ALDIS - No 70

September 2001 - Page 4 of 6

 Last update 06-06-2002



4. Archive news from around Britain

            In Hampshire in recent months the County Archive at Winchester have received on deposit the Automobile Association Archive of 500 plus boxes, now, most of these do not concern us as they are about the running of the AA since 1905 as a business, however, 7 boxes are about WW2 and 4 concern WW1. They vary from removal of road signs, post Dunkirk, to putting the Sign-Shop under RASC control (later Movement Control RE) so that their expertise could be used for the War Effort, plus of course reports on bomb damage to Offices, etc, etc. Likewise the Southampton Hall of Aviation have deposited in the Wessex Film & Sound Archive (also in Winchester) 78 reels of film covering ships (e.g. HMS Finisterre, the Victoria and Albert, etc) Record films and training films about warplanes (Spitfire, Hudson etc.) and other subjects as well. 

            At the Public Record Office (Kew), London, Duncan Godwin informs us that the “Pager” system has ceased and a card is issued to each reader instead that you use when ordering documents in addition, of course, to your Readers Ticket. Now the wait for documents is reduced to 20 minutes at most and you simply line up at the issue counter and the card should enable you to have them shortly thereafter, dependant on the number of people in the queue.

            The ANGUS ARCHIVE, is situated on the upper (or first) Floor of Montrose Library, and though they don’t think so themselves, the Archive has several useful folios of data on WW1 & 2 and odd items about other periods and such matters as land purchases (such as Barrack Street in Montrose) from the Army. The WW2 data has details about HMS Condor (Now Royal Marines Base, (45 Commando)), Arbroath, the Polish Hospitals in Angus County, RAF Stations and the Free Polish Brigade in Angus and to a lesser extent in Eastern Scotland in general.

            A small private archive has been located in Caithness, inside (in fact on a wall) of the Dunnet Head Tea Rooms, which covers Dunnet Head 1939-45. The North British Archive at Wick, again on the upper floors of the Public Library in Wick has details of the Volunteer Artillery in all areas of Caithness and to a slightly lesser extent Sutherland during the Victorian era as well as the records of both WW1 & 2.

            Barrow in Furness (Cumbria) Local History Archive has quite an amount of material on Vickers Shipbuilding (Barrow) and the various Mineral Ore Extraction Chemical Works in the nearby villages as well as Millom Docks, ARP etc. The local chemical works were utilised during both World Wars to produce either direct products or by-products to replace the “Organic” chemicals normally imported into the UK, and manufactured in Germany, but deigned by the embargoes imposed by both sides at that time.

            Plea to members. You MUST have used your local Archive, so why not summarise its useful contents for the benefit of other members who may well be wishing to obtain data that will help them. WE WILL PUBLISH IT!  Send your material into the editor. Thank You.