Category Archives: Diaries

Happy Christmas from the West Yorkshire Archive Service!

Well, 2012 is nearly over! As many of you will know, it’s been a really busy year for Leeds Archives with final preparations for the move and then the actual moving of 15,000 boxes in the Autumn to our new home at Gildersome Spur. It’s a year that we will mark down in our history books, so we thought we would take this opportunity to share a few of our treasures relating to anniversaries from 1812 and 1912, before we welcome 2013!

The Bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born on the 7th February, 1812. A prolific writer, introduced to many through his serials published in magazines, he had and continues to have a great impact. Many people will currently be reading A Christmas Carol, which incidentally will be enjoying its’ 170th anniversary next year! Other people, including myself may be watching one of the many cinematic versions, such as The Muppet Christmas Carol, a mere youngster at only 20 years of age this year! 

For this blog, I have concentrated on his connection to Bowes. It was really interesting to find documents relating to a place in North Yorkshire in West Yorkshire. As many researchers will have encountered, historical boundary changes can make things complicated! Dickens stayed in Barnard Castle whilst researching his novel Nicholas Nickleby. As part of his research, he visited Bowes and the Yorkshire Boarding School there, known as William Shaw’s Academy, which became immortalised in the novel as Dotheboys Hall. Opinions differ regarding the fairness of the comparisons, but anyone wanting to know more about the area Dickens visited, will find something of interest in our archives! Highlights include the 1850 will of William Shaw and an advert for the Academy.

RD_AP1_198_63

Extract from William Shaw’s will, 1850 [Ref: RD/AP1/198/63]

Bowes and Charles Dickens Documents held at the West Yorkshire Archive Service                          

The Centenary of the Antarctic Expedition

Captain Lawrence Edward Grace Oates was part of the Terra Nova expedition team led by Captain Scott. They reached the South Pole in 1911, but terrible conditions led to a tragic return journey. Captain Oates is especially remembered for his heroic act of self-sacrifice. The Oates family had a direct link with West Yorkshire as Lawrence’s grandfather built the house known as Meanwoodside in Leeds, and Lawrence is known to have spent time there as a child.

There is a touching entry in the Beckett Street School Log Book (our ref: LC/ED1/3) which reads “14/02/1913, Spoke to the whole school of the disaster to the Antarctic Polar Expedition by the loss of the leader Captain Scott & his four companions Dr Wilson, Lieut. Bowes, Capt. Oates & Petty Officer Evans, and read to them the account as specially written for children by Arthur Machen.”

Captain Oates Documents held at the West Yorkshire Archive Service

The Centenary of the Sinking of the HMS Titanic

April the 15th, one hundred years ago, the tragedy of the Titanic happened. 1502 lives were lost on the maiden voyage of this Olympic-class ocean liner.  We hold records that show the personal as well as the public reaction to the disaster.

This image is from the personal diary of Sir William Ingilby and simply states ‘Fearful shipwrecking The Titanic some 1200 lost’ [Ref: WYL230/3600]

This image is from the personal diary of Sir William Ingilby and simply states ‘Fearful shipwrecking The Titanic some 1200 lost’ [Ref: WYL230/3600]

Wallace Hartley was a violinist and the bandleader on the Titanic and had Yorkshire links. The “Wallace Hartley” Memorial Fund Committee was set up and gave a cheque for £108, which purchased the painting “Homeward Bound” by F Cayley Robinson for the Leeds Gallery. Details can be found in the Leeds Library Committee minutes, including subsequent loans of the painting.

Titanic Documents held at West Yorkshire Archive Service

We hope you have enjoyed looking back with us! We look forward to welcoming you if you would like to look at any of the items shown or referred to in the blog and attached source lists?! What gems might we have for anniversaries coming up in 2013?! Thinking caps on, I’m sure we will have something!

 It just remains to say, Happy New Year from all of the

West Yorkshire Archive Service!

Hurry! Voting closes at 5pm today!

Voting for the Treasures of West Yorkshire Archive Service closes at 5 pm TODAY with winners announced on Monday 20th February.

Here’s a reminder of the treasures that you can vote for;

Bradford: Brown & Muffs; The Alhambra Theatre; William Scruton Scrapbooks; Jowett Car Club and the Oriental Arts records.

Calderdale: John Crossley and Sons, Carpet Manufacturers; Fielden Brothers, Cotton manufacturers; Halifax Choral Society; Anne Lister Diaries and the Waterhouse Chaities records.

Kirklees: George Cowley Papers; Florence E Lockwood Diaries; Beaumont of Whitley Family & Estate papers; Fisher Family papers and the Womens Social and political Union minute book.

Leeds: Burton Group Limited, clothing manufacturer; AW Hainswrth & Sons Ltd; Leeds Pious Uses Committee; Yorkshire County Cricket Club records and Joshua Tetley & Sons Lts, brewers.

