Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas from Worcestershire Record Office

Staff at Worcestershire Record Office would like to wish all our users a very Merry Christmas and very best wishes for the New Year; 2012 looks set to be a year of many changes and we hope they will all be very positive.

We will be back in the new year with our Number One most frequently accessed collection!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Top 10 Archives... No.2

We're almost at the top spot in our countdown of the Top 10 most frequently requested documents at the Record Office. In at Number 2 are our Parish Collections, otherwise known amongst staff as the '850s'; because this is the reference number the collections are given.

Anything with the class mark 850 represents aspecific parish within the Diocese of Worcester. The 850 number will have a suffix of the parish name to distinguish it from the others, ranging from 850 Abberley to 850 Wyre Piddle.

The Parish Collections contain a wealth of information which would be of interest to the Family, Local and Social Historian. They can date from the Sixteenth Century to the present day. The fact that parish registers are amongst these records held will keep them firmly in our top 10. However, they are not just about parish registers. Below are some examples of the other types of sources you may come across within the collections:

Parish registers
Churchwarden's accounts
Queen Anne's bounty
Highways accounts
Vestry minutes
Poor relief accounts
Settlement papers
Parish meetings
Church schools
Constables accounts

The amount of information does vary considerably from parish to parish but you can clearly see how, whether your interest lies in tracing the history of your family, your house, the school, epidemics, population studies and more, you may find some useful information contained within this very valuable class of records.

You can search our holdings of parish registers from home using our online parish registers index.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Preparing to move into The Hive

In February the removal trucks will arrive and our collections will finally start making the move to their new home at The Hive. We have an awful lot of work to do before then to make sure that everything is ready so that it all goes off without a hitch (we'll keep our fingers crossed anyway!).

Newly installed mobile shelving in one of our strongrooms at The Hive.

One of the important jobs that needs doing is that of labelling the new shelves at The Hive. Mobile shelving has now been installed in each of the seven new strongrooms. Lisa and Maggie have been busy recently visiting them to label each of the shelves. This is important for a number of reasons: firstly, it will enable us to tell the removal companies exactly where to put the boxes they are moving; and secondly, it will enable staff to locate the boxes our customers are ordering when we reopen to the public next July.

Maggie checking the proposed system for numbering the strongroom shelves

As you can see from the photographs, Maggie and Lisa are having to wear hard hats and high-visibility jackets, as there is still building work taking place at the moment and it is important to keep safe. We are thrilled to see our strongrooms taking shape; and now that we are close to our moving date we are excited and nervous in equal parts!

Lisa adding labels to the new shelves

We will keep you posted with more photographs from inside The Hive when we start moving in.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Top 10 Archives... No.3

Maps (of all varieties and shapes and sizes!)
Maps show what a place looked like in years gone by and make it possible to track how the land has developed over time; helping to bring the history of the area to life. The Record Office has a large variety of maps for you to look at including:

Map of Church Honeybourne, Poden manor. Surveyed by Francis Allen 1652

  • Ordnance Survey (OS) maps which start in the 1880s.  The sizes vary from 1:1000 or 6 inch and 1:250 or 25 inch. 
  • Tithe maps dating from around the 1840s
  • Enclosure maps from the 18th and 19th Centuries
  • Estate plans - for example the Pirton Map from the Croome collection and the Vernon Estate map book
  • Maps available in the Worcester City collection
  • Goad maps showing businesses in Worcester High Street
  • Public Schemes from 1792 onwards, for examples maps and plans of railways and electricity companies

Map of the Pirton Estates by Mark Pierce, 1623. From the Croome collection.

These collections are very heavily used at the Record Office as they are popular for tracing the history of houses; mapping boundary changes and studying changes in land use over time, amongst many other research purposes. They are used by members of the public, the Archaeology service and also staff from other County Council departments.
If you want to find out whether the Record Office holds a map for the area you are interested in researching, we have an online database available for you to search. Simply select the parish you wish to view from the drop down menu or type in a key word to search. Visit our website now to view the maps database and many others that we have available online.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Top 10 Archives... No.4

Number four in our Top 10 most accessed collection is the Worcester City collection, which has recently been catalogued thanks to a Heritage Lottery Funded project.

