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Victorian Village Life - Report from July 2017 Speaker Meeting

Anne Langley, local historian and author, was the guest speaker at the July meeting. Anne lives in Stretton on Dunsmore and much of the content of her talk was drawn from the school logbooks of that village from 1862. Unusually, the schoolmasters did not restrict their entries to school matters but also included comments on the families of the pupils and on village life and events. Census returns and trade directories provided additional material that help to paint a picture of life in Stretton on Dunsmore during the Victorian age.

Many of the male villagers worked as agricultural labourers, their families living a frugal life. This was reflected in the logbook entries, with children as young as six being absent from school in order to work and supplement family income. There was also non -attendance due to the inability of the parents to pay the small weekly fee charged at the National School until 1891 when free education was introduced. The situation was not helped by the agricultural depression towards the turn of the century. Children often went to school unwashed with filthy clothes and were sent home to clean themselves up. Soup was provided in very cold weather at 1p a bowl.

Skilled tradesmen in the village included a wheelwright, saddler, blacksmith, grocer, shoemaker and several publicans. Their families were more affluent with better housing and living conditions. The children attended school regularly with the boys taking on apprenticeships and the girls going into service. The local gentry sometimes provided treats such as teas for the schoolchildren and were seen as benefactors. Their own children were privately educated, the boys at boarding school and the girls had a governess.

There were many local and national events that the villagers enjoyed. Seasonal events included hunts, agricultural and flower shows, mop fairs and holidays, such as May Day, when the children had tea consisting of bread and butter, cake and an orange. Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee was also celebrated, as was the coronation of Edward V11 in 1902. One notable event was when the circus came to Coventry and the elephants were paraded along the main road.

The logbooks also provide a valuable insight into support for the poor via the local Poor Law Guardians and comment on family members being sent to Rugby Workhouse. Other entries detail crimes committed in the village, including a murder. The weather seriously affected school attendance. Heavy snow or rain prevented children from attending school. At times the schoolroom was so cold that the pupils were unable to write, the open fires having little effect. The schoolmaster also mentioned having to dry the wet clothes of the children by the fire.

This way of life was typical of many country villages during the Victorian period, a far cry from village life today, and Anne's talk showed the importance of these written records in our appreciation of life as it was in the past.

Valerie Lewis
NNWFHS

August 2017 Speaker Meeting

On Tuesday, 8 August 2017, at 7:30pm at the Baptist Church Hall, The Green, Attleborough, CV11 4JZ, Carole Haines will talk to us about concepts of personal health and hygiene through the ages, as well as introducing us to some of the more weird remedies employed by our forebears.

Do come along.. there will be an opportunity for you to chat with other members... bring your 'brick walls' along too, you never know who might be there to help you. There is a small entrance charge to cover hire of the hall, but refreshments are included.

There is a small car park in Freer Street, with the gate directly to the Church Hall. We have been advised that fencing has been completed around the car park, and the gate is padlocked; Committee members have access to the padlock code and will open the gate on arrival.  The car park will remain open whilst the meeting takes place, and locked behind us when we leave.  If you are in the habit of arriving early, do not despair… just wait for a Committee member to arrive !

Additionally, may I remind members that, unless I have your explicit consent, none of your personal details will appear either on the website or in the Journal.  If you wish other members to contact you directly by e-mail, letter or telephone, and you have not already done so, please contact me as soon as possible.

Apologies to those who live too far away to attend… a review of the talk will appear in your next Journal.

Later Day Saints (LDS) UK Film Library

We have been informed that, with effect from 1 September 2017, it will no longer be possible to order films via the LDS Library in UK. It seems that all the films previously available on loan have now been digitised, and can be viewed at the LDS, on computer.

