My greatest pleasure in work is to get out and research the historical notes for a map. I used to walk 6 or 7 miles around a map but I'm afraid these days the distances are a little shorter - and sometimes I succumb to temptation (and my free bus pass) and get the bus back to the station, or wherever I've left the car. Nevertheless, some maps, such as the recent ones for Leeds, have pushed my dodgy knees to the limit. Nowadays, too, I am more likely to stop overnight, hopefully giving me the chance to research two (or more) maps, rather then do the journey there and back in a day - and if you live in County Durham, then most places are a long way from home. But age and complaining knees aside, these perambulations are not made any easier by the current crisis in our pubs. It is bad enough finding it difficult to gain access to churches, but often I now find that pubs, my historic source of rest and recuperation, are closing down, as this sad photo from Ossett, of pubs scarcely half a mile apart, shows.
Even in Northern Ireland there can be problems, as with this nice-looking hotel in Hillltown, which hadn't yet opened its doors when we arrived. As you can see, the weather was threatening too! But at least in Ireland there is normally a cafe open, unless you make the mistake of trying to research on a Sunday.
I am just back from Middleton, a Lancashire cotton town with a fascinating history, though it has been badly treated in recent years. One advantage of researching medium size towns such as this, which used to be boroughs or urban districts in their own right - Westhoughton is another good example - is that they often have excellent local history libraries, where it is a pleasure to work, and which enourage me to return. Long may they continue. And Middleton has this splendid half-timbered pub just across the road - and yes, it was open!
We have just brought out our latest printed catalogue. We have taken the step, this time, of including half a dozen map extracts, some of them in colour. Catalogues are expensive to produce and we would quite like to restrict them to one a year; so far this has not proved possible and we know that many people do like to receive a paper catalogue. We will, however, have to look carefully at the mailing list next spring, when major increases to postage costs look likely. Anyway, if you are not on the mailing list and would like to receive a catalogue, do please ask, and we'll put one in the post.
Return to Index The Godfrey Edition / email@example.com revised 30 October 2011