is now based at the History Centre and their email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

logos1

Accredited Archive Service