Yesterday some of the members of the Friends of the Archives and myself were invited in for the last time to help pack up boxes and about 8 people turned up. The desks where the micro-fiche and film readers had sat had been dismantled, the room was full of packing boxes for the books, we couldn't even get at the coat hooks or the lockers, so for the first time ever we were allowed to put our coats on the back of our chairs. GB, the local studies librarian/archivist, asked me to carry on transcribing the red folders (see my previous post for details) and the others did an assortment of jobs around repacking and sorting boxes of photographs.
I even joined the group at coffee time and had a glass of water with them for the first/last time. One member made his farewells in such a way that we understood him to be saying that he wasn't sure if he would last until next May when the Archives reopens in the Barnsley Experience at the Town Hall. He's not been well and has been getting visibly worse over the last month. I do hope he's wrong and that he gets to see the new facilities - but the tears were pricking at the back of my eyes when he spoke.
The Friends of the Archives group support the work of the Archives by holding talks, doing raffles and selling tea, coffee and biscuits and so on. Last week at the 'fuddle' the Archive staff put on for everyone they handed over another £100 to the Head Archivist Paul Stebbing. Various chairs, trollies and other items in the Archives are nicely labelled "Bought with the donations from the Friends of the Archives", it does make you wonder how they are going to manage to keep the new museum going when the intital funding runs out if Barnsley Council can't even afford new chairs for the Local Studies Library.
I've been allowed to bring two of the red folders home to give me something to be getting on with. I chose two that contained records from town centre Methodist chapels as there's always the chance of finding one of the OH's ancestors in them.
I've got: Wilson Piece Methodist, Westgate Methodist, Salem Blucher Street Independent and Honeywell Methodist to do. There's also an unfinished transcription of the New Street Methodist New Connexion Chapel which someone else had started. That'll keep me busy and be a change from OU and Family History whilst I'm sitting here under the weather.
|A sample of the information on the old transcriptions|
This is what I got for the top line of the table:
apt ism Date Birth Date Surname -- Childs Name Parent Ch~istian - -- - Name.Wifes Maiden Nam Born Parish Of Abode ~ounty ofYork Trade/Employment
Not good I think you'll agree. Pushing up the dots per inch on the scan just made things worse as it started picking up scuff and dust on the page as well. So this is what I'll be doing ...
|Pdf of old transcription with Excel open on top|
Even local Barnsley people may be wondering where or what on earth Wilson Piece is?
A thesis submitted to Warwick University (Kaijage, Fred J. (1975) Labouring Barnsley, 1816-1856 : a social and economic history. PhD thesis, University of Warwick. [Accessible online at: http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/34689/] says the following about the area:
|A cutting from Kaijage, Fred J. (1975)|
Searching on the Old Maps site I think I've been able to pinpoint the chapel to the corner of John Street and Heelis Street, in the upper right quadrant of the map below.
|The Wilson's Piece area from the 1852 Town Plans of Barnsley on Old Maps|
The records that I have for the chapel run from 1822-1837 and that is all that is recorded for this chapel on the National Archives listing for the Wilson Piece Chapel. The congregation appears to have moved to the Westgate Chapel according to an extract from the 1851 religious census.
|Extract from the 1851 religious census - found on Google Books|
By 1889 the map shows a Temperance Hall on the site. Probably the same building, but re-used I suppose.
|A section from the 1889 Barnsley Town plan on Old Maps|
showing the corner of John Street and Heelis Street
|Probably the building that was Wilson Piece Methodist Chapel, but at a later date.|
Lots and lots of the OH's ancestors lived in this area until it was demolished in the 1960s. Hopefully some of them will turn up in the various registers. I will save all these map bits and pictures - I've enjoyed my romp around the web collecting this information.
Bye for now.