Alnwick, Family History Society

The Barbican of Alnwick Castle
The Barbican of Alnwick Castle

Childhood memories

The Alnwick Branch of the Northumberland and Durham Family Society, along with Friends of the Bailiffgate Museum, co-hosted a talk given by Andrew Clarke on ‘Family Life in the North East during the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

Andrew is a well-known writer and publisher of books about life in the region, and works with schools and communities. His talks are presented in a very hands-on way, with use of artefacts, stories and illustrations.

The presentation covered all aspects of life in that era, including shopping, household chores, holidays and entertainment.

By use of familiar objects members of the audience were encouraged to share their personal memories of wash day, cooking and shopping, using their ‘Co-op number’.

Andrew read out short stories that he had collected of people’s memories, such as Christmas Day stockings, childhood visits to the cinema and food rationing.

Almost everyone could remember the toys of their childhood that Andrew had brought along, such as roller skates, skipping ropes, a football and playground rhymes.

Andrew encouraged those present to keep on talking to their family and friends so that this important social history will be remembered. He stressed the importance of recording dates and names of places and people on photographs for future generations.

He also signed a number of his books that were available on the night. Anyone wishing to purchase copies of his books can find them at Bailiffgate Museum shop.

The next meeting of the Alnwick branch of the Family History Society is on Tuesday, October 6, at 7.30pm. Anyone is also welcome to the Family History drop-in help session, to be held on Saturday, September 19, at 10am, at the Bailiffgate Museum.