Friday, 23 October 2015

Researching Local History

I met Val Harris outside the empty shop on Lion Street next door to Booths Bookshop. It was, until recently, Carlisles, and is now being renovated. Val was very pleased because she had sent off for some green tiles to match the 1930s tiles on the shop frontage - and they match exactly!
So we got talking about what the shop used to be. She remembered it being the dentist's surgery (scene of the siege when a man with a gun took the dental staff and all the people in the waiting room hostage - the gun turned out to be a fake, but it was a major incident, and went on into the early hours of the morning).
Contemporary with the green and white tiles is the mosaic at the entrance, spelling out LCM Co in green on white. This was the London Central Meat Company (we think Central?) and they sold New Zealand lamb in the 1930s - in the middle of Welsh lamb country! I don't think they were very successful.
Val said she wanted to do more research about the history of the shop, so I told her about Kelly's Directories. They are very much sought after by people researching family and local history, and give details of the owners of properties, and what the shops were and so on.
When I was researching local history, I went to Hereford Library to consult the Kelly's Directories in their reference section - but then I remembered that isn't possible at the moment. Hereford Library has been closed - they say they've found traces of asbestos. The County Council have not yet set up a temporary library while it is closed, though there is talk of having one in the Shire Hall. Meanwhile, all that reference material is unavailable to the public.

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