A Year in Pictures 2020

Like many organisations we had several plans for 2020 including joints events, talks, blog posts and various other projects both large and small. However, for the second time in our history we were to find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic. As we start looking forward to the new year, we take a …

A Family Penance for a Murder Most Foul

Discover the Thomas Becket Connection...On Our Shelves! One of the oldest seals of Barnstaple commemorates one of the most infamous murders in English History…the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket on this day in 1170. The seal belongs to Barnstaple’s Bridge Trust and depicts the Chapel built at the town end of the now grade I …

The Ghost of Days Past- What have we learnt from Past Pandemics – Part 2, The Spanish Flu

Assistant Librarian, Sandi, continues her look into past pandemics... My Great Uncle George Apps was a soldier in the 5th Middlesex Battalion in WW1 who survived the conflict only to die of Influenza, the “Spanish Flu”, in England on 25 February 1919. He is commemorated on the Commonwealth War Graves Memorial at the City of …

The Ghost of Days Past – What have we learnt from Past Pandemics (Part I: The Plague)

During Lockdown our Assistant Librarian, Sandi, has been looking into past pandemics... The Plague There were a number of waves of the Plague that periodically swept as epidemics but the most fatal pandemics were the Black Death 1346-53 and the Great Plague 1665-66 the last major outbreak in England. There were three type of plague …

Discover VJ Day and the War in the Far East…On Our Shelves!

While the celebrations marking the end of the War in Europe swept across the country, there were many who were still waiting to hear news from the men fighting in the east. “Although the European War was over, it didn’t really affect me. All the jollifications. My husband was still fighting, I was still upset. …

Birth of the NHS

My mother remembered that in 1927, after her younger brother was born, he had to wear a shoulder and arm splint because his arm had been broken during his delivery. My Grandmother had been assisted during the birth, like most lower-class women, by an untrained local woman. The cost of a doctor per visit of …