Bedfordshire Local  History Association

Speaker’s Name Pamela Birch

Speaker's NamePamela Birch
Are you an Individual or represent an Organisation / Company?Organisation/Company
Name of Organisation / CompanyBedfordshire Archives
Telephone / Mobile Number01234 228833
Would you be able to present In Person, via Zoom or either?Both In Person and Zoom
What equipment do you need to be provided by hosts? eg Screen, laptop, projectorScreen or blank wall. Can bring own equipment but happy to use host's equipment if discussed in advance.
Any travel restrictions? Such as Time or DistanceWill travel within Bedfordshire. Travel outside Bedfordshire incurs extra charges.
What are the charges? Such as Travel Expenses, Charge for talk.See website for current charges. Charge, set annually by Bedford Borough Council, covers talk and travel within Bedfordshire. Extra charges apply for extra time or new talk development.
Speaker's BiographyPamela Birch was born in Stotfold, Bedfordshire. After leaving Stratton Upper School, Biggleswade, she qualified as an archive conservator and spent two years at Cheshire Record Office before returning to Bedfordshire to work as conservator at Bedfordshire county record office. Over the years her role at Bedfordshire Archives changed. In 2005 Pamela gained her Masters in Archive Administration and in 2014 she was appointed County Archivist. Pamela’s talks feature examples from the archives and, whenever possible, will include examples specific to the talk location within a broader Bedfordshire context.
Caring for books and documents: simple measures to ensure that your precious family records come to no harm.1 hourPamela introduces you to the materials documents are made from and the major enemies of those materials. She then explains simple measures you can use at home to keep your documents in good condition for generations to come. The session can include a show and tell element if audience members wish to bring examples they have for discussion (allow an extra 15 minutes for this).
Delectable Documents – 800 years of Bedfordshire History1 hour to 1 hour 15 mins.Using a selection of her favourite documents from the collections of Bedfordshire Archives, Pamela takes us on a chronological and thematic journey through the county’s history
Domestic Interior - home life in the archives1 hourPamela takes a look at the homes and lives of the people of Bedfordshire through examples from Bedfordshire Archives. Along the way she will consider such things as: decoration, cooking, servants and pets.
Great Estates1 hourWe take a look at the upstairs and downstairs of Bedfordshire’s country houses through the collections held by Bedfordshire Archives.
Crime in 19th Century Bedfordshire1 hourThe quarter sessions records held by Bedfordshire Archives are a wealth of information about life in 19th century Bedfordshire. This talk picks out some examples and looks at the context of the quarter sessions in the 19th century criminal justice system.
Patience, Jigsaws and Other Games Archivists Play1 hourThis talk uses well known games to explain the work of archivists and archive conservators and to show why working with archives is such fun. The talk can include audience participation - nothing to be scared of - just bring paper and a pencil.
Picture This – Life through a lens1 hourPhotographs can be brilliant sources for historical research. Pamela draws on examples from the collections of Bedfordshire Archives to discuss what we can learn from photographs and what we should keep in mind when looking at them.
Grand Designs - Conservation of the Wrest Park architectural drawings1 hourPamela explains the project that helped to protect the architectural drawings in the Lucas of Wrest Park collection and shows why these drawings are things of beauty as well as important historical sources.
Z to A - Dr Fowler and the history of Bedfordshire Archives1 hour to 1 hour 15 minsDr Fowler was an extraordinary man who, on retiring from being a professor of Zoology, turned his thoughts to being an Antiquarian, which in turn led to Bedfordshire Archives becoming the first county record office in England. This talk looks at Dr Fowler, the beginnings of the archive service and how the archive service continues to build on the foundations laid by Dr Fowler.
Who’s wearing the foolscap?1 hourPamela looks at the work of an archive conservator where variety is the spice of life, but you have to know your cartridge from your onion paper and a lot of other things besides.
The Bedfordshire Home Front in World War II1 hourDrawing on the records of Bedfordshire Archives this talk looks at how Bedfordshire prepared for and coped with the Second World War.
I Love Maps1 hourAn historical map often brings admiring looks even from people who have no interest in the area depicted. In this talk Pamela explains the different sorts of maps to be found in Bedfordshire Archives and why she loves maps.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles1 hourThis talk takes a look at transport in Bedfordshire through the ages based on examples from the collections of Bedfordshire Archives.
Many Mansions – the architectural records of Sir Albert Richardson1 hourSir Albert Richardson was a well-known, Bedfordshire based, architect in the first half of the 20th century. Richardson was a professor at University College London and a supporter of Georgian architecture. He designed furniture as well as buildings. He was knighted for his services to architecture. Bedfordshire Archives holds his company’s large and important archive, which includes architectural drawings for projects of all shapes and sizes throughout the British Isles. This talk discusses some of these projects.
Answers on a Postcard1 hourPamela delves into the Swain and Chrystal picture postcard collections owned by Bedfordshire Archives and explains why detective skills are often needed when describing or using picture postcards as historical sources.
Luton Works1 hourIn this talk Pamela looks at the development of Luton in the 19th to mid 20th centuries and the transformation of the town from a rural market town to an industrial centre attracting workers from around the world.
Harpur's Bedford1 hourThis talk looks at how the charities set up by William and Alice Harpur in the 1500s influenced the way the town of Bedford developed for centuries to come.
Bedford’s Industrial Heritage1 hourThis talk takes a look at what the archives of Bedford businesses tell us about the development of the town in the 19th and 20th centuries
Parish Records beyond parish registers1 hour to 1 hour 15 mins.Parish registers record baptisms, marriages and burials, but what other records did Church of England parishes create? Pamela takes a look at these other records and how they can be used for family and local history.
I Have A Plan1 hourBuilding plans can be useful sources for local history. They come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes need a bit of background knowledge to work out what they are telling you. In this talk Pamela introduces us to a variety of plans from the collections of Bedfordshire Archives.
To the Manor Born1 hour to 1 hour 15 minsUsing examples from Bedfordshire Archives Pamela takes a look at what made a manor, the records they produced and why those records can be very useful for family and local historians.
Bedfordshire Local History Association