In the British Dance Band collection is a vast array of old 78 rpm records with attractive labels. Here’s a rare one from about 1930 advertising Siemens light bulbs! It is hoped that the collection will provide research material across a wide range of disciplines. Perhaps a Graphics student might write a thesis on pre-war record label design……..
An advertising record produced for the promotion of Siemens and their Opal and Pearl light bulbs. Recorded by an unidentified group of musicians and the vocalist Eddie Grossbart. Listen out for a lovely pair of solos….an alto just before the vocal and a trombone later on. The presence of Grossbart and the composer credit “Jeanette” have led some people to speculate that the musicians are members of Ambrose’s Orchestra. I am not so sure, and suggest that the band resembles that of Howard Godfrey’s Waldorfians. The record seems to have been pressed using the Duophone “unbreakable” process, but the recording timbre and quality is definitely that of Piccadilly. I would also suggest that the record was made towards the end of 1929 or even 1930 (rather than 1928 given in the discographies).
THE UK experiences of people of African-Caribbean descent over four generations are charted and explored in an ambitious new film that draws on more than 80 newly-recorded interviews with individuals whose ages range from 11 to well over 80. It focusses on the African-Caribbean descent community in Huddersfield, and the town’s University – staff and students – contributed to the project’s diverse production team, with the project archive being made available at Heritage Quay.
Now, as part of Black History Month, the 70-minute documentary, titled Windrush: The Years After – A Community Legacy on Film, is to have two showings at the University of Huddersfield where it was first screened last summer. A public screening in association with the University of Huddersfield Archives will take place in Heritage Quay as part of the Windrush Huddersfield Exhibition on Saturday 19 October (12 noon to 3pm). This event includes a Q&A session with key community members and opportunities to look at extensive displays. The Department of History is also to host a screening on Thursday 24 October (2.15pm to 4.15pm), in the Joseph Priestley Lecture Hall (room JPG/18) where there will further opportunities for discussion.
The prime mover in the project is Milton Brown,
the son of invited economic migrants who came to Huddersfield from
different parts of the Caribbean in the post-war years. He is now chief
executive of Kirklees Local TV
(KLTV) and is also studying for a PhD at the University of
Huddersfield, so involving the University was an ideal way of linking
research and community interests. A key collaborator was the film
historian Dr Heather Norris Nicholson, who has been a Senior Research
Fellow at the University’s Centre for Visual and Oral History.
“We needed to put this story together for a wider audience,” said Mr
Brown. “I was doing it purely to give the African-descent community a
voice, rather than another generation dying out without being able to
tell the story.”
As the interviews progressed, the constant theme was one of struggle,
as newcomers from the Caribbean and their families, faced economic and
social pressures, including day-to-day racism, continued Mr Brown.
“They had to take jobs that nobody else wanted and it was a question
of ‘how do we overcome this?’. They retreated from the mainstream of
society and started to build social and economic dependence within their
own community. There was a quiet dignity among the majority who came
here and they showed an ability not to quit, even though the odds were
stacked against them.”
Funding for the film included £34,500 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The University of Huddersfield also provided financial support. In addition, Professor Barry Doyle, who heads the Department of English, Linguistics and History, in discussion with Milton Brown, enabled PhD researcher Joe Hopkinson and a number of undergraduate students to contribute to the project as part of their own studies and work alongside volunteers and the 14-strong production team at KLTV.
“While a lot of the people involved in it are University people, they
weren’t doing it for the University, but working within the community.
And there were people from a lot of different ethnic and social
backgrounds involved,” said Professor Doyle.
Mr Brown added that having such a diverse team was a major aid in
understanding the historical and cultural journey that was being
recorded. “We created a community within a community and learned a lot
from each other.”
The team conducted 80 new interviews and the film includes footage
from 45 of them. All of the material – plus a research copy of Windrush: The Years After – is archived at Heritage Quay.
“Making the film was only one part of the project,” said
Dr Norris Nicholson. “Running alongside it was a process of creating
educational resources, gathering papers, posters and memorabilia, and
then cataloguing the material and depositing it at Heritage Quay, where
it is available now.”
