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  • 29th December 2017
Find of the Month – December

  ‘An archaeological Christmas present and thrilling to find!’  This is how lucky archaeologists Tim and Jesse describe our December find of the month – a well preserved medieval oven. Cooking Christmas dinner probably conjures up images of gas hobs and electric ovens. Cooking dinner in this medieval stone built oven would definitely have required a...

  • 26th December 2017
Family History at Christmas

Christmas is often a time when people think about family stories and the past, as it’s a time when many of us meet up with or speak to family. This can inspire us to research our family history beyond what is known, and to check out the family stories we’ve heard. In January we often...

  • 22nd December 2017
Mince Pyes – an experiment

Mince pies are a popular part of Christmas and we expect most of you have had quite a few already. In the past we’ve shared this recipe for Mince Pyes from 1790, taken from a book in the Lechmere archives. Other recipes include gingerbread, roasting lobsters and stewing cucumber the Hanley way. We’ve always thought...

  • 21st December 2017
Christmas Cards

Hopefully you’ve sent your Christmas cards by now? The very first Christmas card was sent in 1843. Whilst we don’t have any that old in the archives we do have a number of cards from the late 19th and early 20th century. We thought we’d share a few with you, although some of them don’t...

  • 21st December 2017
Time travelling Father Christmas

  Father Christmas visiting an Iron Age settlement, a mammoth sleigh ride and festivities at a ruined medieval church – Christmas cards with a difference. Some years ago, our illustrators used archaeological sites we’d worked on as inspiration for festive card illustrations. Below are several we’ve recently rediscovered. Here, Millicent mammoth is pulling Father Christmas’...

  • 19th December 2017
Christmas and Kays

Did you ever go through Kays catalogue, looking at toys and gifts to put on your Christmas list? Or did you work at Kays and can remember people sending in their Christmas orders?   Many people have vivid memories of Kays catalogues, especially in the run up to Christmas when hours could be spent going...