New for (Twenty) Nineteen: Spring Term for Primary Schools

We are really pleased we were able to run 2 new workshops over the course of the Spring Term.

Putting on a Tudor Pageant

In January, Year 1 pupils from Charles Darwin visited us as part of the Putting on a Pageant project. The project run by Curious Spark enables pupils to discover the stories behind Queen Elizabeth I’s visit to Norwich in 1578. The pupils started the session by playing a tailor-made indenture game which not only gave questions and answers about the Record Office itself but also looked at Tudor iconography.

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Discovering Sound Recordings and the History of Railways: Spring Term for Secondary Schools

The spring term involved helping 2 local high schools with different projects they have been working on.

Oral History

Firstly we welcomed a group of pupils from Old Buckenham High School as part of their oral history project. The school have been working on a project with the University of East Anglia inspired by Akenfield Now. The initial Akenfield Now project followed a similar format to the film Akenfield which was set in a small Suffolk village in 1974 and tells the story of the last century. Pupils have been using oral history recording to create their own version of the film.

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Building a Future with Volunteers:  The Norwich Building Control Plans Indexing Project

The Norfolk Record Office is embarking on an exciting project working with volunteers to enhance catalogue descriptions and improve access to an otherwise under used collection.  The Norwich Building Control Plans Indexing Project offers a brilliant opportunity for volunteers to work together, develop new skills, and engage with archives.

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The Life & Times of Charles H. Harrison, Broadland artist

Charles H. Harrison (1842-1902) was known for his landscape paintings depicting the Norfolk countryside. Born in Great Yarmouth in a dull neighbourhood, his parents moved to a more comfortable cottage where the first signs of the young prodigy bloomed. Harrison developed an appreciation for all things beautiful, and this was captured in his work. As with many artists then and now however, his skills were overlooked by the education system. He soon gained a job as a decorator where he was mentored by people who also had an eye for detail and wished to express this. As with many young aspiring artists, he declined to follow ‘approved’ models, instead wanting to give his own unique spin. His style is described as bold and distinguished although rather crude and faulty when it came to colour. He was also a perfectionist and ended up destroying a fair amount of his own work, noticing faults which would bypass a less keen eye.

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Legal Battles, Prison Sentences and Requests for Prayers: The Stories of the Owners and Occupiers of Snettisham Farm

King’s Lynn Borough Archive has a huge collection of ancient documents on all manner of subjects, among which is a large series relating to Snettisham Farm. The Farm has a very chequered and interesting history, with one occupier ending up in Fleet prison following a long legal battle and a long term owner being accused unfairly deposing of the land.

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Anchored in Beer and Land – Bullards Brewery Estate Plans

The estate plans for Bullards Brewery date from 1895, beginning shortly before it registered as a limited company when it was recorded that it owned 280 houses and leased 161.  Eight volumes of plans detail their estates across Norfolk and Suffolk (and one in Essex), the vast majority drawn by surveyor Walter Frederick Browne.

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Concentration Camps- for Horses!

It is very interesting being an Archive Blogger and having access to so many maps and documents that provide windows to the past. There is, however, one problem that continually arises when you are researching a specific topic, the distraction of finding other interesting stories. One minute you are on focus and the next, you are off on a tangent; in this case, wondering why during the First World War, there were concentration camps for horses!

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A Murderer in the School: The case of Eugene Aram of King’s Lynn.

When I was a kid in Bradford, one of my favourite weekend outings was to York. Among its attractions was the Castle Museum and the condemned cell, where I first came across the story of Eugene Aram. At that time, it had no significance beyond being a gruesome tale; my only connection with East Anglia was that Bradford City signed a goalkeeper, Johnny Downey, from Wisbech Town, and I had no idea where Wisbech was anyway.

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