Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oh buoy...

Accompanied daughter to Hull History Centre. She was doing some research into the Grade II listed Trinity House Buoy Shed which, well, used to be a store for buoys when Trinity House was responsible for such matters (according to a Heritage and Development Management document "the former buoy shed is a rare surviving example of a largely unaltered building characteristic of port or harbour installation"). The History Centre is a relatively new facility and it's great, nay fantastic, that there's a 'one stop shop', as brainless marketing turds would have it, for the city's archives. It was also almost guaranteed to attract a herd of strange, eccentric and wayward folk. There was no shortage today, including one chap who appeared to be photocopying almost every historical map the centre holds. Then there were the others, whose sole purpose appears to be not to look at any archive material at all but just to announce, very loudly, what they already know of Hull's history. The staff take all this in good spirits. I was especially impressed with the understanding shown to one chap who turned up at the counter with the strange request "I need you to tell me what my father's real surname was" and another who had arrived with a dusty map that he insisted must be loaned to the archive because "folk will be interested in it." No doubt they all thought we were lacking in something too, as we digitally captured some vaguely relevant documents. Hanging about, while daughter did her thing, I learned some new stuff. Oh, and I laughed at P. Larkin's polka dot bow tie. Anyway, here's Hull, 1852:

4 comments:

Jamie said...

I really must go and have a look sometime. Do you think you need to go with a purpose in mind, or is it interesting enough just to have a mooch around?

Dave W said...

Aye, proper sense of purpose required otherwise it might disappoint. It's a library, really, with the barriers to getting mitts on archive material broken down a little bit. Staff are very friendly and keen to help.

Simon Wilson said...

Dave

many thanks for the comments about your visit to the History Centre yesterday

- we are an archive and a local studies library, just that the 10km of shelves holding the archives are not as visible as the local studies loan stock

Jamie - why not try and book an informal tour and see if this inspires you in anyway

best wishes
Simon Wilson
Senior Archivist
Hull History Centre

Dave W said...

Ooh, hello Simon! How nice of you to leave a comment. I've actually seen the 10km of shelves - I attended the press launch. Great facility.