The archives of the City Corporation (now the Council) stretch from the fourteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. At almost 1,500 boxes, volumes and rolled maps, it is one of the Record Office's largest collections. It is difficult to do it justice in a few short paragraphs, but the three largest and most complete series of records are the Chamber Order books (from 1540), Quarter Sessions records (from 1710) and deeds (from c.1300, although survival of very early documents  is rather haphazard).  

Elizabeth (Outreach worker) and Kathryn (Project Archivist); members of the HLF funded project team

The archive reflects the role the Corporation played in everyday life in Worcester, from recognisance books, freemen lists, rate books, frankpledge, court books, copies of charters, acts and by-laws, elections, charities, markets, poor law, education, gas and electricity supply, public health, railways, Pitchcroft, militia, the Worcester bridge, turnpikes, the canal, the River Severn, civil defence and motor vehicle registration.

Freeman's Certificate from the Worcester City collection

With such a breadth of subject material, the archive has proved popular with authors, local historians, genealogists and the Archaeology Department. Recently, it was used by members of the public to research the history of the Butts, where the Hive now stands.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Follow us on Twitter!

Don't forget you can keep up to date with the latest news and events at Worcestershire Record Office by following us on our Twitter page: @worcsrecords

Don't forget to visit our History Centre branch

There are still plenty of opportunities for users to carry out research at our History Centre. It's a great place to visit for anyone starting out on their family or local history research. Here's a bit more information:

At the History Centre in Trinity Street, Worcester, we hold microfilm copies of the most popular sources for research, including parish registers, wills and newspapers. We also have an extensive local studies collection (you can search the library catalogue here), as well as internet access that includes free access to Ancestry.

You can view a Worcestershire Marriage Index (compiled by members of the Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry) that covers the years 1660-1837, as well as gain access to an index of Worcestershire Baptisms compiled by the Malvern Family History Society that covers 1750-1839.

 Our friendly and helpful staff will be happy to help you start off on your research.

We are open Monday to Saturday (you can check our Opening Hours here).

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Top 10 Archives... No.5

Messrs. Marcy, Hemmingway & Sons of Bewdley.

This is a collection of over 155,000 solicitors' papers that date from the 14th to the 20th century and cover the whole of Worcestershire. On the face of it this may seem quite stuffy, but it actually contains an Aladdin's cave of information about property and families in Worcestershire and is used for all types of research.

From apprenticeships, marriage settlements and wills to dog, carriage and servants' licences. The collection also includes turnpike gate toll accounts books, for such places as Dunley Scar Gate and Tinker's Gate; accounts of the Queen's own Worcestershire Hussars and Yeomanry and plans of watercourses, properties, farms and estates. It is easy to see why this is such a popular collection as the research opportunities are endless.

Come back soon to find out what is at number four!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Behind the scenes... Video tour of our strongroom

It's time for another instalment of our behind the scenes tour and this week we are taking you into one of our strongrooms for a peek. Have you ever wondered what we get up to when we leave to fetch a box for you? If so click on the link below to find out:


We'll be back soon with more behind the scenes tours.

Friday, 25 November 2011

A final farewell to our County Hall branch

On Monday 14th November, we held an open day event to give our users one last chance to view some of the treasured items from within our collections before we closed for the final time. The day was a big success and people thoroughly enjoyed seeing the documents out on display.

We had a lot of fun opening up the archives for our users to see some of the items that don't normally get issued, such as Shakespeare's marriage bond, a letter sent from the Titanic and letters sent during the Civil War written by Charles I and Oliver Cromwell.



It was very sad to close our doors for the final time and we will miss our many regular users, but we have a lot of work to keep us busy whilst we prepare to move premises.

We won't open at our new home until July 2012, but don't forget there are still plenty of research opportunities available at our History Centre branch, which will stay open until April 2012.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Top 10 Archives... No.6

Number six in our Top 10 most used archive collections are our Quarter Sessions papers.

The Worcestershire Quarter Sessions records date from 1591 and include papers relating to crimes such as adultery, prostitution, bastardy, theft, vagrancy and disorderly behaviour. They were held 4 times a year at Epiphany (January), Easter (March/April), Midsummer (July) and Michaelmas (September). However, the Court was not just about administering justice at a local level. Prior to the creation of the County Councils at the end of the 19th Century the Court dealt with the day-to-day administration of the County which covered business as diverse as the upkeep of roads, licensing alehouses, gaols and Houses of Correction, administering the Poor Law, raising of local militias and their armouries and depots, weights and measures, tax assessments and enclosure awards.

