Happy New Year from ‘Volunteering for Shropshire’s Heritage’! Bob Kiernan is one of Shropshire Archives longest standing volunteers. Amongst his many contributions, which includes sitting on the Project Steering Group, he is currently cataloguing the Miscellaneous Items, which comprise thousands of small archives stored together for space saving purposes. During a recent session one of the first things Bob ‘found’ was the journal, lavishly illustrated with photographs, of A. Thursby Pelham, recording his tour of the northern capitals of Europe and his attendance at the coronation of the Tsar of Russia. Bob takes up the story:
“Thursby Pelham, the Rector of Cound, was one of a party of some 170 people who travelled on the SS Midnight Sun to attend the Tsar’s Coronation in May 1896. On the voyage they visited several Baltic ports and these are also covered in the journal. The photographs are of high quality; some of them can be identified as having been taken professionally as they are annotated with the photographer’s name (including two by J. Valentine). It shows two interesting facets of life in the late 1800s:
- The life of passengers on an early steam ship, including descriptions of some of the deck games and the clothing worn by British travellers to the Arctic.
- Life in pre-revolutionary Russia, including ordinary street and river scenes.”
Anyone who thought that Shropshire Archives didn’t have anything to say about world history and life in pre-revolutionary Russia can think again!