During the Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2014 event, it was great to catch up with various stall holders who, over the years, I have come to call ‘friends‘. Many of us have been attending fairs – publicising societies and running commercial entities – for longer than we care to think about.
Having co-founded the Society for One-Place Studies in 2013, the Society joined the British Association for Local History at the beginning of this year, so I stopped by their stand to introduce myself. And they had some excellent publications on sale…. two of which I bought for myself! One is a new publication from Kate Tiller entitled Remembrance and Community: War Memorials and Local History, a guide suggesting what to look for in ‘studying local war memorials, identifying sources and ideas for researching their creation and ongoing roles in local life’. The other purchase was Internet Sites for Local Historians: a directory, compiled by Jacquelené Fillmore. Published in 2011, this is not ‘new’ to my consciousness and indeed, I have copied down single entries from the booklet before. But now I have my own copy, I am staggered just how many websites I have either never known about, never used or just plain forgotten. Shame on me!
One site leapt off page 18 – Durham Mining – a site with a wealth of information covering County Durham, Northumberland, Cumberland, Westmorland and North Yorkshire; includes reports of disasters, maps showing collieries and pits, examination papers for miners and much more. Oh yes …. much more!
For example 154 years ago yesterday, an explosion occurred at Burradon Colliery, 5½ miles [9 km] NNE of Newcastle, owned by Joseph Straker, with 76 lives lost:
The detail made available on the site is phenomenal and in this case alone includes burial places and other familial information relating to the deceased miners at Burradon, as well as the location of the mine, ownership history, employment patterns and much more. An absolute must visit for anyone with an interest in mining, the area or indeed, one-name studies as there are many Guild registered names in the indexes….