The Session Rolls (Ref: 110) are an assorted collection of papers relating to each case and include Indictments, Recognisances, Grand Jury Presentments, nominations for Constables, lists of Jurors, Poor Law Removal Orders, Examinations, Depositions, Petitions, Licences, Sacrament certificates and Calendars of prisoners (up to 1700).

The Order Books (Ref: 118) record the verdict of the court and provide details of any punishments or sentences passed and the names and ages of the offender with sometimes the nature of the offence. In addition to the judicial business of the court the Order Books also include the Courts administrative business for example the building of a treadmill in the County gaol. The earliest Order Book dates from 1693.

Quarter Session records are often overlooked which is a shame as they can be an illuminating source giving a real insight into people's everyday lives and the role that the Court played in them. For example Session Rolls often contain statements from prosecutors, defendants and witnesses, examinations of paupers and certificates of good behaviour. All these records can help tell a story with the colourful accounts of episodes in people's lives depicted in the witness statements which are recorded pretty much as they were spoken at the time. Such personal and often vivid statements contrast sharply with the rather dry official documents that they are often assumed to be.

The Quarter Session Records have been indexed from 1591-1849 bound volumes on shelves at both branches and there is an online index currently from 1850-1852.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Our last annual stocktaking session at the History Centre

The last ever stocktaking at the History Centre took place on the 7th and 8th November. This is an annual event which gives staff a chance to catch up on work which will help to improve the service we provide to the public. This year our main focus was to prepare our library stock for the move to the Hive and to work on our ongoing parish register microfilm project.

Staff at the Worcestershire History Centre during stocktaking

The local study library books at the History Centre had to be prepared with security tagging compatible with the system that will be in operation at the Hive (this system is known as RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) tagging). Working in teams the staff had to remove every book from the shelves, tag them, enter them on the computer system and then replace them back on the shelves.

Staff adding RFID tags to the History Centre book stock

The staff swapped around every few hours and worked on the parish register microfilm work. This work began last year and has involved the checking of 700 microfilms to make sure that all the labels give the correct details of what can be found on each film. During this stocktaking period old labels were removed and replaced with new labels; queries were sorted and broken boxes were replaced.

Staff working on the parish register microfilms

We've crammed a lot into our two days of stocktaking but some of the jobs will still be ongoing until we move to the Hive as there's a lot to do. We hope to have the books ready by January and the last 200 films will be ready when our new searchroom opens in July 2012.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Top 10 Archives... No.7

Number seven in our countdown of the Top 10 most accessed collections is the collection of Diocesan filing.

What is Diocesan Filing?

Here at Worcestershire Record Office, we have a large collection of mysterious records often referred to by staff only by their reference number—'the 728s'.  These are the records of Diocesan Filing, popularly known as 'parish boxes' or 'parochial boxes'.  These are not, as the name 'parish box' might seem to indicate, the records of the workings of the parish and its parishioners. Rather, they deal with the church building itself: its fabric and any alterations made to it; fixtures, fittings and furniture, such as pews, organs, memorial tablets, stained glass and bells; as well as the churchyard.

They are considered to be the working papers of the Diocesan Registrar, so anyone wishing to consult these records first requires his written permission.

What types of records are typically included?

The material in the Worcestershire parish boxes generally dates from no earlier than the 18th century, but continues right down to the present day.  Faculties are the most frequently encountered class of record.  In the Church of England, a Faculty is required before any alterations to a church's fabric may take place.  The parish submits a petition to the Diocesan Registrar; citations are issued, allowing other parties to voice any objections to the proposed work, and if no objections are raised, the Faculty is granted by the Diocesan Chancellor.  Other documents include certificates of work completed and correspondence regarding alterations, etc. 

How can they be used?