The team agree that the findings and the testimonies from the project
have a relevance to all peoples who experienced migration, wherever
they settled. “But there are also dimensions that are specific to
Huddersfield,” said Dr Norris Nicholson, citing the district’s
industrial history and patterns of post-war re-development.
“Some people we interviewed talked about their journeys to the UK and how they reached Huddersfield. Others reflected on their own lives as Yorkshire-born peoples of African-Caribbean descent. We were conducting oral history and tracing individual life stories, so a lot of details came out about experiences and attitudes during different decades. The film tells a story of national and international significance from a local perspective.”
Story originally published at https://www.hud.ac.uk/news/2019/october/windrush-the-years-after-huddersfield/
From time to time we’re in a position to be able to help the next generation of Archivists get some work experience to help them obtain places on the postgraduate training. During June we hosted Razia and Felicity in Heritage Quay, both of whom already have some experience in archives already and are hoping to train within the next couple of years.
Hi, I am working as a volunteer in the Heritage Quay Archives for two weeks. I have been working on several different projects and familiarizing myself with what the role of an archivist entails. I have been learning about how precision and accuracy is needed especially when listing catalogues including scores and manuscripts. During this fortnight I have also worked intensively in the strongroom and the bookstore cataloguing rare books from the Special Collections. These have mainly been donated to Heritage Quay by public figures or institutions, for example, the theatre company called Mikron and also the prominent local conscientious objector Arthur Gardiner.
Gardiner was a prominent member of the Huddersfield Socialist party and refused to take up arms in the military. This is all well documented in the archives. In later years, he became a popular Labour figure and Mayor of Huddersfield. His estate donated his large library collection to the archives and part of my duties here included cataloguing each book.
His book collection mirrored his political views as the vast
majority of the collection was on socialist ideology, such as: Problems of a Socialist Government, Karl
Marx, Social and Political Pioneer, Civilisation: Its Causes and Cure and
Ethics and A Worker Looks at
Economics. As well as these he also possessed a large number of well-known
fiction titles, such as; Tess of the
D’ubervilles, The Road the Wigan Pier, Works of Robert Browning, War and Peace,
Robert Burns and the Common People, Madame Bovary and Shakespeare’s As You Like It.
His archives were wide and vast, embracing both works of classical literature and non-fiction works on social reform.
To celebrate the completion of our work with our rare books, we want to provide an introduction to this remarkable collection.
First of all, just how “rare” are these books? Some which have found their way into this collection are more commonplace, such as Charles Booth’s Life and Labour, which has been reprinted many times and is a social study of poverty- the one in our collection is a 2nd edition copy. And then there are volumes such as Oeuvres morales et meslees, a translation in French of Plutarch’s essays about morals which was originally written in Greek. This latter item is from the 16th century, and has subsequently been rebound due to its age.
The topics these books cover include art, history, sculpture, photography, religion, architecture and engineering. The dates of publishing range from the 1500s to the 1900s and some are first editions as well as some which are facsimiles- a copy of a book that is supposed to emulate the original. There are scrapbooks, manuscripts, printed texts and musical scores. Here you can see a small sample of what lies within the pages.
The books themselves can be visually astounding, with covers featuring antique designs and the pages within featuring illustrations. One of my favourites was Great Flower Books 1700 – 1900: A Bibliographical Record of Two Centuries of Finely-Illustrated Flower Books which is a heavily illustrated book featuring a variety of flora. Here we can see a classic marbled book cover, the prominence of the use of the colour gold for decoration and text and the lack of titles being printed on the cover.
The purpose of our recent work was to make this collection accessible to the public. The work undertaken by our Archive Assistants included preservation tasks, e.g. cleaning the books and arranging them to avoid further damage to spines, and sorting the list we had of the books, which detailed publication dates and authors, so that this can be added to the catalogue. If you wish to take a look at the collection search for HUD/LB/2/9/3 in the reference box at http://heritagequay.org/archives or click this link http://heritagequay.org/archives/HUD/LB/2/9/3/. And if you want to see one of these books in person, email us to book an appointment.
