Here in the Archive department, we are always really pleased when we find a way to display the Borough’s historic documents within the communities where they were originally created. This month we have had the opportunity to temporarily transfer one of our Heritage Lottery funded – Bury Remembers WW1 – cases to Radcliffe Library; to display some letters from the WW1 period.
Received by Close Methodist Church; the letters express the gratitude of local soldiers for parcels and correspondence sent to them by the congregation. The display case houses only a few examples of over one hundred letters that have been donated into the care of the Borough’s Archive.
You may notice that the documents on display are copies, rather than the originals. The Archive’s principle aim is to protect and preserve all documents that help to tell the story of the whole Borough. As this moveable, temporary display case does not provide enough protection for original documents; we have produced high quality ‘like for like’ surrogates to enable the display to be installed in their home town. As with all handwriting, some is easier to read than others, so we have produced transcriptions of all of the letters on display to accompany the case. We have included a transcription of one of the letters here; if you can’t get in to Radcliffe library and wish to have a copy of them all please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dec 8th 1915
Dear Mr. Charles,
Please convey my heartiest thanks to the members of the Sunday School and Church for their splendid gift of socks, mits etc., also for the Season’s greetings, which I most heartily reciprocate.
Trust you are in the best of health.
Yours very sincerely
In future months we will share more of this collection of letters with you. We will be using different themes to guide the our choice of items for display. This time we were lucky enough to have an example of some knitting produced by Alma Gardner, a proud resident of Radcliffe Hall for her whole life, 92 years. Sadly Alma passed away in October 2015 so we have worked with her daughter, Carol Kemp, to choose letters from 1915 that mentioned the packages and the knitted items that some – perhaps all – local soldiers received.
We hope you enjoy this display. Let us know your feedback or ideas for future displays, by commenting on this blog, sending an email to email@example.com or by having a chat to the library staff.