  • Chancel repair liability.  Many Anglican churches have the right to have repairs to the chancel paid for by another party, known as a lay rector. A recent change in legislation dictates that parishes must register this right with the Land Registry before October 2013, or else it will lapse. Records in the parochial boxes may be used in conjunction with other types of records, including Enclosure awards and plans, to determine who has been responsible for paying for repairs to the chancel of a parish church.  We anticipate increasing demand on these collections prior to closing in November, given the impending 2013 deadline.
  • Faculties and associated records can be used to chart changing fashions in church architecture, furniture, fixtures and fittings.  They can also give insight into the impact of changing laws, and provide information about what has happened to features such as memorial tablets
  • Mr Robert Alexander, Assistant to the Registrar for Faculties and one of our regular users, has been examining effects of Ecclesiastical Exemption from listed building controls on churches' exterior, interior, bells, etc.  He notes that what is absent from the parish boxes can often be more telling than what is there.  He has also provided an example of the interesting material that may be found: records of a dispute between the parish of Abberley and the Ministry of Defence, resulting from Abberley's tall steeple interfering with flight paths near Pershore airfield.    

Behind the Scenes... the Dark Room

This week our behind the scenes tour takes us into our Dark Room - the home of our Digitisation and Microfilming team, made up of John and Jonathan.

Our Digitisation and Microfilming team, John (back) and Jonathan (front)

What is digitisation?
Digitisation is the process of creating a digital copy of an item - whether that means taking a digital image of an old document, or capturing analogue audio in digital form

The work that takes place here is vital to the Record Office for a number of reasons:

By creating high quality copies of documents we are able to reduce the need to access the original items. This is particularly important with frequently accessed items as over time a lot of damage can be done by handling them repeatedly; meaning the are unlikely to survive for future generations.

Increasing access to collections
By taking digital images of documents we are able to massively increase access to the information held in our collections, whether that is by making images available online, or by supplying users with images on CD Rom. Many of our users are from overseas and are unable to make the journey over to do research in person. Our digitisation service allows copies of our documents to be viewed in the United States, Canada, Australia and beyond!

Generating income
Our Digitisation Team are hugely important to us as they help to generate income to support the work of the Record Office. Along with orders received from our customers they also do work for external bodies. Recent big projects include digitising the parish registers held by Shropshire Archives and the digitisation of Kays Catalogues dating back to 1920, images of which can now be viewed online here.

Visit our website to find out more about our Digitisation service and how to order copies.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Top 10 Archives... No.8

Number eight in our countdown of the Top 10 most accessed collections are our Electoral Registers:

A perennially popular family and house history resource.  The earliest Worcester City electoral registers held by the Worcestershire Record Office are dated 1837 and the most recent is from 2005.  For the rest of the county we hold electoral registers from 1843 up to 1987.  Universal suffrage was only achieved in the United Kingdom in 1928 so this is something to bear in mind when searching through the registers, just because you can't find a person doesn't mean they weren't living there; they just may not have been eligible to vote.

A sample of a page from an Electoral Register

Electoral Registers are lists of persons eligible to vote in general elections.  The registers are often arranged by street rather than by the name of voter.  This can make searching for individuals on the electoral register time consuming if you do not know their address.  If you do know where someone was living the electoral registers may give some indication as to when a person arrived at a particular location and also when they left.  Therefore electoral registers can be used for tracing previous occupiers of a household.

Lesley, Archives Assistant, collecting Electoral Registers for use in our searchroom

Friday, 4 November 2011

Invite to the 'Last Day' event at our County Hall branch

The County Hall branch of the Record Office closes for the final time to researchers on Saturday 12th November. To mark the occassion of our move and to bid farewell to the branch, we are holding an open day event on Monday 14th November. During the day, there will be the chance to see some of the most prized items in the Record Office collection, such as Shakespeare's marriage bond and a letter sent from the Titanic. The oldest document held at the Record Office will also be on display along with other items which provide a glimpse into the history of the county.

There will be displays giving more information on The Hive and the History Centre branch of the Record Office in Trinity Street, Worcester – which remains open until April 2012, along with a nostalgic look back over the life of the Record Office so far.

There will also be the chance to speak to staff about the archives, the County Hall branch closure and the move to the Hive.

The doors open at 11am and close, for good, at 4pm. You are most welcome to drop in at any time during the day and there is no need to book or reserve a place.

We hope to see you there!

Top 10 Archives... No.9

It's time for the next installment of our Top 10 most used archive collections feature. This week we have the Vernon Family Archives:

The Vernon family are a very old Worcestershire family and have had links with Hanbury, Shrawley and the surrounding area since the early 13th century. Their family seat was at Hanbury Hall, which is now in the care of the National Trust.

The family and estate papers date from the early 13th to 20th centuries and amongst the many thousands of documents are wills, letters, diaries, manor court rolls, property deeds, building and repair reports and accounts, land and property surveys and valuations, catalogues and inventories of household furniture and farm and estate labour accounts.

