Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Delving into the Archives

Alongside the digging, we've been delving into our archives searching for historic images and maps of Lich Street and the surrounding area, as well as hunting through census records and trade directories to find out more about the people who lived there.
We have thousands of archive records about the county's history, covering about 12 miles of shelving underneath The Hive. Luckily, they're indexed, which helps us to find them easily!
© Crown Copyright Images reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, London, England. Reference: RG 13 / 2278
Among the documents we've been looking at this week is the 1901 census. Here's an extract from it, with the details of 28 year-old Chimney Sweep Arthur Abbott, his wife Emily and their 4 year-old son, also named Arthur. They're recorded as living at No. 12 Lich Street, which stood on the site of Knight Frank Estate Agents. Arthur Abbott is also recorded in the trade directories for the street: in 1908, he has business premises at No. 25, and the family also seem to have run a lodging house at No. 31
Lich Street in 1886, with numbers mentioned above. Copyright Worcester City Council

We have a photo taken in 1906, looking west towards the High Street from Lich Street. The Lich gate is visible about half way along the row on the left of the photograph. On the right, you can see Arthur Abbotts sign, advertising his services at No. 25 as a Chimney Sweep and Kitchen Range Cleaner!
Lich Street looking west towards the High Street, 1906. Photographer F H Horniblow
The photograph below was taken shortly before the 1960s redevelopment of the area, and shows the rear of the houses within Court No. 2, with the rear of No. 25 in the background at the left of the picture.
The rear yards of Court No. 2, 1961. Copyright RJ Collins
There are lots of stories like that of the Abbott family buried in the archives. We'll be exploring their history, and more like them as the project progresses, and we'd love you to share your stories!

1 comment:

  1. thank you for this, Arthur Abbott was my great-great-grandfather, who was that chimney sweep. Thank you for describing the premises that were run by the family as a lodging house. My Father described it as a 'Doss house' which is probably more prosaic and accurate. He remembers a vat of cider being kept there and its ability to take the meat off a bone hung in the cider which was thought to add 'body'