June 2017 Journal Issued

The June 2017 Journal has been issued and will be finding its way to members via their chosen delivery method within the next few days. This edition features:

Front cover:  Seckington Church

  • Editor & Chairman's Little Box  p. 1
  • Secretary's Scribbles  p. 2
  • Warwickshire Local Studies Collection – Nuneaton Library  p. 2
  • WDYTYA?.. Live… now Dead!  p. 4
  • Probate Jurisdictions: where to look for Wills  p. 4
  • John Smith? No Problem !!!  p. 5
  • NNWFHS Members' Lending Library – Inventory of Books, May 2017 p. 6  – for further details see website
  • Queensland Australia – archive material relating to Queensland? p. 7
  • Warwickshire Libraries – online resources available to holders of a library card  p. 8
  • Oxford FHS – October event  p. 8
  • Speaker Meeting Report by Val Lewis p. 9
  • Found in the Registers p. 10
  • The Warwickshire Marsdens up to the beginning of the 20th Century  p. 11
  • Found in the Registers p. 15
  • Overheard – earwagging as an aid to research  p. 16
  • Breakthroughs and surprises  p. 17
  • Induction of Rectors at Bedworth  p. 20
  • Some interesting burial details from Warwickshire Parish Registers  p. 20
  • New members & their interests  p. 21

Back cover: Warwickshire "Ancient County" – 1841  Hundreds and Civil Parishes

Remember the journal is only available to Members and for as little as £10 per year members receive four journals and exclusive access to copies of all journals issued since 2009 as part of their membership. In addition they have access to other databases and information put together by the Society that is not made generally available. If you are not already a member Join Now!

New Record Collections Available on Find My Past

Find My Past has added a number of new collections that may be of interest to NNWFHS members who have an account with them:

 

1. Warwickshire Monumental Inscriptions - Click here to access them

 

2. Northamptonshire Baptismal Transcriptions 1559 - 1901 - Click here to access them

 

3. Northampton General Hospital Admissions 1774 - 1846 - Click here to access them

New Help Desk Launched at Nuneaton Library

New Help desk

2017 Programme of Events

2017 Programme

Month COM_JCALPRO_CONFIG_FLAT_VIEW Week Day
Date: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Duration: 2 Hours
COM_JCALPRO_CATEGORIES: Help Desk Meeting*

Help Desk sessions have usual Library facilities for computers, Find My Past and Ancestry.co.uk

 

Held at Atherstone Library, Long Street, CV9 1AX

NNWFHS Meetings & Events

  • Coleshill Family History Help Desk Mon. 21 Aug, 2017 (10:00 am - 12:00 pm) Help Desk Meeting Help Desk sessions have usual Library facilities for computers, Find My Past and Ancestry.co.uk.PRE-BOOKING PREFERRED   Held at Coleshill Library Tel: 0300 555 8171Between High St. & Parkfield Rd, B46 3LD [next to the Swan Hotel]
  • Nuneaton Family History Help Desk Wed. 23 Aug, 2017 (10:30 am - 12:30 pm) Help Desk Meeting Help Desk sessions have usual Library facilities for computers, Find My Past and Ancestry.co.uk AND here only access to access to the full local studiescollection for Warwickshire  Held at Nuneaton Library Church Street, CV11 4DR
  • Coleshill Family History Help Desk Mon. 18 Sep, 2017 (10:00 am - 12:00 pm) Help Desk Meeting Help Desk sessions have usual Library facilities for computers, Find My Past and Ancestry.co.uk.PRE-BOOKING PREFERRED   Held at Coleshill Library Tel: 0300 555 8171Between High St. & Parkfield Rd, B46 3LD [next to the Swan Hotel]
  • Atherstone Family History Help Desk Wed. 20 Sep, 2017 (2:00 pm - 4:00 pm) Help Desk Meeting Help Desk sessions have usual Library facilities for computers, Find My Past and Ancestry.co.uk   Held at Atherstone Library, Long Street, CV9 1AX
  • Nuneaton Family History Help Desk Wed. 27 Sep, 2017 (10:30 am - 12:30 pm) Help Desk Meeting Help Desk sessions have usual Library facilities for computers, Find My Past and Ancestry.co.uk AND here only access to access to the full local studiescollection for Warwickshire  Held at Nuneaton Library Church Street, CV11 4DR

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