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Ceredigion Archives is part of Ceredigion County Council.

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My Work Experience at Ceredigion Archives

We present a guest blog by Georgie Whittock who spent some time gaining work experience with us recently, an experience both pleasant and useful for all concerned!

I am a second year archaeology student at Lampeter University, and I have been doing work experience at the Ceredigion Archives over the past few weeks, as part of the Go Wales programme which operates in every Welsh University allowing students with work limiting issues, including disabilities and specific learning difficulties, and/or from a low employment area, the opportunity to gain work experience.

During my time here, my view of the job role of an archivist and the work they do has changed; I did not realize they do so much! I thought their work focussed predominantly on the conservation and cataloguing of documents and materials, however I have since realised they also do research for members of the public who wish to find out more information about various topics, generally about their family history or specific places or events, as well as aiding them in their own research by putting them in the right direction of record books and documents that may also be helpful.

Over the course of my experience, I have written descriptions for three collections of documents, helped with enquiries regarding family history, handled a number of documents, researched the Spanish Influenza Epidemic of 1918 to 1919 for the BBC, and was even given the responsibility to open the strongrooms!


The second collection I looked at contained photographs of performances by the St. David’s College, Lampeter Amateur Dramatic Society [ref. MUS/474/3/1 and MUS/474/3/2]. Here are two autographed photographs from the play “The Terror” performed at Lampeter’s Victoria Hall by the Society. C. 1950s.


Viewing a collection of documents and writing their catalogue descriptions may seem a monotonous task, but, actually, it isn’t (though that may be because I’m new to this). To handle these documents, to read them, to explore them, and to write about them has been so fascinating, and finding out the background to the documents and the people and places they relate to has enhanced my research skills. I have had the opportunity to work independently with the documents, as well as working as part of a wonderful team, who have made the experience thoroughly enjoyable.

The experience has opened my eyes into the work an archivist does, and has made me consider a potential career route into archives*.

[Georgie Whittock]


*Ha! We got another one! [Ed.]

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The Hallworths part 3: Anyone for tennis?

We present the third in a guest blog mini-series about the Hallworths and their activities. Catch up with part one and part two, then join Annie Hallworth for a game of tennis!

ADX1579.12.01 Tennis club group photo

ADX/1579/12/1. Annie Hallworth is in the front row, third from left.

Interwar small town tennis clubs were social hubs where young people could meet away from the constraints of home. The group photograph shows that the Queen’s Road courts, laid down in 1923, attracted a rather cosmopolitan crowd that included students from the University College.

ADX1579.12.07 Anyone for tennis

ADX/1579/12/7. Annie Hallworth is second from right.

The other snaps show Annie Hallworth at the centre of a vibrant social circle, with plenty of female chums and male acquaintances.


ADX/1579/12/3. Annie Hallworth is second from left.

Whilst most of these pictures were taken at Queen’s Road, two snapshots, in which the players recline in deckchairs, were taken at an as yet unidentified ground in the town’s rural hinterland.

ADX1579.12.06 Rural tennis

ADX/1579/12/6. Annie Hallworth in the centre.

College Hall, destroyed by fire in August 1933, can be seen in the background of the group portrait, giving a rough date for this fascinating series of pictures.


ADX/1579/11/2. Keen motorist Annie at the wheel!

[John Wiles]

Posted in Aberystwyth, Guest blog | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Hallworths part 2: Oh, what a lovely war!

We present part two of the Hallworth family mini series!

ADX1579.07.01 Thomas on the beach, Egypt

On the beach, Egypt

This fascinating photograph shows Thomas Hallworth at war, on the beach near Alexandria. In Civvy Street, Thomas, who had started off as a coachman at Hyde in Cheshire, was a chauffeur, working for Dr Roberts of Penywern, near Aberystwyth.

ADX1579.08.01 Egypt, ambulance

Ambulance in Egypt

Enlisted at age 37 in 1915, Thomas was assigned to the Mechanical Transport arm of the Army Service Corps and drove ambulances in Egypt. We think that these were based on the Model T Ford chassis, but we would be grateful for any information about them.

ADX1579.08.04 Egypt, ambulance fag break

Fag break in Egypt

After the war Thomas and his wife Edith opened a draper’s shop in Bridge Street, Aberystwyth, where the Wash’n Spin’n Dry launderette is now, and Thomas was later proprietor of the Eagle Garage. Read more about the Hallworths’ story here and join Annie for a game of tennis here.