Wakefield: Diary & Terrier book of Brotherton parish; Watson Architects; Pontefract Borough records; Convicts Reception Register, Wakefield and the Nostell Priory, Winn Family archive.

The winning ‘treasure’ from each district will be the subject of a local display to highlight even more wonders contained within it!

To vote simply go to our treasures website  For further information on the Treasures of the Archives Campaign, please contact the Collections Team or call 0113 3939767.

 

Treasures of the Archives – Voting Closing Date Looms!

Vote for your favourite treasure of West Yorkshire Archive Service!

Across the country people have been voting in their hundreds but with the closing date fast approaching, you need to make sure that your vote counts. Voting closes at 5pm on Friday 17th February 2012.

Here’s a reminder of the treasures that you can vote for;

Bradford: Brown & Muffs; The Alhambra Theatre; William Scruton Scrapbooks; Jowett Car Club and the Oriental Arts records.

Calderdale: John Crossley and Sons, Carpet Manufacturers; Fielden Brothers, Cotton manufacturers; Halifax Choral Society; Anne Lister Diaries and the Waterhouse Chaities records.

Kirklees: George Cowley Papers; Florence E Lockwood Diaries; Beaumont of Whitley Family & Estate papers; Fisher Family papers and the Womens Social and political Union minute book.

Leeds: Burton Group Limited, clothing manufacturer; AW Hainswrth & Sons Ltd; Leeds Pious Uses Committee; Yorkshire County Cricket Club records and Joshua Tetley & Sons Lts, brewers.

Wakefield: Diary & Terrier book of Brotherton parish; Watson Architects; Pontefract Borough records; Convicts Reception Register, Wakefield and the Nostell Priory, Winn Family archive.

The winning ‘treasure’ from each district will be announced on Monday 20th February 2012 and will be the subject of a local display to highlight even more wonders contained within it!

To vote simply go to our treasures website  For further information on the Treasures of the Archives Campaign, please contact the Collections Team or call 0113 3939767.

Treasures of the Archives Voting Day in YOUR District!

West Yorkshire Archive Service are holding a Treasures of the Archives voting day in your district! 

From the five treasures chosen relating to your district, we now need to find the biggest treasure of all!

We are holding a voting day in each of the five districts.  Staff will be on hand to show surrogate examples of items from the nominated collections and tell you a little bit more about why these incredible collections are indeed our treasures.

Monday 23rd January  ground floor of Halifax Central Library, 9.30 – 3.00pm

Tuesday 24th January ground floor Bradford Central Library, 9.30 – 3.00pm

Wednesday 25th Janury Lending Library Huddersfield Central Library, 9.30 – 3.00pm

Thursday 26th January ground floor Leeds Central Library, 9.00 – 3.00pm

Friday 27th Janury Upper Mall, the Riding Shopping Centre, Wakefield 8.30 – 5.30pm

Come along and vote for your favourite and discover some of the treasures of the Archives!

‘The ‘Treasures of the Archives’ campaign is an exciting new way of highlighting some of the diverse and rich collections held by West Yorkshire Archive Service.’

Alternatively you can vote online as many times as you like at       http://wyorksarchivestreasures.weebly.com/

 Voting for phase 1 of Treasures of the Archives will close at 5pm on Friday 17th February 2012. Winners will be announced on Monday 20th February.

The collection voted as the ‘Treasure’ of each district will be showcased in your district office. For further details please contact the Collections Team on 0113 3939767or email archives@wyjs.org.uk

Vote for your West Yorkshire Archive Service Treasure

Don’t forget that as part of West Yorkshire Archive Service’s Treasures Campaign, we have created a blog on our Treasures website which is highlighting a collection a day until 16th December.

Why not visit the blog and leave us your thoughts. Highlighted treasures nominations this week  include Brown Muff & Co, Waterhouse Charities, George Cowley’s papers on his experience as a PoW, Hainsworths and the terrier and diary from Brotherton parish collection.

 So why not visit the website today to find out more about the incredible collections nominated! Treasures of the West Yorkshire Archives Service

From Catablog to Treasures Blog

As part of West Yorkshire Archive Service’s Treasures Campaign, we have created a blog on our Treasures website which is highlighting a collection a day until 16th December.

Why not visit the blog and leave us your thoughts. Highlighted treasures nominations include Brown Muff & Co, the Anne Lister Dairies, Nostell priory and Yorkshire County Cricket Club So why not visit the website today to find out more about the incredible collections nominated! Treasures of the West Yorkshire Archives Service

Treasures of the Archives

It’s easy to walk past some of our most incredible treasures and simply not be aware of the legacy they have left behind, West Yorkshire Archive Service aims to change all that!

For five weeks starting from Monday 14th November we are highlighting one of five treasures from each of our district offices [Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds & Wakefield] as voted for by staff there.

