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Author Archives: Barbara Selby

A Meeting with Gentleman Jack

It seems unlikely that the forthcoming adaption of Anne Lister’s diaries by the BBC will focus on either of the elements that I found most interesting.  In The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister as edited by Helena Whitbread ‘Gentleman Jack’ devotes an impressive amount of time to mending her own clothing, particularly her underwear … Continue reading »

Categories: 19th Century | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great-great grandpa gets a parking ticket

If you thought parking tickets were a relatively new invention, think again, the ever interesting Huddersfield Chronicle has turned up a story about John Arthur Liversedge, my great-great grandfather that would be familiar to many a tradesman today. When my great-grandfather Alfred John Liversedge was born in 1854 his family lived in Huddersfield where his … Continue reading »

Categories: 19th Century, Men of God, and of Commerce | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Great-Grandma’s recipe book

  My great aunts recipe books have long fascinated me so when today I was sorting boxes to try and kick-start my research into their father’s life I allowed myself to distracted by one.  To call it a recipe book is rather misleading as the pages have long since detached themselves from the cover.  It … Continue reading »

Categories: 20th Century, Before 1st World War, Strong Women | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Another family bible, another distraction

When I visit my uncle I usually bring back something intended to help me with my family history; sometimes an old document or a 1920s guide book to London but recently an old, very large, family bible. Whether this is our family bible is a moot point, certainly it’s someone’s family bible. It records births … Continue reading »

Categories: 19th Century, How we write, Legacies, Men of God, and of Commerce | Tags: | 1 Comment

Christmas trees and memories

Among the many boxes of other people’s memories stored in my attic are a few that hold my own. At Christmas, when we bring down the boxes of decorations, some of these take the spotlight for a few days. Every year one particular small, faded Christmas tree sits on my dining room mantelpiece; it belonged … Continue reading »

Categories: Festivals and Customs, Miscellaneous | Tags: | Leave a comment

Mr Punch’s History of the Great War

Of all the books I’ve acquired from relatives over the years one of my favourites is Mr. Punch’s History of the Great War.  Published in 1919 by Cassell and Company and edited by Charles L Graves (1856-1944) it uses extracts from Punch magazine to “provide a mirror of varying moods, month by month, but reflecting … Continue reading »

Categories: Books we've read, World War One | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Great- grandpa learns “when to say no”

Browsing the Huddersfield Chronicle archives I came across an article that may reveal how my great-grandparents met. In the newspaper of 3rd January 1874 is a report of the annual meeting of the Brunswick Street Sunday School which took place on New Year’s Day when “considerably over 300 persons sat down to an excellent tea”.   … Continue reading »

Categories: Miscellaneous | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Engineering dynasties – The Lighthouse Stevensons

  I have just finished reading Bella Bathurst’s “The Lighthouse Stevensons”, the story of the family of engineers who built Scotland’s lighthouses.  The book was our reading group’s choice for June and I began reading it as an well written, engrossing family story but then started to find it an unexpected source of material, both … Continue reading »

Categories: Books we've read, How we write | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Great-grandpas airship and Zeppelins over London

  Last year I wrote couple of blogs about a largely unrecognised element of the First World War story; the Zeppelin bombing raids over England and the competition to develop a British airship to rival the German Zeppelin.  My focus was my great-grandfather’s attempts to persuade the War Office that his airship design would both … Continue reading »

Categories: World War One | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Great- Grandpa writes from St Petersbourg 1912

  The last letter I have that my great-grandfather, Alfred John Liversedge (AJL), wrote to his children is from 1912.   He is writing to my great aunt, his elder daughter Ethel, by now she is 24 and a young woman.  He is with two companions in St Petersbourg in April 1912.  This is the time … Continue reading »

Categories: Journeys | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment