Find out the past hidden in a name

IS your name Butcher, Miller, Tailor or Freeman?

Do you live in the old streets of Bailiffgate or Pottergate, or the newer estates such as Fullers’ Walk or The Cordwainers?

Find out more about these and other names by taking a step back in time at the Bailiffgate Museum in the Alnwick attraction’s new exhibition What’s in a Name?

Looking ahead to the showcase, which starts on Tuesday and runs until September 2, Bill Matheson, museum administrator, said: “In general, this should be an interesting and quite detailed display of the effects that local trades and guilds had upon the town and the people.

“It’s basically a history piece about how the centre of trade that was Alnwick started, then the trades that flourished thereafter.

“Then the Guilds that formed to protect and promote their own interests, and how workers’ surnames often developed from their job titles.”

There will also be several crafts and activities for visitors interested in the old trades and Guilds of Alnwick and the surrounding area.

The museum is looking for any old photographs, papers and items relating to bygone trades, such as cartwrights, blacksmiths, and farriers.

Anyone who can help or who wants to find out more about the exhibition should email, call 01665 605847 or pop into the museum, which is open daily from 10am to 4pm.

Alternatively, visit

l The museum’s current exhibitions – the textile art display It Happens and the Aln Valley Railway Society’s showcase The Close of the Steam Age – commemorating 45 years since the end of the use of steam trains on the local railway lines – finish tomorrow.