No beating about the Bush Dreadful conditions, a strong community in Cwm Clydach

The Cutlock & Co articles on Bush Houses are some of the most popular on the website. As the latest batch of old news uploaded to the Welsh Newspapers Online archive includes nine year’s worth of the Rhondda Leader from the start of the 20th century, a quick trawl seemed a good idea. Forty items came up for “bush houses”. Here are some key ones about the place {1}, which also shine a light on inhabitants’ lives. » Continue reading No beating about the Bush Dreadful conditions, a strong community in Cwm Clydach

Exploring family history on a Kindle

A couple of self-published family history tales available on Amazon’s Kindle have come my way recently (via Facebook). Oh, aren’t I up with the trendy stuff. These prompted me to think about how such e-book devices make it easy for genealogy folk to release stories based on their researches for a wider public, at low cost. Getting the material known to a wider audience isn’t always so straightforward though, if it is hidden in the depths of the popularity contests of the Kindle Store, for example. » Continue reading “Exploring family history on a Kindle”

The London smog of 1952

6th December 1952 – the day my paternal grandfather Sydney Charles Howes died after cycling from his teaching job in Nunhead to home in New Cross. Smog related death not long before he was due to retire and the reason I never met him. (6th December was the height of the smog.)

Originally from a tweet by @ancestryuk 22nd Nov: “Amazing photos from London smog of 1952. Wrong weather + burning coal = big problem for London.” » Continue reading “The London smog of 1952”

Booth’s London survey south of the river

Last night’s Who Do You Think You Are? kicked off with Len Goodman checking out his Bethnal Green roots, and the area’s living conditions through Booth’s survey into life and labour in London (1886-1903). I’ve had the start of a short item on Booth’s survey lurking here for months, so a good time to get it out and give it some attention.

Len Goodman’s episode was available on iPlayer.

For starters, a link to the London School of Economics website on Booth’s survey. » Continue reading “Booth’s London survey south of the river”

Feeling Bushed Exploring Bush Houses, Clydach Vale

It is a couple of years since I first stumbled across Bush Houses as the place where my coal mining ancestors lived on moving to the Welsh valleys. I can still remember the confusion of trying to work out quite where Bush Houses was (were?).

From the 1891 census for the Osborne family I could track down the ‘hamlet’ of Clydach, recorded here as part of Ystradfodwg parish in the Rhondda. But where was ‘Bush’ –  seemingly having no road name? » Continue reading Feeling Bushed Exploring Bush Houses, Clydach Vale

Oak River sledge ride to school A little snow in Manitoba

Posted earlier on Ancestry message board for Manitoba, and now updated with scans of photos:

An old family photo album came out for the first time (for me anyway) this Christmas, with a few snaps from our Neal relatives who had emigrated to Manitoba.

One photo was labelled ‘School-van Oak River’ – a sledge cart with high sides pulled by 2 horses, with Oak River (and some less legible writing) written on the side. » Continue reading Oak River sledge ride to school A little snow in Manitoba