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Working in partnership

From Wiltshire Local Studies and Wiltshire and Swindon Archives Service





Issue 407 February 2016 Library orders from Wiltshire List by 29th February 2016 Edited by Michael Marshman

In this issue:

Events at the History Centre ‘Puppet on a String’ by Pelham Puppets Find Us on Flickr!

Sources for Local History Course What’s New on the Blog Know Your Place West of England – Latest News Take a Dramatic Look at History this Spring at The Pound, Corsham The Great War February 1916 Wiltshire List Events at the History Centre Tuesday 23rd February 2016 at 10.30 Our Principal Archivist will ensure that you don’t feel lost when confronted by a variety of Latin for Family History with Claire Skinner Latin words when researching your family tree. Once you have grasped ones in common usage in the documents that you’re likely to use life will become much easier!

Thursday 10th March at 2.15 A fascinating probe into this town’s past using archaeological evidence unearthed in recent The Archaeology of Chippenham with Mike Stone years, given by visiting guest speaker, local author and historian, the ever popular Mike Stone.

Thursday 24th March at 2.15 Looking for our Ancestors in Wiltshire Institutions with Margaret Moles A popular talk which will enable you to search the Wiltshire archives for our less fortunate family members in workhouses, asylums and prisons. Most family historians will find that they need to do this at least once in their researches.

These talks will take place in the Education Room, off the Reception area, of the History Centre at 10.30 a.m. Please arrive a few minutes before the start of a talk.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Help Desk in the History Centre or can be reserved (payment by credit/debit card, or by cheque, for 2 or more tickets) on 01249 705500 (Tuesdays to Saturdays 9.30 – 5.00). Numbers are limited so please buy your ticket in advance and you can collect them at the Help Desk on the day of the talk, or earlier.

Admission for talks £3.00 ‘Puppet on a string’ by Pelham puppets Many of us will remember owning a Pelham Puppet in our childhood, a popular toy if you grew up in the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s and you can see above the appeal they had. Who remembers aspiring to a full theatre with various characters and “putting on a show” for friends and family? As part of our Creative Wiltshire project, see www.creativewiltshire.com we have added to our existing archive here at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, collection ref.


The company was started by Bob Pelham and based in Marlborough and later Collingbourne Ducis; it was known as ‘Pelham Puppets’ from 1948, producing a variety of puppets held together with string. There were various characters, including Disney characters from 1953, and Pinocchio was one of their most popular puppets. They invited new owners to join the Pelpup Club and produced regular journals. We have a collection here as part of their archive and have recently been able to fill some gaps thanks to a large auction of Pelham material held over the last few months in Derby. Other items purchased include a collection of photographs showing their premises and production techniques, a number of puppets including Red Riding Hood and Dutch Boy, and a squirrel glove puppet, see above, as well as a kit to make your own puppet with various instruction sheets.

Our intention, as part of our Creative Wiltshire project, is to use the puppets for educational purposes, inspiring students and school children to understand the construction of the puppet and the creative and scientific process involved. If you would like a glimpse of this newly acquired material we have a small display in the main reception area at the History Centre, so take a look on your next visit to us and evoke some of those childhood memories!

Find us on Flickr!

We have recently launched a Flickr photo-sharing page. Take a look at https://www.flickr.com/photos/wshc/ We want to showcase some of our varied collections and will be updating the page with new photos each week. If you have any suggestions of anything you would like to see please email naomi.sackett@wiltshire.gov.uk

Sources for Local History Course

We have now fixed the 10 sessions for our 2016 local history course at the History Centre and can give you the opportunity to make an early booking and avoid disappointment.

Understanding the history of your community helps you to understand the area in which you live while the information that you uncover will be of interest to your friends and neighbours.

This course is designed to make you familiar with the sources that you will need to research nearly any aspect of your local history. You will be using original documents and other materials and each session will have some exercises to make you familiar with the sources.

We have to limit this course to 18 participants and I’m afraid that you cannot book individual sessions. The course fee is £45.00 and tickets may be purchased in advance at the Help Desk in the History Centre or can be reserved (payment by credit/debit card, or by cheque,) on 01249 705500 (Tuesdays to Saturdays 9.30 – 5.00).