These often little known gems are some of the most fascinating records and collections that we hold, for example, in Leeds we hold the A.W Hainsworth Collection, a superb example of a local company’s products coming to the attention of stars like Robbie Williams and Rod Stewart!

In Wakefield we have a 19th Century convicts register which reveals the crimes and punishments of the ordinary and the not so ordinary person!

From crime and punishment to travellers notebooks, remarkable prisoner of war correspondence, inspirational architect’s plans, Oriental Arts and everyday diarists, our treasures are your treasures and we invite you to vote for your favourite from each district!

 You can vote online at http://wyorksarchivestreasures.weebly.com/ where you will find a page for each office along with their 5 nominations. Simply click on the nomination to find out more about the exciting treasure and follow the instructions to vote as many times as you like!

 Voting forms can also be found in each of our district offices, simply ask staff for a pen and get voting!

May is Local History Month and our Theme is Diaries!

From secret ones to social ones, from war ones to working ones, West Yorkshire Archive Service’s Diaries Display gives us a snapshot into how the people of our districts lived their lives. We get an exciting glimpse of their adventures, their tragedies, their duties and daily lives.

The war diary of Mark Wood, 15th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment, otherwise known as the ‘Leeds Pals’, details his service in France and Egypt 1915 – 1916. [Collection ref: WYL2027]. Held at our Leeds office.

Extract from the transcript diary of Mark Wood of the Leeds Pals on his experience during the First World War.

As people began to travel to the ‘Americas’ and other exotic countries, so the travel diary becomes popular. These often give descriptions of different animals, vegetation, weather and of course the local people and their way of life. Joseph Sharp travelled from Yorkshire to America in 1815 and kept a note of his encounters. [Collection ref: C617]. Held at our Wakefield office.

Extract from Bottom Boat farming diary. Collection ref: C77 held at our Wakefield office.

Farmers and businessmen kept diaries as a means of keeping accounts and notes on their work and produce. The farming diary from Bottom Boat Farm, Wakefield notes livestock and vegetable costs, who bought and sold them and details of  labourers’ wages.

Our collections hold some wonderful diaries of everyday people, both the ordinary and the extraordinary people of our districts. The display will be available to view in all five of our district offices and also at Balne Lane Library, Wakefield for the month of May.

WYAS collects a diverse range of records created by a variety of individuals, groups or businesses. If you would like to discuss the possibility of depositing records or would like to give feedback on the types of records that you would like to see, please contact The Collections Team.

Three Women Across the Century

Catherine Thackray faces a terminal illness. She wants to put her life in
order and to create a family history for her own grandchildren. In so doing,
she takes up her mother, Marjorie’s memoir, and weaves it into her story. Her own daughter is continuing the tradition of diary keeping.

All next week on BBC Radio 4 [10.45 to 11.00am Monday 24 to Friday 28th January 2011] , The Woman’s Hour series ‘ Writing the Centurycontinues exploring the lives of real people through their diaries, this time concentrating on the final decades of the 20th century.

The West Yorkshire Archive Service, Kirklees office, hold the papers of Catherine Thackray (1922-1997) who lived in Huddersfield from 1950, including her diaries 1994-1997 (WYK1265/1) which chart various global events including: the Yugoslav war; Rwanda; the Chinook Enquiry; Dunblane; the IRA; Blair’s election; and Princess Diana’s state funeral, as well as local events and providing an insight into her own family. 

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Extract from Catherine Thackray's Diary [Finding Number WYK1265/1/1

 

WYAS also holds records of the Huddersfield Group of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament [KC378] in which Catherine Thackray was heavily involved.

Catherine Thackray (1922-1997) was the daughter of Marjorie Sharp and one of eight children. Marjorie born in 1883, was a Fabian and Suffragist. In 1943 Catherine joined the ATS as a Specialist Wireless Operator and in 1944, she joined the Battersea Labour Party. In 1946, she joined the Central London Fabian Society whilst at the same time studying for a diploma in Social Sciences. In 1949, Catherine married Lawrence Thackray and in 1950 after he was offered a job as a solicitor in Huddersfield they moved into the area. Catherine became a volunteer at the local Citizen’s Advice Bureau and also the local Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, remaining active in the anti-nuclear movement until the end of her life. She was arrested in 1984 during a protest at Greenham Common. Her research into the lives of 70 married women was published in ‘Education’ in 1968. Both Marjorie and Catherine were in the vanguard of their times, politically engaged and living lives of public service to their communities. They were not afraid of expressing their views!

For further information please contact our Kirklees office

The 2011 Local History Month in May focuses on diaries as a useful archival source and WYAS will be producing a display celebrating and highlighting the numerous diaries held within the service including the diaries of Catherine Thackray and others such as the diaries of Anne Lister held at our Calderdale office.