300px MontreGousset001 New BBC TV show: Surprise friends/family by restoring a treasured item that has gone to wear and tear

Pocket watch, savonette-type. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Society of Genealogists has just received this press release concerning an interesting new BBC TV programme called Restorers. Sounds interesting and we are sure there are family historians out there with some wonderful family heirlooms in need of some TLC.

 

The Restorers Press Release:

 

Boundless Productions seeking people with treasured items they’d like to restore for new BBC programme

Across the country there are thousands of treasured items now going to rust and ruin in lofts, garages and sheds, which, with a little work, could be brought back to life.

Have you seen an item like this? Is there a special item you would like to have restored for a relative, friend or loved one as a surprise?

TV company Boundless Productions is keen to hear from people who have an object of great personal importance that they’d like to restore as part of a prospective new series for the BBC.

The Restorers team are on the hunt for potential stories now and would love to hear from any readers who have an item of great sentimental value, which, with a little magic, could be restored to its former glory.

This could be anything, big or small, from childhood toys to favourite ornaments, pocket watches, grandfather clocks, vintage televisions and radios, rusty bikes, ageing armchairs, old family portraits, musical instruments, broken Juke boxes, a treasured pinball machine or even a classic car!

It could be something that’s special to you that you’d love to be restored or an object you’d like to restore as a surprise for the well-deserving owner.

To get in touch or find out more please email therestorers@boundlessproductions.tv or call 0207 861 8081 and leave a message. Standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply.

Alternatively here’s a link to the BBC website for details of how be involved with the show http://www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/shows/beonashow/the_restorers

Please send photos of your objects if possible.

See data-protection terms at: http://www.fremantlemediauk.com/data-protection

 New BBC TV show: Surprise friends/family by restoring a treasured item that has gone to wear and tear

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Society of Genealogists Open Day – 23 March 2013

SOG exterior 2 199x300 Society of Genealogists Open Day   23 March 2013The Society of Genealogists will run several Free events as part of its Open Day: Library Tours at 12:30, 1:30 & 4:15, and free advice on starting or furthering your family history. Free lectures: 11:00 – Family History for Beginners, 12:30- Treasures of the Society of Genealogists, 3:00-Finding Birth, Marriage & Death Records. Coffee & tea will be available. Although free, spaces are limited and so must be pre-booked, either through our website by telephone: 020 7553 3290, or by email

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A report on the society’s visit to the Ragged School Museum

ragged 300x257 A report on the societys visit to the Ragged School MuseumWhose Jewish father illegally married his deceased wife’s Irish Quaker sister but allegedly got around the law by marrying in a German church?

Who was born in Dublin in 1845, the sickly fifth child of the second wife and not thought to survive?

Who was encouraged by his mother to go to an evangelist meeting in 1862 at the age of 16 where he ‘found’ Christ and later joined the Plymouth Brethren?

Who was committed to temperance yet it is believed he started his working life as an apprentice to a wine merchant?

Who moved to London in 1866 at the age of 20 to train as a missionary to China?

Who was rejected by the Mission because, it is said, his energy and zeal made him unsuitable?

Who had an incredible ability to organise and whose desk contained an array of pigeonholes for that purpose?

Who, had a timing clock on his desk operated by ivory discs of various sizes each with a time value and, arguably, invented time management?

Who adopted the title of Dr before he was qualified to do so?

Who died in 1905 and was, unusually for the time, cremated with his ashes buried in the grounds of his Barkingside children’s home?

We are, of course, talking about Thomas John Barnardo.  SoG Members and guests were treated to these and many other snippets about his life, by Erica Davies, the Director of the Ragged School Museum on Copperfield Road, Mile End, during a visit on the 21st August 2012.   Yet in over an hour she was only able to scrape the surface of a lifetime dedicated to the poor and needy.

In 1877, Barnardo rented a canal side warehouse to convert to a ragged school and todays museum was an adjacent building which he added to his ragged school in 1895 because of overcrowding.  Copperfield Road Ragged School was not the first by any means but was the largest, accommodating nearly 300 children in day classes rising to over a thousand by 1895.  In addition, there was a playground in the basement for the younger children, evening classes for the older working children and a gymnasium for the boys. The Sunday School was attended by 2500 at that time. The children were also provided with free breakfast and dinner which in 1888 alone amounted to a staggering 68,000 free meals.  The school bell still remains and is shown in the photo below.