Although our British Dance Band Collection is predominantly concerned with popular music between the two World Wars, we have some examples of recordings made at the point where Ragtime was about to morph into Jazz. One of the most interesting combinations was a group of American Black musicians based at the fashionable Ciro’s Club. Here they are in 1917
are looking to recruit an outgoing, enthusiastic and committed
individual to work in the University Archives in its multi-award-winning
facility Heritage Quay.
will act as the first point of contact for customers accessing the
archives in the research room or via remote enquiries, and you will
assist in the day-to-day care of the heritage collections, accessioning and listing collections in Calm (collections management software).
You will have a good general education including GCSEs in English and Mathematics (or equivalent qualifications) and you will have good IT skills. You will be able to demonstrate your experience of dealing with customers in a pressurised environment and your commitment to providing a high standard of customer service. You will also be able to work effectively as part of a team and possess good interpersonal and communication skills.
Our final second year placement student this year is English student Umayyah. Read about her experiences in the archive below:
Whilst taking part in a student work placement at Heritage
Quay I have worked with two very different collections; the first involved
carrying out a survey and research into the Kirklees Image Archives (KIA), and
the second was cataloguing a small sub-section from the Colin Challen Archive
(specifically his work with the North Yorkshire Country Labour Party, and the
Vale of York Constituency Labour Party).
The majority of my placement involved my work with the KIA
collection due to the fact that there were so many boxes and items in that
collection. Straight away I was able to dive right into the boxes and identify
and research a wide variety of items ranging from Primus magic lantern slides,
to novelty cards and postcards, to a whole array of local images. The lanterns
and cards were always entertaining and often humorous and, due to the humour
and standards of the dates in which they were released (1900s), they were
sometimes controversial or even downright unacceptable by today’s standards.
Nonetheless it was definitely intriguing to see the stark differences between
the popular trends back then, compared to modern day trends.
One collection that definitely stood out was a series of
travel journals by two sisters who seemingly lived around Huddersfield in the
mid-1900s and travelled around Europe on and off for 30 years and donated
well-kept logs of everything they did on their holidays. These journals not
only included photographs and diary entries, but ticket stubs and receipts so
that you could see the varying prices in the countries in question during those
times. They were definitely an interesting read.
I also explored a variety of local images, some of which
were from the Huddersfield Examiner, some were street restoration programmes
and progress reports, and some were of buildings and streets that had been
demolished or renovated. This gave me the opportunity to see the gradual
development of Huddersfield (and surrounding areas) from the 1800’s to modern
day and see for myself some of the iconic events that took place; royal visits,
sports tournaments, weddings, street parties and more.
I was able to identify and survey boxes from approximately
60 shelves as part of the KIA collection and each one was filled with some new
and exciting information which sometimes required research into certain
companies, events, or people so that they could be fully understood.
The Challen collection was starkly different to the KIA
collection, as they were all professional and political documents. The majority
of content in these three boxes were financial records and promotional
materials for the Labour Party (those which had been entrusted to Challen). In
my exploration and cataloguing of these boxes I was given an insight into how
funding worked in a political party scenario, how a party’s membership scheme
is run, and how the Labour party specifically wanted to represent themselves to
their constituents. I was also able to browse through some of the correspondences
and meeting minutes to see what kind of local issues were discussed.
Overall I am grateful to Heritage Quay for giving me the
opportunity to experience working in an archive and the understanding of how to
find, record, and catalogue specific items.
This was not a big seller and a good clean copy has only recently been added to the Heritage Quay British Dance Band Collection. It is Eric Coates’s delightful “By The Tamarisk” played by Jack Hylton’s Orchestra. Hylton’s Orchestra was a major stage attraction by 1926 and exploring material well beyond the normal expectations of a dance band. Coates was enjoying the success of his Three Bears Suite and Selfish Giant at the time Hylton added “By The Tamarisk” to their repertoire