Briefer news items

Calderdale Heritage Walks are organising a few walks between now and April 2010, which they publicise on their website and via emails which they send direct to contacts. The winter walks are either in and around Halifax or Hebden Bridge. Unfortunately, they have no postal contact details on their website.

Batley women rag sorters, early-20th century, from a display in the town's Bagshaw Museum.

Batley women rag sorters, early-20th century, from a display in the town's Bagshaw Museum.

Bagshaw Museum in Batley, Yorkshire, has reopened to the public after a major refurbishment funded by £419,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and more than £300,000 from Kirklees Council. The new facilities include a brand new gallery spread across two rooms, dedicated to Batley. 'From the People That We Meet' uses people's lives and experiences to tell the story of Batley's origins and growth. 'To The Places on the Street' looks at the public face of Batley — civic pride, work, public sports and entertainment — where visitors can see the ball used at the very first Rugby League championship won by Batley in 1897 and read about 'the cursed tram' or listen to music from Batley Variety Club.

Bagshaw Museum, Wilton Park, Batley WF17 0AS, open: Mon–Fri 11am–5pm, Sat–Sun 12–5pm, tel: 01924 326155, website.

A personal take on Wartime London by Harry Harris, a London cabbie, is being televised on the Discovery Channel at 6pm on Sunday 8 November 2009. It looks into hidden corners of the city to reveal stories and events from the late-1930s until the end of the Second World War and in the process reveals that Hitler has quite a few links with London. There's a tour of a Cabinet wartime bunker in Neasden, which was used just once by Churchill. Harry also visits the Tower of London and meets a Beefeater who guarded Rudolf Hess in Spandau Prison. He recalls the Bethnal Green Underground Station disaster and a less publicised, but no less tragic, event in Kennington Park. Together, the two events accounted for the deaths of hundreds of civilians. Harry, as is the wont of London cabbies, is personable and engages with the Londoners he meets in a manner which keeps them at their ease, creating the feeling that their stories are chance finds he has made along the way. He saves all his criticisms for the toffs and aristocrats who were Hitler supporters and considers what might have happened had the Nazis made it to London. So, if you have access to subscription-TV, remember the date and enjoy an entertaining sixty minutes with Harry.

Local historians are needed for a new national research project on education using school log books which is being organised by the Family & Community Historical Research Society (FACHRS). 'Local historians are invited to join a lively group of people working on this over the next few months'. For more information about the project contact The Education Research Project Co-ordinator, The Four Bees, Church Lane, Hellidon, Nr Daventry, Northants NN11 6GD, email:

The Radwinter Society, Essex, now has a new, state of the art, A3 scanner, thanks to a grant of £1,124 from the Stansted Airport Community Trust Fund. This virtually completes a £3,000 funding programme to ensure the archiving and availability of Radwinter’s unique historical record collection. The new scanner will enable people who wish to retain the originals of historic documents they hold, to share copies with a wider public. For more information contact the Society's Chair, Michael Southgate, tel: 01799 599478, email:

23 October 2009

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