A glimpse at days gone by

Brian Morris of Morpeth with Sarah Littlefear  from Woodhorn.
Brian Morris of Morpeth with Sarah Littlefear from Woodhorn.

A FRESH insight has been offered into Northumberland life from the 18th and 19th Centuries following 12 months of painstaking research.

Thirty volunteers and staff at Northumberland Archives at Woodhorn have been cataloguing and studying documents relating to the industrial, commercial and rural history of the area.

The Working Lives project, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Lord Crewe’s Charity, will continue until April next year.

It has already unearthed a wealth of historic material, such as maps, newspapers, estate records, accounts relating to Lord Crewe and records about the administration of his trust.

Morpeth volunteer Brian Morris focused on a book of medical accounts for the Bamburgh Dispensary from the late 1700s.

It listed equipment, chemicals and services, showing the kinds of treatment available. There is even an order for Ormskirk medicine that was used to treat rabies.

However, Mr Morris’ favourite find was a record relating to the purchase of an electrical shock machine.

A new online exhibition will be launched through the Woodhorn website to show some of the material.

Project Co-ordinator Lynn-Marie Early said: “The records we have been studying have national and even international significance.

“They can tell the story of agriculture and industrial developments that have changed the world, political and social reform that changed the lives of people throughout the county, as well as the stories of everyday lives of landowners and their employees and tenants.

“People will be able to find out the wonderful things we have available now at Woodhorn for viewing by searching our electronic catalogue through the website.

“Some documents are also available to view over the internet without having to come to Woodhorn.”

For details visit www.experiencewoodhorn.com