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5th April Introduction to the course; tour of strong rooms; introduction to local history and printed sources, with Terry Bracher, Steve Hobbs and Robert Jago 12th April The uses of printed and manuscript maps with Claire Skinner and Michael Marshman 19th April Estate and manorial records with Claire Skinner and Ally McConnell 26th April Parish Records, including the Old Poor Law, with Ally McConnell and Robert Jago 3rd May Local government records, including the New Poor Law, with Claire Skinner and Terry Bracher 10th May Quarter Session records and their uses with Steve Hobbs and Michael Marshman 17th May Diocesan and probate records with Steve Hobbs and Robert Jago 24th May Business records and local industries with Claire Skinner and Michael Marshman 31st May Housing through the centuries with Dorothy Treasure and Michael Marshman 7th June Education and school records with Ally McConnell and Terry Bracher

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Don’t forget to follow us on social media:

Know Your Place West of England – Latest News We are a partner in this project and would like to share the latest new relating to the lead partner in the project with you. It provides a picture of what will be available for Wiltshire in the future.

For the first time, historical maps of South Gloucestershire are now freely available online thanks to the Know Your Place West of England project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Know Your Place is a free digital mapping resource that enables you to explore your neighbourhood online through old maps, archive images and linked information. Know Your Place West of England is an ambitious extension of the Know Your Place Bristol website, which launched in 2011.

South Gloucestershire has now been added to the resource, more than quadrupling the area currently covered. Historic Environment Record data is available alongside the maps, providing a valuable research tool for everyone; from school children to family historians, planners to enthusiasts of community heritage.

You will also be able to upload and share your own information about the area, helping to build a rich and diverse community map of local heritage for everyone. From Severn Beach to Thornbury, Wickwar to Marshfield, Yate to Kingswood, and Warmley to Filton – you can now discover how South Gloucestershire has been transformed over time.

Over the coming months, the Know Your Place West of England project will extend to include the counties of Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, North Somerset and Bath & North East Somerset. The website will continue to grow as more resources, including enclosure and tithe maps, as well as drawings and photographs from archive and museum collections, are added.

To start exploring South Gloucestershire’s maps and heritage information visit the new The Know Your Place West of England website www.kypwest.org.uk. The website also features an accompanying blog where you can follow the project’s progress.

Communities Chair Cllr Heather Goddard said: “There will always be new things to discover and share on Know Your Place and anyone can help contribute to this fantastic resource. We invite everyone in South Gloucestershire to view the maps and share information about your own local heritage – whether it’s the well at the bottom of your garden, a family photo of your street during a Jubilee party, or an unusual feature of your favourite building in your hometown.” Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “Know Your Place West of England will be a fantastic resource, bringing together the history of this area so people can discover the ever-changing make-up of the places where they live and work. If you have bought a National Lottery ticket recently, you have helped to support these types of projects that are preserving the precious heritage of our communities for future generations. Thank you.” The Know Your Place West of England project was awarded £379,800 be the Heritage lottery Fund, with generous match-funding and in-kind support from local authorities and heritage groups within the region, including £5,000 match-funding from lead partner South Gloucestershire Council.

For more information and to view the map visit www.kypwest.org.uk Project partners include: Avon Industrial Buildings Trust, Bath Record Office, Bristol & An image of one of the historic maps attached depicting Thornbury in the 1880s.

Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, Bristol and Avon Family History Society, Bristol City Council, Bristol industrial Archaeological Society, the British Library, Friends of Gloucestershire Archives, Gloucester City Council, Gloucestershire Archives, North Somerset Council, Somerset Heritage Service, South Gloucestershire Council, South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group, Thornbury Museum, Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council, and Yate & District Heritage Centre.

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Men in Sutton Veny Camp meet foxhounds of the South & West Wilts Hunt A follow up letter to the one in our January issue from a member of the New Zealand forces stationed in this country to his English cousin. It’s interesting to reflect that the war gave an opportunity to some young Anzacs to meet English relatives that they would never otherwise have seen.


These are books that we are adding to the Wiltshire Collection at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre; we attempt to acquire all published material relating to Wiltshire. If you wish W16 – 017 Brook, Jeremy to buy a copy you will need to contact your local bookshop, or the publisher direct.

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