Welcome to the web site of the Biddulph and District Genealogy and Historical Society. The aim of the Society is to promote genealogy and local history particularly pertaining to the Biddulph area.
This will be achieved by:
- undertaking research and publishing wherever possible
- purchasing resources that may become available or required by the society
- having a regular programme of speakers
Announcements and Information:
1. Looking After Your Collections at Home
Staffordshire Archives & Heritage send out an update during this period of closure and lock down and here is some information from the most recent edition which you may find useful.
The Museum Development Officer Helen Johnson gives some tips on how to care for delicate items that we may have in cabinets, drawers and on walls at home.
At Staffordshire Archives and Heritage Service one of our most important jobs is to take care of our collections. The main problem the Museum Team face is that our objects were not designed to last forever. We have an ongoing battle to ensure that we can pass them on to future generations of museum visitors and continue to tell their stories.
Do you have treasured items in your home? The Team uses all of these practices to preserve and look after our museum objects. Follow our top tips which will help you to look after delicate or treasured items.
A) Good Housekeeping
Dust is a big cause of damage to objects. It is food for some insect pests and it can be abrasive. Give your items a gentle dust using a soft duster or soft brush. A paint brush is good to get into corners and flick the dust away. We spend a lot of time making sure our exhibition spaces and collection storerooms are clean and dust free.
B) Light Levels
Photographs and textiles are affected by light, especially sunlight which can fade them. If you have a photograph in a frame or a precious textile such as a piece of needlework move it away from direct sunlight. Find a spot in the room where the sun won’t hit it. You could make a copy of the photograph and keep the original in a drawer - then you can still enjoy it. Our photographs and textiles are kept in dark storerooms when they are not on display.
C) Insect Pests
Clothes moths can be a problem in museum collections. They particularly enjoy items made from wool. If you have a favourite jumper in a drawer check it occasionally. If you find any sign of moth on the jumper or nearby, seal the jumper in a plastic bag and pop it in the freezer for a couple of weeks. This should kill off any moth and larvae. Defrost it in the bag and then leave to air for an hour or so before putting it away.
D) Pack it safely away
If your object is something that you don’t have on display wrap it carefully in acid free tissue paper which you can buy in most good stationery shops and a bit of bubble wrap. Pop it in a box with a label on the front and store it in a cupboard or a drawer. Don’t use newspaper as this contains a lot of acids which can damage objects.
E) Don’t Drop it!
The main cause of damage to museum objects is handling. Even if our hands are clean they will leave a tiny amount of grease on surfaces which can damage objects. The main risk is that objects can be knocked or damaged when we handle them so limit how much you touch them. If you have to pick your object up, hold it safely in both hands, close to your body. If it has a lid take this off first and carry it separately. Never lift anything by the handle. This is often the weakest part of the object and may come off in your hand!
F) Pass on the Story
If you know the history of your object and you want to pass it down to future generations, make a record of everything you know about it, where it came from, who owned it, how old it is. This means you have a more accurate history as many anecdotes passed down verbally can be changed and misinterpreted. For example, the story of Queen Mary’s tea set. Queen Mary gave a tea set to women who worked in the Royal Household when they left to get married. Family legend often states that the tea sets belonged to the Queen herself. She would certainly have had a lot of them if this was true!
2. Celebration of VE Day on Friday the 8th of May 2020
Victory in Europe (VE) Day on 8 May 1945 saw Britain and its Allies formally accept Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender after almost six years of war.
At 3 p.m., Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced on the radio that the war in Europe had come to an end, following Germany’s surrender the day before.
Spontaneous celebrations broke out across the country. One man who promoted its celebration was Mr. Vincent Horton of Harriseahead who decorated his front window with flags and information.
When he attended the D-Day celebrations last year he brought back a lot of stories and anecdotes whilst reminiscing with others who were there. He was also given a booklet, sponsored by BAE Systems, which outlined the troops and equipment involved in D-Day which was the first step towards the final surrender of Nazi Germany.
You can view a copy of the booklet by clicking on this link Operation Neptune
3. The Committee of the Society has been informed that Biddulph Library will not be able to host meetings until June and so all future meetings here have been cancelled.
The dates of any of the proposed meetings will be re-scheduled and when the information is available it will be posted on the website; announced in the Chronicle; and, placed on the Library notice board.
4. The Sound Archive A new page has been added to the website where sound files submitted to the Society will be available to play. The idea suggested by Elaine Heathcote will be added to as further sound files become available.
The new archive starts with: “A Recording of Sunday Half Hour from Biddulph Methodist Chapel in 1960’.
5. The Hospital Where Everyone Smiles. Geraldine Outhwaite’s new book, after a successful launch on Saturday the 8th of February in Biddulph Library, will be available to purchase from Biddulph Library, Congleton Tourist Information and the Picture Book at Leek.
5. Harecastle’s Canal and Railway Tunnels. The Society has acquired some copies of this new book by Allan C Baker and Mike G Fell. They will be available at Society meetings and copies may be ordered from the Society by visiting our updated Publications page. The Chairman of the Society, Mr. Roland Machin, has written a review which can be found here.
Harecastle’s Canal and Railway Tunnels
6. Contact Names:
Chairperson - Mr. Roland Machin
David J. Outhwaite (Secretary & Sale of Publications)
You can ask David any questions about the BDGHS. However, if you have a genealogy or a family history question then you can Ask the Reverend Hadfield and a member of the Society will contact you, as soon as possible.
If you're a regular visitor you may wish to check the Site News page which not only lists the latest changes but also tells you how you can be notified by email of future changes.