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Chipping Campden CADHAS local history and archive room

(From the noticeboard section of the Chipping Campden Bulletin. Reproduced with kind permission of Jeremy Green)


You may have seen my colleagues or me, hurrying down the High Street clutching files or papers, heard us call 'just off to the archives': or noticed us scurrying into the Old Police Station at all hours. Perhaps you have wondered what we do there?

The CADHAS local history and archive room is in the Old Police Station on the first floor. It is run by Olivia Amphlett, CADHAS archivist and her main assistants, Monica Bedding, Judith Ellis, Jennifer Bruce and Carol Jackson with a team of fourteen volunteers. The archive room was first set up in 2003 and since that time has been open regularly on Monday afternoons, Wednesdays am & pm, Thursday and Saturday mornings for members of the public, Campden locals, CADHAS members or visitors to the town to visit and consult CADHAS records.

The work that is undertaken in the archive room is varied, with each volunteer often developing his or her own responsibilities, interest or skill. For instance:- we receive, catalogue, store for posterity and research the many deposits of memorabilia, papers, books, researches or photographs donated by Campden people or those with Campden connections:

We run a community photo archive, called 'Comma' whereby we can scan photos into the computer system and then use them, without actually needing to retain the original in our possession. This way we can build a real community collection of personal Campden photographs for viewing and helping other enquirers. Have you got any unusual photos of Campden which you would like us to see?

The archive room is the base for the Campden branch of the Gloucestershire family history group, where members can search the internet and archives. Members have also been extracting relevant Campden information from back copies of the Evesham Journal and transcribing census and parish register information.

The CADHAS house history group is also actively researching and listing Campden houses and their previous occupants.

CADHAS's eight published books and Notes and Queries and various papers are available for purchase from the archive room.

The room also acts as an administrative centre for the committee, the website management and the Campden Society.

And CADHAS answers many queries and helps researchers. Enquirers in person are often referred to CADHAS from the tourist information centre, the town clerk, churches, schools,shops and hotels, for us to help with their questions or researches. The archivist also receives letters and telephone calls seeking information, but most frequently emails, the enquirers having got details from the website: for which CADHAS received the local history website award 2006 from the Gloucestershire rural community council during the year.

You may be interested to know that between 1st January 2006 and 31st December 2006 archive room volunteers received and dealt with 90 queries, which compares with the 80 received in the previous year. On average we dealt with 7-8 queries a month, with the holiday periods (August, January, March and October) naturally being the busiest months. Of the 2006 year's enquiries, about half (44) were family history or person research based, for instance helping descendants of well known Campden names like Griffiths, Ladbrook, Lane, Huyshe, Hughes; and of the remainder (46), 17 were general Campden history, topic or archive related questions and 29 were queries about houses, photos or places in Chipping Campden; often a newcomer to the town wanting information about the history of their house. Enquirers were mostly (76) from Great Britain, but 6 were from America/Canada, 6 Australia/New Zealand, 1 from Japan and 1 from Europe. We are always glad when enquirers make donations to the society, as these help to defray our rent, electricity and costs, which are all funded through our members subscriptions, grants or special support from the Campden Community Trust for which we are very grateful. We were able to put four different families in touch with other family members as a result of their individual enquiries to CADHAS, to help one film crew to make their programme, one film script writer to add historical context his fiction, to help several journalists and we gained much information from others for our records. We thank all volunteers for the time they devote to the archive room rota and help with enquiries. We usually all find it rewarding and stimulating.

As you can imagine from this description, it is a veritable hive of activity in the local history and archive room and Campden is very lucky to be able to offer such a service and resource to the community in such a convenient and central location as the Old Police Station. Come and see us there. Open times Monday 2-4pm, Wednesdays 10am-12 noon and 2-4pm, Thursdays 10am-12 noon and Saturdays 10am-12 noon.

Carol Jackson, CADHAS vice-president & archive room query co-ordinator

[...] Campden: A New History:

[...] Campden: A New History: by members of CADHAS - from the Cotswold Books, Maps and DVD store Chipping Campden CADHAS local history and archive room [...]

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