Archive Custodian

Along the way, I have collected or accepted documents with relevance to community history (late 19th Century to 21st Century).

The documents are on diverse subjects. Where a document has particular interest, and is not already publicly accessible, I seek a suitable public archive library willing to add the document to its collections.

Thus, donated or deposited documents become accessible free of charge for anyone interested in studying them.

For example, Bulwell Church Institute 1886-1979: the story of a club by R T Terry is now held at Nottinghamshire Archives. After reading Bill of Bulwell by Bill Cross [Powright Press], Mr Terry wrote to me about the Bulwell Church Institute. He was Games Secretary, Secretary and President of this Institute from 1968 to 1980 and remained a trustee. To make way for the Bulwell Byepass road, the Institute was pulled down and moved to a new building in 1979. Mr Terry had access to all the old minute books and ‘a great mass of material’ which accumulated over the years.

He told me that: “for many years the Institute was just about the only social amenity in town, serving as club, meeting place and community centre. Ties with Bulwell Church were broken in the 1940s when the Institute became a charitable trust.” He added: “I soon realised the material contained far more than a mere record of the goings on of the Bulwell Church Institute. They, in fact, constituted the raw materials of the social history of a closely knit community . . . The years 1900 to the outbreak of the First World War were the great years of the [Church] Institute movement. Those expansive Edwardian days saw the working man breaking out of his Victorian straightjacket.”

The author brings the history alive, including reports like: “The Rector of Bulwell came down from his pulpit for a game of billiards.” This hardback bound 146-page typescript book includes photos. Mr R.T.Terry died in 2004. His work is copyright. Extracts may be quoted (if acknowledged) in research. The whole or a substantial part of his typescript book may not be used in any form without consent of his executors (via Ruth’s Archive).

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