His first venture into missionary work with children was in 1866 when he took two cottages in Limehouse and founded the East End Juvenile Mission which ran a ragged school, church services, bible & sewing classes.  It proved to be a turning point in his life’s work.  One evening, a child remained behind and begged to stay the night in front of the fire.  The boy was not only an orphan but was also homeless, sleeping rough on the streets.  It was then that Barnardo discovered there were many similar children who had somehow slipped the Poor Law net and he opened his first boy’s home at Stepney Causeway.

With his unbounding energy and exceptional organisational skills he went on to found not just a few ragged schools but a whole network of institutions aimed at helping the poor and disadvantaged lead more fulfilling lives.  His overriding aim was to save, educate, train and find employment for these children, enabling them to lead decent, Christian, family lives.  He bought the Edinburgh Castle public house and converted it into a Coffee Palace for Working Men.  He created the Boot Blacking Brigade, the City Messenger Brigade, the Wood Chopping Brigade, the Servants Free Registry and Training School, the Factory Girls Club & Institute, the Working Lads Institute and a host of other similar opportunities to help those at the bottom of the human pile to gain their independence through employment.

He produced a relentless stream of pamphlets, aimed at tugging the heart strings in a way that today would be seen as exploitation or politically incorrect and even in those Victorian times got him frequently into trouble.  Yet they helped him to raise during his life time the staggering sum of over £3 million (worth £200 million at today’s prices), without which he could not have helped the  thousands who passed through his hands.  Some of his methods bordered on the criminal but always with the children’s interests at heart.  Sending children to Canada became a contentious issue because of some well publicised failures but there were many hundreds more who were helped to a prosperous life in a new country.  Neither were they sent to fend for themselves.  Before they left, Barnardo ensured that a proper care structure was in place and each child had a bank account into which their wages were paid and saved until they were 21.

His funeral came as close to a State Funeral as imaginable, demonstrating the love and affection the East End had for Thomas John Barnardo.  His body lay in the People’s Mission Church at the Edinburgh Castle for four days where thousands of people came to pay their last respects.  On the day of the funeral, thousands lined the streets, shops closed and the cortege was followed by 1500 boys from his many homes and institutions.

Even now, more than 100 years since his death, Thomas John Barnardo is still an inspiration and led me to seek out so much more of the life story of this remarkable man, beyond the commonly held perception of his Children’s homes and questionable practice of sending of children to Canada.

- Barry Hepburn

The  Ragged School Museum is located at 46-50 Copperfield Road, London E3 4RR. For more information, visit their website

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Whether your ancestor was in the Olympics or not, it is hoped that this series of articles which first appeared in the Genealogist’s Magazine will give you an insight into some of the sources we hold in the library to help you trace sporting forbears. If you have any relevant books on sportspeople that you would like to donate to our collection they would be gratefully received.

Tim Lawrence, Head of Library Services

 

 

Sporting ancestors Part 2: Athleticstrack1 Sporting ancestors: some resources in the Society of Genealogists library   Part 2: Athletes

A good overview of the story of British athletics is provided in the Official Centenary History of the Amateur Athletics Association [PR/SPO]. This lists all AAA champions at Senior, Junior and Youth levels since its foundation in 1880. For athletes from the later 20th century we hold works such as the 1989 edition of Who’s who in British athletics [SoG shelf mark Winter Palace PR/SPO] and Athletics 2003 : the international track & field annual [ SoG shelf mark Winter Palace PR/SPO]

There are also histories of individual athletics clubs such as the City of Hull Athletic Club (incorporating Hull Harriers) 1889-1989: the story so far [SoG shelf mark YK/PER: Hull College Local Archives History Unit reprint no. 16]

The library holds a number of athletes’ biographies such as The great Joe Darby: champion all-round spring jumper of the world [ SoG shelf mark Family history tracts, vol. 247].

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Society of Genealogists Membership Summer Offer

 

Are you struck inside wishing the rain would go away? Need something to occupy your time  while the Olympics is  on? Come and meet some like minded knowledgeable genealogists to help you with your research and make use of the best genealogical library outside the USA.

 

Join the Society of Genealogists this Summer and we will waive the usual £10 joining administration fee meaning the annual subscription is just £47 or a mere £27 for overseas members. That’s just 90p per week if you live in the UK – cheaper than a cup of coffee from a well known American coffee emporium!!

 

image thumb Society of Genealogists Membership Summer Offer

PLUS Receive FREE Family Tree Builder genealogy software on CD

Download a membership application form and quote code SSP12 to gain access to the SoG’s remarkable collections in the library and online

Benefits of Membership

How to Join

 

 

Offer applies to membership taken out before the end of September 2012 and while CD stocks last.

 

 

 

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