A New Year in 1905

Click on image for larger photo

Click on image for larger photo

These happy dancers at a New Year’s ball in 1905 are just one memory captured in fifteen illustrated journals created by a woman named Hilda Zigomala.

She was the daughter of Charles and Augusta North of Rougham Hall (between King’s Lynn and Fakenham) and was married in the village church to Major Pandia John Zigomala. She began the journals during her honeymoon in 1889, and spent the next thirty years using writing, pencil drawing, watercolour, saved memorabilia and photography to detail her colourful life.

This included travelling the world with her husband, attending balls with royalty and carefree country days spent hunting, fishing and socialising with friends.

This particular image provides a rare illustrated look at a turn-of-the-century Norfolk family’s Christmas and New Year. In large houses there are often account books which may indicate what people were eating at Christmas, and correspondence between people detailing their day. But to have something as visual as this is unusual!

After her only child John, aged just 21, died shortly after the end of the First World War, Hilda stopped making her journals. She writes: ‘These 15 volumes of “my book” contain a more or less detailed account of our life, from the time I married, little more than a girl in 1889, till the time that everything in this life ended for me when our boy was killed in Russia, August 24, 1919.’

There will be an event about Zigomala and her journals in April 2015, so keep an eye on our events page and sign up to our mailing list by sending an email to norfrec@norfolk.gov.uk

Happy New Year from the Norfolk Record Office!

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6 Responses to A New Year in 1905

  1. Michael Begley says:

    Thank you for another fascinating post. Much enjoyed.


  2. you’re welcome Michael. If you have any suggestions or comments about what you’d like to see blogged about let us know.


  3. Terry Sancroft Baker says:

    All of this agrees with the data in my family tree except that I have John Copeland Zigomala’s death as 25th August 1919 (rather than 24th) on board H.M.S. Glowworm rather than in Russia. (sources Commonwealth War Graves site and The Time newspaper Monday, Sep 01, 1919; pg. 1; Issue 42193; col A). Presumably the ship was sailing near Russia or was in port there.
    For anyone interested my tree viewable at http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?db=annedorothy shows details of the North and associated families going back several generations. My connection is via the Sancroft family who lived at Gawdy Hall and Starston.


    • Hi Terry, thanks for your response. In Hilda’s final journal there is a newspaper cutting from The Times, plus a pamphlet from John’s memorial service which do both state that his death was on the 25th, and on the Glowworm. So the only place where I can find the date of death as the 24th is from Hilda’s envoi, which is quoted in the blog post. I will talk to an archivist and they will be able to add a note to our catalogue.


  4. Pingback: A Variety of Ways to Celebrate Christmas: Exploring the many Christmases of Hilda Zigomala | Norfolk Record Office

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