August news from the Essex Record Office

Posted · Add Comment


Welcome to the August edition of the ERO e-bulletin.

Document of the Month, August 2018: Drought in Essex, 1905


As we experience some of the warmest temperatures on record for the UK, Archivist Katharine Schofield has been finding out how extremes of hot weather could affect our ancestors. The years between 1890 and 1910 were characterised by dry winters and hot summers, and have been called the ‘Long Drought’. In the autumn of 1905, the well at Belchamp Walter ran dry, which must have been a frightening experience for the locals who relied upon it for their water supply. Read more here, and remember that hot days are perfect for a visit to ERO where you can enjoy the Searchroom’s air conditioning.

Essex Record Office achieves Archives Accreditation

Accreditation celebration
We are pleased to announce that ERO has been awarded Archive Service Accreditation. This scheme, led by the National Archives, is the UK national standard for archive services, and defines good practice and agreed standards for services across the UK.

This award is being made in our 80th year, and is perhaps a good moment to reflect on the continuity and change of the last eight decades. Would our first County Archivist, Fred Emmison, who was appointed in 1938, recognise the ERO of today?
Take a trip down ERO’s memory lane here.

Essex-on-Sea: The Essex coast in historical picture postcards


Just in time for the summer holidays, we have installed a new display in our Searchroom of a selection of the wonderful picture postcards we have of Essex coastal resorts. In their heyday, the coastal resorts of Essex attracted thousands of holidaymakers every summer. Postcards can bring us something of the atmosphere of these holiday destinations – not only through the photographs on the front of the cards, but through the messages on the back as well.

Do take a look next time you visit, and you can see a sneak preview of some of the images here.

Record rescue: photographs of First World War Clacton nurses purchased for ERO


We recently welcomed into our collection a small set of photographs of nursing staff at the Middlesex Hospital in Clacton during the First World War. The photographs appeared for sale on ebay, and were kindly purchased for the ERO by the Friends of Historic Essex. The photographs now have a permanent home at ERO and will be available to present and future generations of researchers.

Find out more about the Middlesex Hospital and its nursing staff here

Secure the future of our history


Would you consider leaving a gift to the Essex Record Office in your Will? Do you have a special connection to ERO and want to make a transformative gift that will make a difference in the Searchroom, to Collection Care, Conservation or Education? We are currently working on an information pack to help people who would like to leave a legacy and we would value your opinions. If you are considering leaving a legacy or have included a gift to ERO in your Will, you can get in touch with Valina (Val) Bowman-Burns on: ERO.Donations@essex.gov.uk.

We Were Heard


Our three-year Heritage Lottery Funded project, You Are Hear: sound and a sense of place, has now officially drawn to a close. We are grateful to everyone who has supported the project: by volunteering, by giving feedback and suggestions, or by playing with our benches, kiosks, and sound map – not to mention the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Essex Heritage Trust, and the Friends of Historic Essex for funding it. We hope you have enjoyed the project as much as we enjoyed delivering it.


Harlow listening bench But fear not: the project outputs are still available. Listen to recent additions on our Essex Sounds map; visit our audio-video kiosks in their new homes at Saffron Walden Library and Harlow Museum; or go to any of our 20 listening benches installed across the county. The content on the Great Waltham and Clavering benches has recently been updated, so make the most of this beautiful summer weather, sit back, and listen.


You can also enjoy hundreds of digitised recordings from the Archive, through searching on Essex Archives Online or by browsing our SoundCloud and YouTube channels. From folk dance to oral history interviews to the much-loved Essex from a Police Car video, there is plenty to keep you entertained!

Forthcoming events

All events take place at the Essex Record Office unless otherwise stated. Please visit our website to see all upcoming events and to book.

Hylands House Open Day: Hylands estate during the First World War

We will be at this Sunday’s open day at Hylands House in Chelmsford with our display Essex at War 1914-1918. The first Sunday of every month Hylands House opens its doors free of charge, with an exhibition in the library on changing themes. The exhibition this time will be on the Hylands estate during the First World War, and ERO’s Essex at War display will run alongside to complement it. In addition, Hylands Farmers’ & Crafts Market and the artists’ studios and are open for you to browse and purchase unique gifts.

Sunday 5 August, 10.00am-4.00pm (last entry to the house 3pm)

Free entry, no need to book

Find more details here

Searchroom Tours


These 45-minute tour will show you how to get the very best from the Record Office’s Searchroom and is ideal if you are just starting your research. The tour includes an introduction to Essex Archives Online, microfiche and microfilm, maps, the Essex Sound and Video Archive and the ERO library.

Free but please book in advance

Book for Tuesday 7 August, 10.30am-11.15am

Book for Wednesday 19 September, 10.30am-11.15am

Essex History Group: The House of Beaufort

Speaker: Nathen Amin

The House of Beaufort played a pivotal role in the Wars of the Roses, being chief supporters of the House of Lancaster and lending legitimacy to Henry VII’s claim to the throne. But their story remains largely untold, until now. Join Nathen Amin, author of The House of Beaufort, to find out more about this incredible chapter of England’s history. Nathen is also the founder of the Henry Tudor Society and has featured discussing the Tudors on BBC radio and television, as well as in print and online media across the UK. Copies of Nathen’s book “The House of Beaufort: The Bastard Line that Captured the Crown” will be on sale.

Please book in advance then pay the £3 admission fee on the door.

Tuesday 4 September, 10.30am-12.00noon or 2.00pm-3.30pm

Click here to book

To be kept up to date on Essex History Group talks please join our Essex History Group mailing list.

Share this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *