When you walk along the highways and by-ways of your town or village, do you wonder about the people who went before you? Or why your village’s roads and lanes are so named? It is easy to understand how ‘Gallows Corner’ or ‘Hanging Hill Lane’ became thus named. But how about ‘New Street’? When exactly was ‘New Street’ a new street? Or who was the doctor that caused your local beauty spot to be so affectionately named as ‘The Doctors Pond’.
Everyone has heard about Henry VIII and his 6 wives, or Elizabeth I and the Spanish Armada. But what about the men, women, and children of Tudor history, the ordinary people (or as the academics so kindly call them, the ‘common sort’)? The parish clerk’s wife who washed the church linen every week for 30 years, the local arrow-maker who became the richest man in the parish, and the local weaver who was dragged to London to be burnt at the stake because of his religion.
Over the coming weeks, months (and possibly years), I will tell you some of the stories of English folk from our rich historical past. There will the local history from my own Essex town and other East Anglian towns – and the impact of the turbulent reigns of Henry VIII and his 3 children on its townsfolk; alongside the tales of cats and dogs who illustrate medieval illuminated manuscripts. I will also write stories of the First World War – the war to end wars – and how it impacted the men and women who left their rural homes for “king and country”
Who am I?
One person can have several identities. I’m a wife, a mother to 2 grown-up children and a 3rd child who is just reached secondary school age, and a grandmother to my gorgeous first grandchild. I was a business IT professional who worked in the City of London for 30 years. I am currently a local historian with a passion for history with master’s degree in local history from Cambridge University to prove that passion.
I can now also call myself an author of history books – my first book was published in September 2014 with two further local history books published in 2015. I also have a passion for the First World War and have spent a great many years researching the men commemorated on Great Dunmow’s War Memorial. My passion for researching the First World War resulted in my book Postcards from the Front: 1914-1919 which tells the story of hundreds of British men and women through through their postcards sent home from the Western Front. My book contains postcards from men and women who were involved in the Battles of the Somme (1916) and 1917’s Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) and many other battles of the First World War.
I am also an author of computing books having written two books about computing way back in the days before the internet. This is one of my books from those days – to my amazement it is (occasionally) still available from Amazon and eBay.
From January 2014, I will be taking part in a new collaboration of genealogists, family historians and local historians from around the world. Worldwide Genealogy, founded by Julie Goucher of Anglers Rest, is collaboration of bloggers with each person taking one date per month to blog their stories. My date is the 18th of each month. I look forward to “seeing you” there at Worldwide Genealogy.