Alan Crosby's blog: An unexpected find in The Hive

By Jon Bauckham, 26 May 2016 - 11:00am

A quick visit to the home of Worcestershire Archives resulted in a discovery that columnist Alan Crosby certainly wasn't expecting – and nor was his wife!

Dr Alan Crosby is the editor of the Local Historian and a columnist for WDYTYA? MagazineThursday 26 May 2016
Alan Crosby
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Worcestershire Alamy The Hive

The Hive, which opened in 2012, was Europe's first joint university and public library (Photo: James Watkins/Alamy)

Last week I made a hurried visit to Worcestershire Archives, which is housed in a magnificent building known as The Hive along with the city library, local studies library and the university library.

It was a very enjoyable day, enlivened by the fact that a mothers, babies and toddlers group was clearly having a fun time down on the ground floor. The building is open plan, so my work was accompanied by the sounds of a xylophone being hammered with much enthusiasm.

In the old days everyone would have been appalled by the noise, but I didn’t find it a problem. Get them young, I thought – one day they may be researching their family history on the next floor up!

I looked through some of the indexes to the catalogues for the name CROSBY. I don’t have Worcestershire ancestors, although my grandma’s father was born in Worcester – his parents were ‘passing through’, as his father was a boilermaker working on a contract there.

But I can never resist a quick check on any surname index. There were only two entries for CROSBY, and I was surprised to discover that one of them was ‘Crosby, Jacquie’. That’s my wife’s name... was it her, and if so, how?

It was indeed my beloved – she’s in charge of Lancashire Archives and she’d sent Worcestershire a stray document that had turned up. And lo, she therefore appears in the archive catalogue. I’m not sure she was all that pleased – it implied she was of great antiquity!

Alan Crosby lives in Lancashire and is editor of The Local Historian. He is an honorary research fellow at Lancashire and Liverpool universities.

 

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