[John Wiles]


Posted in Aberystwyth, First World War, Guest blog, Our favourite documents | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Captain Beefheart mince pies

Another Explore Your Archives exclusive!

For our Making History event, I made the shrub – already blogged about – and, helped by my friend Mark, some festively archival mince pies using another recipe from the Webley-Parry recipe books.

Here it is again:


Mince Pie’s Meat

One pound and a half of suet, ten ounces of raisins, two pounds and a half of Currants, half a pound of sugar, half a quarter of an ounce of Mace, one nutmeg, one pound of Bullock’s heart, mix all together with some Lemon peel, then put a quarter of a pint of Brandy, and a quarter of a pint of white wine. When you use it put in Apple and sweetmeats, and a little salt.

Rattray’s the Butchers supplied the heart which was ENORMOUS. Fortunately, they agreed to halve it and (very kindly) minced it. It was still rather a lot and we only used half which was about 1 lb; Mark’s cat Vortigern was delighted to eat the rest (not all at once!)


We followed the recipe closely except we were not sure what was meant by sweetmeats so we just left them out. Candied mixed peel went in instead of lemon peel. The pastry recipe came from BBC Good Food site.

Result: Very good; somewhat less sweet that the usual ones. I wonder if one could feed them to vegetarians with them being none the wiser (not that we did. No. Not at all)

We served the pies at our Explore Your Archives event and they proved very popular, possibly on account of their proximity to the shrub!



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Shrub – by popular demand!

I made shrub for Making History, our Explore Your Archive 2017 event last November.

The brave souls who tasted it were impressed and apparently completely unharmed! We therefore present (by popular demand) a blog all about making this very alcoholic tipple. It only needs to stand for a few days so you could be sipping your own shrub by Christmas if you so desire.


Transcript (with some added punctuation):


Take half a Pound of Lemmon Peel cut very thin and the same quantitly of Sevile orange Peel, let it infuse in two quarts of real french Brandy for twenty four hours, then strain them and by squeezeing them to the Liquor add three quarts more of the Brandy, one of Lemmon Juice and a Pint of Sevile Orange Juice, two Pound and a half of double refined Sugar. Let it stand three or four days shaking it often, filter it through a fine flannel and let it stand some hours to fine then bottle it off. You may if you like it put two quarts of Rum instead of the Brandy.

Any marmalade makers will know that Seville oranges are very seasonal and only available in January so I used grapefruit (for bitterness) and ordinary oranges (for orangey-ness) instead.

The size of the recipe had to be reduced quite a lot. Instead of 5 quarts (10 pints!) of brandy I used a mere litre of Coop’s finest, and with that, the juice of four lemons, two oranges and two grapefruit, plus a bit less than 1 lb of sugar. I was aiming for approximately one-fifth of the original quantities.

After I juiced the fruit I shredded the peel in a food processor (NB. I only used the peel of one grapefruit) then put it in a big jar with the brandy overnight, keeping the juice separate until the next step.


The following day, I removed the peel and strained the liquid, added the sugar and the juice, and let it all sit in the big jar, shaking occasionally to help the sugar dissolve.

And that’s it! I decanted it into a bottle and brought it to our event where we served it cold with optional ginger beer. The County Archivist says that it is meant to be drunk hot (I had better make another batch soon to try this out)



Posted in Explore Your Archives 2017, Recipes | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Hallworth Family of Hyde and Aberystwyth

We present the first in a series of mini-blogs exploring the Hallworth family photograph album which was generously donated to Ceredigion Archives last summer.

Thomas and Edith Hallworth were from Hyde in Cheshire, where he had been a coachman and she a seamstress. By 1911 they were living at Gwynfryn Cottages, New Cross with their young daughter Annie, Thomas then being chauffeur to Dr Roberts of Penywern.

ADX1579.02.01-02 Gwynfryn cottage garden

Following the Great War, in which Thomas served as an ambulance driver in Egypt (of which more soon!), the family moved to Aberystwyth and by 1922 they had a draper’s shop in Bridge Street, now the Wash’n Spin’n Dry launderette.


Thomas later operated the Eagle Garage at the top end of nearby Gray’s Inn Road, which still remains much as it was, and the family moved to a house in upper Buarth Road.


All the Hallworths were keen motorists and Annie was a stalwart member of the local tennis club (again, more anon!). They had all come a long way from Edwardian Hyde.

[John Wiles]

Posted in Aberystwyth, First World War, Guest blog, Motor vehicle registration, Our favourite documents | Tagged , | 2 Comments