The collections are used by family historians whose ancestors were estate workers or rented land and properties on the estate. Students search the records for information on land use, landscape gardening, buildings and architecture and the inventories, catalogues and accounts can be used to find out what life was like in a country manor.

We hope you have enjoyed this installment, come back soon for number 8!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Behind the Scenes... Document Reception

Today we start a behind-the-scenes tour of our current branches, based at County Hall and the History Centre. Hopefully by seeing where we are working you will get a better idea of the types of things we do. When we move to the Hive we will let you see behind-the-scenes photos of our facilities there too, and we're sure you will see the massive improvement!

Today we start with Document Reception:

What is it?
Document Reception was originally designed to be exactly that - the place where we received any new deposits of records, ready for sorting. Since we have grown as an office and are struggling for space, this room is now also the place where the sorting, listing and cataloguing of records happens. As you can see from the photographs it can sometimes be a bit of a competition for space.

Who works there?
Maggie (Head of Cataloguing and Head of Repository), Liz (CALM Archivist) and Kat (Worcester City Project Archivist) work down here permanently. When we have Archives Assistants working to catalogue collections they join them down here too.

What will this room be like in the Hive?
When we get to the Hive we will have a lot more room to carry out the essential work that takes place here, with a whole suite of rooms designed for specific activities. These are:
  • Document Reception - for items to be checked when we first receive them before they are then moved to quarantine or the strongrooms;
  • Quarantine room - for items which need to be isolated and cleaned or treated before entering our strongrooms;
  • Cleaning and Sorting room - sometimes documents can be very dirty when they come to us, or sometimes we just have big collections that need space for sorting;
  • Cataloguing and Packaging room - where work will be carried out to prepare online, accessible catalogues for the public to use;
  • and finally a Conservation room for the treatment of records requiring preservation or conservation work.
The new space and facilities the Hive will provide mean that our staff will be able to work a lot more effectively.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Top 10 Archives... No.10

This week sees the start of a countdown of our Top 10 most frequently accessed archive collections. We have checked our document production figures for the last couple of years in order to see what our users are requesting to view most often and here we will let you know a bit about each of the collections featured. 

In at number 10 is...

The Croome collection - the archives of the Earls of Coventry
The Croome collection was created over hundreds of years by the Coventry family and their estates across Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, London and beyond. The unique archive came into public ownership in 2005 as part of the Acceptance in Lieu of Inheritance Tax Scheme, whereby the nation accepts valuable assets to set against tax liabilities. In 2006, after making a case for housing this exceptional collection, Worcestershire Record Office was delighted to be identified as its new permanent home.

Plan of Croome park by John Snape, 1796

The archive includes substantial runs of papers relating to the estates of the family, including plans, rentals, deeds and correspondence. It also includes unique records relating to the building, decoration and furnishing of Croome Court, and the creation and development of the parkland surrounding it, which was Lancelot 'Capability' Brown's first complete landscape work.
The collection provides an invaluable insight into the history of the county and is a very important resource for researchers. The collection held at the Record Office covers the estate archives up to the year 1921. Records created after this date remain with the Croome Estate office. The collection is currently being catalogued and parts of it are now available to search online.

Check back next week for number 9!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Why are we moving?

It's a huge amount of effort to move an entire Record Office to new premises, so some may question why exactly we are doing it?

When Worcestershire Record Office first opened in 1947 it was situated at the Shire Hall in Worcester city. In the mid-1950s additional space was added with the acquisition of the St. Helen’s church and it has been since this date that we have operated across two branches. In 1985 the Record Office moved to a purpose-built building located on the County Hall campus in Worcester. In 2001 the branch at St Helen’s was closed, and a new History Centre was opened on Trinity Street in the city. We have now outgrown our current homes. By moving to the Hive we have the opportunity for the first time in over 60 years to be united together in one building. This means our users will no longer have to travel several miles in order to enjoy the benefits of both of our branches!

So, what are the benefits of having the Record Office branches all under one roof?

