Access Keys:

Skip main menu

27/6/2012 - Victorian crooks highlighted as Archives Service celebrate golden anniversary

Kendal crook John Medcalf
Kendal crook John Medcalf

Kendal crook John Medcalf will appear alongside a host of Victorian criminals from the town in a rare photo collection next week as Cumbria County Council's Archives Service showcases four more historical gems to mark its 50th anniversary.

Medcalf appears as part of the Kendal police photograph album which shows dozens of criminals from the mid to late Victorian era.

This year sees Cumbria County Council's four archive centres - in Barrow, Carlisle, Kendal and Whitehaven - showcasing an individual archive or a small selection from a collection for the first week of every month to mark the service's 50th anniversary.

From Monday 2 July to Friday 6 July the following collections will be under the spotlight:



Barrow archive centre:
Slum clearance
An album of black and white photographs of dwellings and caravans from the clearance areas of Biggar Bank, Carr Lane, Dodd's Yard, New Street and Rampside. The 1935 Housing Act had a dramatic impact on overcrowding and slum clearance in Barrow with 15 clearance areas across the borough which comprised of huts and caravans built mainly of wood, corrugated iron and tarred felt.

Photograph album
An collection of black and white images of local places, characters and events, covering the period from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. Highlights include a scene from the Carlisle tip; a group from the Carlisle Camera Club from around 1900 and a series of photographs of Carlisle paperboys from 1884.

Kendal Police Criminal Photograph album
Criminals arrested in Victorian Kendal appear in this collection, including John Medcalf. He began his working life working in a mill after becoming a soldier he turned to poaching. Come and find out about his family what turned him to crime.

Welcome to the British Summer
"And here is the weather for Whitehaven and the surrounding area: sultry winds with occasional gleamings. This evening the heavens were a perfect blaze with vivid and incessant sheet lightning through to the night." Weather descriptions are a bit different now but these were the observations of Whitehaven's John Fletcher Miller who kept weather records from aged 15 until his death. The collection spans from 1832 to 1854, so come along and see how lovely the summers were back then.

Archive centres opening hours for the first week of July:

Barrow's archive centre is on 140 Duke Street, LA14 1XW, and is open for the following hours:
Mondays - closed
Tuesday to Friday - 9.30am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm (open until 7pm on Wednesday) First Saturday of every month (open 7 July, 4 August, 1 September, etc)

Carlisle's archive centre is at Lady Gillford`s House on Petteril Bank Road, CA1 3AJ, and is open:
Monday - closed
Tuesday to Friday 9.30am to 5pm.
Saturday 9.30am to 4pm every second Saturday in the month (open 14 July, 11 August, etc).

Kendal's archive centre is at Kendal County Offices, on Busher Walk, LA9 4RQ, and is open:
Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm.

Whitehaven's archive centre is at Scotch Street, CA28 7NL, and is open:
Monday to Friday 9.30am to 12.30pm, and 1.30pm to 5pm (open until 7pm on Wednesday) Saturday 9am to 1pm every other Saturday (open 7 July, 21 July, 4 August, etc)

For more information visit:

Media enquiries to communications adviser Chris Little on 01228 226685.