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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy New Year from the Norfolk Record Office!