Our new state-of-the-art facilities at the Hive will offer:
  • Increased access to our resources - the Hive will be open from 8.30am until 10pm and we will be making available self-service resources during these extra hours, such as surrogate copies of records on microfilm.
  • Increased storage space - which means we will no longer have to keep tens of thousands of our boxes out at external storage facilities. Not only will this save us a lot of money (we currently spend c.£30,000 a year in outstore fees), but it also means our users will no longer have to wait for deliveries to be made from the outstores to view records.
  • Improved storage facilities (which will all conform to the standards set by BS5454!)
  • Space to grow - we will have enough storage space to allow for approximately 15 years of new deposits.
The new facilities on offer will be a vast improvement on our current situation and we hope they will serve to attract new users to our service.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

What is the Hive?

In July 2012 we will be ready to welcome you to our new home at the Hive, in the centre of Worcester. Some of you may be wondering what on earth the Hive is, so here we will let you know a little bit more about it.

Staff visiting the Hive for a tour of their future home

The Hive is a £60 million joint venture between Worcestershire County Council and the University of Worcester, which is being made possible through the help of funding from PFI (Public Finance Initiative) credits. This is a fantastic opportunity to build a partnership way of working, which will provide a bigger and better service for the people of Worcester and all its visitors.

The gold clad building, which has attracted a lot of attention, has already won design awards and has been constructed with aspirations to provide a carbon neutral delivery of services, in line with the County Council's Carbon Management Plan and the University's environmental objectives.

So what will you find inside? The new building will include:
• A fully integrated public and University library
• Worcestershire Record Office
• Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeology Service
• Worcestershire Hub Customer Service Centre

As well as these services you will also find cafĂ© and refreshment outlets, meeting rooms and exhibition and drama spaces. 

Staff inside one of our new strongrooms currently under construction

When we get to the Hive, Worcestershire Record Office will become a joint service along with the Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeology Service and together we will occupy the History floor on Level One. We will be bringing you a much improved service that will include increased access to self-service resources, which will be available from 8:30am, when the Hive opens, until it closes at 10pm.

You can find out more about the Hive by following this link.

We're looking forward to seeing how our service can develop further at our new home, we hope you're excited to join us there!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Getting to know us... Part 4

Here's the final installment of our staff introductions.

(From left to right): Isabel, Admin Support Assistant: Always have to be doing "something". Current fad is crochet – am making loads of crochet flower brooches & hair slides. Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas this year!

Jean, Archivist (Acting): Ray Charles is my number one favourite musician, love music, Jules Holland, gardening, gin and tonic, walks on deserted beaches and looking at the stars, tend to take the mickey, don't take life too seriously.

Paul, Head of Worcestershire History Centre: Supports Middlesbrough FC, and just as proud at being part of our lowest ever crowd as I was in attending our first ever Wembley appearance.

Val, Archives Assistant: I am a keen gardener and use the phases of the moon when planting doesn't work though!!

Beth, Outreach Worker: Loves her baby boy, being by the sea side, activities requiring walking boots, coffee, girly gatherings, any event that requires bunting, old maps, ethereal American folksy music and her husband.  Maybe not in that order. 

Justin, Outreach worker: Actual  job – chauffeur to my progeny. Like a good boondoggle (hoppy beer) and melancholic celtic music!

(Not pictured):
Sandra, Casual Archives Assistant: Chocoholic, absolutely adore puddings.  Can bore folk with info on Worcestershire war memorials and their casualties.  Suffers frequently from 'grannynesia!!'

Lesley, Archives Assistant: Likes: cinema, music, detective stories, Harry Potter, travel, Richard III, art deco,  Johnny Depp and cream scones.  Dislikes: all reality tv shows, and banana flavoured anything.

Teresa, Archives Assistant: Loves baking, studying and competitons.

Steve, Archives Assistant: A bit of a nostalgia addict! I love studying  history, including my lifelong obsessions with railways and steam locomotives, and military history. Chelsea FC supporter and guitarist.

Hilary, Archives Assistant: Can't enter a fabric or craft shop without buying something. Loves modern jive and swing dance, knows all the right moves but not necessarily in the right order. 
David, Local Studies Librarian: Enjoys tennis, modern jive & salsa.  Always pleased when it's an F1 weekend.  Guilty pleasure: watching Challenge TV.
Elizabeth, Casual Archives Assistant: Another chocoholic, fortunately also enjoy gardening, yoga and walking, nothing too strenuous though.

We hope you've enjoyed getting to know us all a bit better. We'll be back soon with more behind the scenes information and a count down of the Top Ten most used archives.