A selection of Cumbria’s finest historical treasures are to be showcased by the county’s archive service to celebrate its golden anniversary.
Whether you’ve never stepped into an archive centre or you’re a regular visitor, the ‘Meet The Archives’ project is an opportunity to delve deeper into your local history and get a glimpse of the past.
From the start of April Cumbria’s four archive centres - in Barrow, Carlisle, Kendal and Whitehaven - will be showcasing an individual archive or a small selection from a collection for the first week of every month until the end of the year to mark the service’s 50th anniversary.
For the first week in April, the following collections will be under the spotlight:
- Barrow: Vickers Limited, Training and Development A register of apprentices indentures, Shipyard Department, 1891-1908.
It lists names of apprentices, term of their apprenticeship, commencement and termination date and the details of a parent or guardian. The register also includes wage rates, based on an hourly rate according to the number of years’ service.
- Carlisle: Carr’s of Carlisle
West Cumbria’s links with the Titanic go a long way, but Carlisle got involved as well with Carr’s made biscuits supplying the White Star Line ship on its ill-fated maiden voyage. ‘Thin, short, crisp and slightly sweet’ - the biscuits were specially embossed with the White Star Line logo. In 2001 a similar biscuit was sold for £3,500 at auction.
- Kendal: Lady Anne Clifford’s Great Books of Record A set of volumes that record the Clifford family’s domination of Westmorland and West Yorkshire from the 12th to the 17th Century. Lady Anne Clifford is famous for her long battle to inherit the estate after the death of her father George, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, a favourite of Queen Elizabeth.
They were created when Anne returned to her Westmorland estates at the end of the English Civil War in 1649 and were compiled from the evidence she used to establish her right to her father’s estates. The books offer an incredible insight into the history of Westmorland as well as the Clifford family and its estates.
- Whitehaven: Pennington family of Muncaster If your surname is Graham you’ll be pleased this isn’t the 17th century as you could have found yourself being shipped overseas. This record cover a fascinating episode of Cumbria’s history as James I was attempting to bring peace to the borderland of his two kingdoms - England and Scotland - after hundreds of years of warfare and raiding. One of the strategies used for the pacification of the borders was to expel or exile some of the major offenders, including 50 members of the Graham clan forcibly sent to South Holland in 1605.
Cllr Gary Strong, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet member for the archives service, said: “It’s a great idea to get people interested in archives, especially people who have maybe never thought of visiting one of our centres.
“We’ve invested a lot of time and money in our archives - in our 50th year we’ve opened the incredible new centre in Carlisle and secured the Wainwright archive, and this project will bring even more people in to appreciate what’s on offer.
“I'm sure that many people will take full advantage of this excellent opportunity.”
So simply drop in to take a look, there’s no need to book ahead - just call in to ‘Meet The Archives’ during the first week of every month.
Archive centre opening hours:
Barrow’s archive centre is on 140 Duke Street, LA14 1XW, and is open for the following hours:
Tuesday to Friday: 9.30am to 1pm, and 2pm to 5pm.
First Saturday in the month: 10am to 1pm, and 2pm to 4pm.
Carlisle’s archive centre is at Lady Gillford`s House on Petteril Bank Road, CA1 3AJ, and is open:
Tuesday to Friday 9.30am to 5pm.
Saturday 9.30am to 4pm every second Saturday in the month (open 14 April, 12 May etc).
Kendal’s archive centre is at Kendal County Offices, on Busher Walk, LA9 4RQ, and is open:
Monday to Friday 9am 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, except Wednesday when it’s open until 7pm.
Saturday 9am to 1pm every other Saturday (closed 7 April, open 14 April, closed 21 April etc).
For more information visit: www.cumbria.gov.uk/archives/recordoffices/default.asp
Media enquiries to communications adviser Chris Little on 01228 226685.