Retirement is certainly an ending There are people who arrive at this point who think that the end of the world has come. What a pity.' Retirement can also be a Beginning There are those who at 60 or 65 have undertaken investigation into some field of local research and will tell you that this has been the most interesting and rewarding period of their lives. Retirement can be a time for starting something new. With local history, retired people are perhaps the best endowed to add to the store of knowledge -- they have advantages over younger people. Firstly, of course, they have more time and time is what is needed in t ravelling to and from record offices, where much of the information is to be found. Secondly, they may have better resources, for a private hobby always costs money and it is not; merely a question of travelling expenses: the marshalling of unearthed facts, resulting in a filing system, is a financial drain there are matters of interest in our own neck of the woods in south-west Warwickshire which have yet to be tackled and may never be tackled unless people with both time and inclination do so. This is really a challenge for retired folk and those approaching retirement. What is there to be done? Below, a few ideas.
The period of the English Civil War has been much written about and there are monographs about the place of our county in it. however the 'no man's land' between the town of Warwick (pro Parliament; and the city of 'Worcester (pro King) in which our area finds itself, has never received detailed treatment. Which army units of both sides lingered here? What demands did they make and what skirmishes ensued? .What effect did the war have on towns, villages and great houses? A few facts only are generally known: a co-ordinated account needs to be attempted and somewhere in Warwickshire and Worcestershire Record Offices probably lie the clues, hidden away in contemporary documents.
A much more prosaic job but one of great value as far as ADLHS files are concerned is the transcribing of registers and censuses for all the parishes of our area. These are vitally important to the many enquirers who come to us seeking their family history. This is a patient job, requiring no background knowledge, but of great value. This is the sort of work that amateur local 'antiquarians' did in the 19th century. As more and more outlets have opened up this century for researchers, the copying out of parish registers has grown less popular.
There is a certain amount of expertise in the ranks of ADLHS re investigation of documents at record offices and any retired person setting off for the first time would be advised to seek advice first.
Summer 1991 Index
© Alcester & District Local History Society 1991