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Tynedale Branch / Tynedale branch meeting 12 March 2015
« Last post by Susanne on March 05, 2015, 11:15:08 AM »
AGM followed by
Agricultural and weavers riots in the 1820s
Thursday 12 March 2015  7pm Community Centre, Gilesgate, Hexham
North Northumberland Branch / ANCESTRAL ODDITIES SAT 21 MARCH
« Last post by Vglass on February 28, 2015, 12:26:28 PM »
 Our next meeting will be on Sat 21 March 10 am at Bell View, Belford and will be a Members' Forum. Bring along your stories of ancestral eccentricities, record-breakers, anything noteworthy, unusual or amusing.

 Do you have an ancestor who became a centenarian?
 An ancestor who married an unusual number of times?
 A family of enormous proportions?
 An ancestor with an unusual occupation?

We look forward to hearing interesting and unusual facts and anecdotes! If you don't have any, then come anyway and listen!
« Last post by Vglass on February 28, 2015, 12:21:22 PM »
Meeting:  February 2015

Nineteen people were at Belford to hear Michael Fraser's talk 'The Lamps Went Out', about the political involvement of Sir Edward Grey (Lord Grey of Fallodon) at the outbreak of the Great War.  We heard that though his political work as MP for Berwick and as Foreign Secretary for 11 years was well documented, the destruction and loss of his personal papers has made it difficult for the historian to learn over much about the private motivations of this famous Northumbrian.  In August 1914, Grey was a widower of 52 with failing eyesight.  His tenure of office may well have ended sooner had it not been for his sense of loyalty to his political masters and country at this time of crisis.  In some ways he seemed unfitted for his role - largely untravelled, unversed in the diplomatic language of French, and with interests and hobbies that rooted him in country pursuits.  Yet he came of experienced political and military stock and brought to his work the sort of radical liberalism that was inherited from his personal education at the hands of Mandell Crieghton (Vicar of Embleton and later Cambridge Professor and Bishop of London).

Many A level students have found themselves feeling confused about the 'causes of the Great War', and historians haven't always agreed but our speaker endorsed Christopher Clark's view that various governments 'sleep-walked' into the conflict - totally unaware of the potentially calamitous consequences that would unfurl as months of fighting turned into years.  Grey's words were indeed prophetic:  "The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time".

Apart from the diplomatic exchanges before and during the conflict, Grey was well remembered for having made an honest and dignified moral case in the House of Commons for Britain (and the Empire)to go to War.  He was spoken of by the American President Roosevelt as a 'high minded public servant', but was released from office two years later, both 'aged and broken'.  There was however, to be more personal happiness for him and affirmation of his contribution with the ambassadorship to the USA, Chancellorship of the University of Oxford and an earldom.  He died at his beloved Fallodon in 1933.  Members were grateful for Mike Fraser's careful and balanced introduction.

The Society's next meeting will be on March 21 10am at Bell View Resource Centre, Belford, when members will be sharing some 'ancestral oddities'.  Newcomers are always welcome.
Tynedale Branch / Report of February 2015 Tynedale meeting
« Last post by Susanne on February 14, 2015, 01:47:59 PM »
Meeting: 12 February 2015   Liz O’Donnell Voices of Stannington Sanatorium (Local link: Hexham Hydro in WW2)

