"When discussing the Irish in twentieth century Britain, one could be forgiven for thinking first of the ‘Irish Navvy’, building workers who were as notorious for their alleged drunkenness as for their prevalence on construction sites in post-war Britain... This article will focus on the Irish nursing staff employed at Glenside Hospital, Bristol’s psychiatric hospital from the end of the First World War. This is predominantly based on staff records from the hospital, which were often very detailed and included next of kin, as well as nationality, length of employment, religious affiliation and general comments from the matron on the suitability of the individual for nursing".
The Origins of the Royal Bath & West Society and its Trial Grounds
The Royal Bath & West Society, as it is now known, has its origin in a society founded in the City of Bath in 1777 'for the encouragement and improvement of agriculture, arts, manufactures and commerce'. The founder, Edmund Rack, was soon appointed Secretary and the 1inch pin of the group. He vigorously conducted a wide range of correspondence and guided a programme of field experiments and prizes and rewards for improvements in agriculture and related practices. In this essay, Owen Ward uncovers the story of one of the Society's more 'spirited' and ambitious plans.
History or just story-telling?
In 2007, local author John Payne published his own account of 'the rise and fall of a Bath company', a personal history of the city's engineering firm, Stothert and Pitt. We reviewed the book in RH18 and invited John to reflect upon the process of writing 'industrial history' or 'business history' as 'community history'. For, as he suggests here, there would seem a world of difference between most academic accounts of commercial change, and the sort of approaches taken to the subject by people for whom working for the firm had been formative. What is the relative value, he wonders, of personal histories of the workplace?
A Bristol Apprenticeship: Craft, migration and liberty in the early modern city
The practice of apprenticeship brought many new faces to Bristol throughout the early modern period. In this Article with an introduction by Peter Flemming, Jinx Newley revives the lives of Welsh apprentices from the pages of a surviving Bristol Apprentice book, held at the Bristol Record Office. Looking into the seventeenth century, Margaret McGregor examines the notes of Clerks at the Tolzey Court (which dealt with Bristol apprentices) to find records of teenage runaways.
Invoices from the Past: The household expenses of a farming family in early 19th century Wiltshire
The Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office is home to a remarkably complete collection of invoices from two branches of the Pyke family of nineteenth century Wiltshire. This article highlights just how much information can be drawn from a simple source like a bill or a voucher. Through these sources, archivist Steven Hobbs provides a window not only into the household economy and estate expenditure of the two farms, but also into the local community. A full spectrum of local trades and skilled workers are revived in this short article, along with information about the kinds of products that were available in nineteenth century Wiltshire.
Documents in Context: A fifteenth-century Bristol ordinance concerning aliens.
This is the first in an occasional series in which a document relating to the history of Bristol and its region is reproduced and discussed. The aim is to provide discussion points, not to provide the last word on the issues raised. Peter Fleming investigates a number of sources relating to the growing population of 'non-Bristolians' migrating to the city, and how they were perceived.