Newsletter No. 15 – July 2021
Well, we have just had about 10 days of glorious weather here in the UK – that’s our summer been and gone! The weather is now set to go back to normal, cooler with showers. Not that I am complaining, I don’t like the heat.
In my last newsletter, 19 July was supposed to be ‘freedom day’ when all restriction were due to be lifted. However what has happened since then we are having a ‘pingdemic’ because of the NHS app. that people have downloaded to their phone saying they have been in close contact with somebody who has tested positive. Luckily, I never downloaded it, but this has resulted in even more chaos than usual.
A decision has been made to re-open the Family History Centre from Monday 16 August when we will glad to welcome visitors once again, members or not. As we still have Covid 19 with us, there have been some necessary changes, we hope you will understand and not be put off from visiting.
The most important change is that there is now an Online Booking System to restrict numbers, no more than 4 people in the centre at any one time. Please do not just drop into the Centre as you will be turned away, it is most important you use the Booking system.
From 10 August, you will be able to find information on all the new procedures, times of opening etc, including how to Book a slot by going to the Midland Ancestors website www.midland-ancestors.uk. From that date (not before), hover your mouse over the Menu dropdown tab ‘News’, and click on the link FH Centre re-opens.
At present, the BMI have hired out the entire building for Health and Safety training, so we can’t say when we will be able to hold our first monthly meeting there.
What I would like is for members who usually come to Birmingham, to let me know when they will be willing to come into a face-to-face meeting in Birmingham. It would be along the lines of the poll that Phil runs at the online talks. These are the questions:
Immediately Within a few Months Not till much later Maybe Not till next year
I would just like to know which of these statement you agree with. You can just send me an email with the word ‘Meetings’ in the subject box and whatever your response is. We can work from that as to starting our face-to-face meetings again.
Penny Smith at Wolverhampton had asked her Group to attend a meeting at their new venue in July, but the response was a bit cool, so it didn’t go ahead but we must start somewhere.
Dave Kerr in London had hoped to recommence their meetings in October, but as the Society of Genealogist Building is not available, he still has to find another venue.
Lesley at Kenilworth also asked her members about face-to-face meetings, but again they were not keen, so for the time being they will still be meeting on Zoom.
We had a very interesting talk on the HS2 dig in Park Street burial ground, Birmingham in July. There are other talks available on HS2, including the archaeological dig in Coleshill. Just put ‘webinar HS2’ in your search engine and click on whichever subject you are interested in.
You may be aware that previous exhumation of bodies at Park Street for the widening of the railway, resulted in bodies being interred in Witton, Key Hill and Warstone Lane.
There is a lovely film called ‘A stroll through Key Hill’ on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4jzG14Qzh4. The cemetery is such a lovely and peaceful place, especially in the summer. The Friends of Key Hill cemetery and Warstone Lane run tours around both cemeteries and their next tour is on Sunday 8 Aug. Tickets cost £5 plus booking fee and are on sale via Eventbrite. They do have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/39076159104. All monies raised go to reinstate fallen and buried gravestones.
On 8 September (7:30 pm – 9:00 pm) John Frearson will be giving a talk via Zoom at Kenilworth entitled Maundy Rodgers. Maundy was an Assistant Surgeon 4th Class from India, and served in France in the seaside town of Wimereux.
On 15 September (2pm – 3.30pm) Ann Simcock will be giving an online talk entitled ‘Spread the net wider and dig deeper’. Ann will show us how we can discover the stories behind our ancestors.
Full details of both these talks and how to register are available on https://midland-ancestors.uk/events
More and More Archives are opening their doors to casual users, although venues such as National Archives would like visitors to use their booking service. Many are also extending their opening hours as well.
The Society of Genealogists have a full programme of Events in August, given by some well-known speakers. Some of the talks are free, others are chargeable. For further details go to http://societyofgenealogists
If you are interested in the Middlemore Home Children project, why not sign up to the Balsall Heath Local History Society newsletter. firstname.lastname@example.org or the Lost Children website is at www.thelostchildren.uk. There is also a facebook page as well.
There was a question recently posted on our BMSGH Members only Facebook page about hospitals in Birmingham. The Library of Birmingham have produced a blog under ‘The Iron Room’ regarding the records held in Birmingham https://theironroom.wordpress.com/2021/07/12/hospital-records-for-family-history/ It also lists other websites where you may find details.
Birmingham library’s catalogue is available online at http://calmview.birmingham.gov.uk/calmview/
Don’t forget to check out the National Archives Research Guides on hospital records.
Staffordshire Archives have an asylum project where volunteers investigate the stories of patients who were admitted to the Staffordshire Asylums during the nineteenth century. To Read more at https://staffordshireasylumrecords.wordpress.com/patients/
Finally, I shall be away at the end of August (Hurrah), so my next newsletter will be in September. Keep safe and I’ll be back in September.
Now where did I put my bucket and spade?