Woodhorn holds many records from the Stannington Sanatorium which closed in the 1980s.  It was one of the earliest sanatoriums built just for child patients.  The records included medical notes, x-rays, patient background etc.  In 2013 Northumbria HealthCare Trust helped with funding to interview past patients and staff and the Wellcome Trust supported a project to digitise the records. One of the main reasons for this is that although TB was practically eradicated in Britain by the 1960s, with new drugs like streptomycin, it is now coming back in the UK.  However many of the younger doctors have never come across cases and these records will be invaluable teaching aids.   The original impetus for a children’s sanatorium came in 1905 from the ‘Poor Childrens Holiday Association’ (now Children North-East).  This body did much to help children, especially the poor and vagrant with a variety of solutions, like schools, shelters and medical care.  It opened in 1907 with 40 beds but rapidly expanded with more wards and a glass pavilion.  Fresh air and sunshine were the main methods but the site also had its own radiology and surgical departments.  The vast majority of the patients, who stayed for months or years, were urban poor from polluted and overcrowded areas where TB could quickly spread from an infected resident.  Liz described the case notes of some of the patients she interviewed and showed some of the photos they had kept.  Several of the people she talked to were transferred to Hexham Hydro during the war when Stannington was requisitioned for wounded soldiers.  The Winter Gardens glass orangery was used as large ward, painted green, while the former hotel rooms became wards and nurses’ quarters. On both sites conditions were spartan.  Visitors were only allowed every two months, later relaxed to monthly visits.  Several of the nurses had had TB when younger, which solved the problem of risking their being infected.  They were often quite young as you could train as a TB nurse at 17 instead of 18 for general nursing.  Many patients remembered them with affection.  TB had a stigma and many of the former patients had avoided talking about their time in hospital until the Voices of Stannington project came along.  All the information has been anonymised, in accordance with the 100 year rule protecting patient information.
Much more information about it can be found by putting Stannington Sanatorium into Google along with terms like flickr, archive, Facebook or blog.
South Tyneside Branch / Fenruary 2015 Meeting notice
« Last post by geoff on February 08, 2015, 02:58:42 PM »
     The February Meeting of the S Tyneside Branch will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday February18th, in the usual place - the Visitor Centre of St Hilda's parish church, adjacent to South Shields Market Place.

     Our speaker will be Dr Douglas Burdon, on "The Durham Wills Project".  Given that Durham University have done a lot of work on the pre-1858 probate documents in their care, plus they have allowed the LDS to put on-line first a detailed list of them, followed by facsimiles, plus a few years ago the NDFHS published five volumes containing ALL the names mentioned in Wills proved at Durham 1787-1803, plus an interest from the Surtees Society which began in the mid-19th century and is still active today, this new project of the Society's, run by Dr Burdon, should be very useful, if only to clear the waters as to what can now be found where!

     In case anyone thinks "My family had nothing to leave, so there won't be anything for me in the Wills", I should mention that at the time of the last NDFHS project we estimated that of all those who legally could leave a Will, roughly 11% actually did so.  That is a much higher proportion then anyone had expected, so when we add in the chances of absolutely anyone having been mentioned in someone else's Will, even if only as the occupier of the testator's property, we all could have valuable information just waiting to be discovered in Durham University's Probate Records.
South Tyneside Branch / January 2015 Meeting Report
« Last post by geoff on February 08, 2015, 02:40:38 PM »

     Nine members and a guest attended the meeting held on 21st January, the theme of which was "Old Family Photographs".

     Several members brought along exhibits from their family albums, which ranged in age from one of the earliest photographs taken in the 1800s right up to the present day.  We heard stories and asked questions about ancestors' exploits in the Navy in the late 1800s, an American adventurer who settled in North Shields and the 1850s and who ended his days in Tynemouth Workhouse, a 1912 family wedding in South Shields, a WWI soldier awarded the Military Medal, followed by Merchant Navy Officers and a ladies' day charabanc trip, both of which were believed to have been taken in the early 1930s.

     An interesting and lively discussion followed, one of the aspects of which brought to the fore the many characteristics we inherit from our forefathers.
Meeting of NDFHS Durham-Belmont Branch 1.00 pm Wednesday 18th February 2015 at Belmont Community Centre, Sunderland Road, Gilesgate, Durham (DH1 2LL for those of you with satnavs).  Guest speaker will be Alastair Laws who will be giving a talk on "The Infamous John Law". 
Please come along - everyone is welcome!
NDFHS Wansbeck & District Branch meeting to be held at Pegswood Community Hub, Longhirst Road, Pegswood, on Wednesday 4th February 2015 at 1.30 pm.  Barry Mead will be giving a talk on "Old Whitley Bay".
North Northumberland Branch / Correction
« Last post by Vglass on January 21, 2015, 11:09:05 PM »
The date of our next meeting is Sat 21 Feb not 24 Feb as stated in earlier post.
Since our London Branch only meets three times per year, the following is a list of their meetings scheduled for 2015:-

"Hens that want to crow - Suffragists & Suffragettes of the North East of England " (Liz O'Donnell)

"Life on the Home Front on Tyneside in WW1" (Anthea Lang)

"The Teesdale Hermit" (David Butler)
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