April 2020 – NHS nurses and entertaining online resources

My mother Chris Blanchard in her nurse’s uniform, early 1950s

My plans to write a blog in March were rather scuppered by the Coronavirus crisis. For me as a self-employed researcher the closure of record offices and libraries has obviously had a major effect on work. Nevertheless, I will be busy for a while yet as I have a large amount of research I had already completed which has to be written up as research reports and family history and house history books. I can also undertake some research online and have my own comprehensive library of indexes and transcripts to refer to. I am still accepting research commissions, but obviously I won’t be able to complete some of these until the lockdown ends.

On a personal note, I have always been appreciative of the National Health Service (NHS), not least because my mother was one of the first wave of NHS nurses. She walked the wards for over 40 years juggling working nights and weekends with raising four children. She was recruited from Ireland as a teenager and competed her training in 1950/51. I also have several relatives who are nurses today. No round of applause is enough for what they do.

I was therefore particularly interested in a recent blog by Norfolk Record Office on nurses training in Norwich. I used the records referred to in this when researching a client’s ancestor some years ago, and vouch for how fascinating they are. It is definitely worth a read for anyone interested in the history of nursing as well as Norfolk ancestors.

Courses, Talks and Articles

Obviously, all the talks and face to face courses I was scheduled to run over the next couple of months have been postponed, and in the process of being rescheduled However, my talk on Tracing a House History for The Family History Show in York will be presented virtually online along with others and an experts panel on 20 June. For more information see the Family History Show website.

My online Writing Your Family History courses are still running at writingyourfamilyhistory.co.uk.

If you would like to read my latest article on tracing a house history see the April edition of Who Do you Think You Are? magazine, back issues can be ordered from their website. The magazine has an offer on at the moment whereby you can buy three issues starting in June for £13.39.

I have also written a guest blog for The Genealogy Show website on some of the online sources that be can found online for tracing a house history. This features some of the recent discoveries made when researching a house in London. You will find it under H is for House on their website.

I have nearly two decades experience in teaching online and was already in the process of converting some of my talks and courses to online offerings before the Coronavirus crisis saw many others in my field rush to do the same. There will be more news on these before long, so do keep an eye out on my website, Facebook page and Twitter.

Tips of the Month

Suffolk Record Office are among the many archive centres producing online resources, tips, newsletters and news while they are closed. These include educational materials and a project to record lockdown life in Suffolk.

My favourite at the moment is ‘Create a miniature Suffolk’, and I completely agree it is one that is suitable for all ages. They are looking for people to make models of their favourite landmarks in the county out of LEGO in preparation for an exhibition in 2021. Once finished you can share photographs of your creation. See here for more information.