We were really excited today to receive our FINAL evaluation report from consultant Harriet Foster. This summarises all the learning and achievements of the last year and a half. As you might imagine it is a pretty big document! We are so proud and excited to be able to demonstrate how we have hit our objectives and how we have a made a difference to museum working with workhouse collections and archives.
There is a long gap (20 years) in Sarah’s life. In 1851 aged 21 Sarah was working as a servant in Marylebone London and in 1881 she was at Gressenhall, where she was listed with a specified health condition ‘imbecile’ and where she lived until her death in 1905. I often wonder what might have happened to her in the ‘lost’ years between those two censuses. I suppose no individual’s story is every truly closed. She was the first person I researched so I learnt to keep better records as I go along and discover information. I often had to look for things that I had previously seen and had not annotated the source properly. I try to be more methodical now and have developed my own system.
(Research Volunteer working on the project talking about one of the pauper biographies)
Most of the evaluation has been qualitative but we have been able to capture some numerical data too:
Curator, Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse
Chair, Workhouse Network
More Than Oliver Twist - the beginning of the end
As I am sure you are aware Wednesday Batchelor and Elspeth Hunter’s shared Project Support Officer post came to an end on Friday. This is not however the end of the project (not yet anyway!).
We are still working on the few remaining elements of the project, and the final report isn’t due until 13th October.
The artists (Mel Rye and Morgan Tipping) have completed their work (and it looks pretty fabulous!) and we are now awaiting publication by Google. This can take a few weeks and I will be sure to let you all know as soon as the exhibition is available upon the website.
The Forward Planning Group held a Virtual Visioning meeting a few weeks ago and now have the building blocks of a Forward Plan for the network. We’ll be working hard on this over the next few weeks and will share with you once it is ready. The final document will be signed off by the Workhouse Network Steering Committee. We are already thinking about new funding applications and really want to build on the success of the More Than Oliver Twist project and stay in touch with all our fabulous regional groups and volunteers. If you are part of the Forward Planning Group I will be in touch with you separately to agree a work plan for the next few weeks to make sure we can get this completed within the time left.
The majority of the evaluation for the project has now been completed and our Evaluation Consultant, Harriet Foster, is busy compiling the Final Report for Arts Council England, our funders.
Can I take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you for your vitality, passion and enthusiasm for the project and for the network. As we reach the final push towards the deadline it will be great to finish the Forward Plan and look towards an interesting new era of growth and working together.
If you have any questions about the last few elements of the project please do let me know.
Curator, Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse
Things are in full swing here as the exhibition gets closer, so I thought I would share an update on what we are up to!
As things come close to completion we are busier than ever...
Thanks to feedback from our wonderful volunteers, we have decided to make sure that the terminology in the More Than Oliver Twist Exhibition is explained, with a page dedicated to clarifying the words we see in this research and how they are used in society, both historically and today.
The following is an extract from the information on the terminology page of the exhibition, and I would be really grateful to hear your feedback on what else can be included, if this is phrased appropriately and if there is anything you would change or add. Please do get in touch with your thoughts and ideas!
This week we are pleased to share an update on the More Than Oliver Twist exhibition from our fantastic artists, Mel Rye and Morgan Tipping..
Mel is currently finalizing the 6 large biographical illustrations...
Regional Mentor for Gressenhall, Helen Bainbridge, has shared the fascinating biography of Sarah Ann Gage.
Biography of Sarah Ann Gage
(b. 1873 - d. 1939)
26th December, 2019
by Stephen Douglas
With the More Than Oliver Twist project drawing to an official close in September 2020, the Workhouse Network is setting its sights to the future. Over the next few months, a select committee will help to develop a five-year forward plan to uncover what is next in store for the network…
We are currently running a short survey in order to consider the future of our network. We would be extremely grateful to members and non-members alike, if they would give their input to feedback into our forward planning committee.
Our fantastic artists, Mel Rye and Morgan Tipping, provide us with a brief update as the exhibition starts to come together.
The People have spoken!...
"...of applying to Mr Gosling, the relieving officer, of the Basford union. who gave me an order for 8lb of bread, for presant relief, and also an order for the union house”
By Dr Paul Carter
Letter from George Ellis, 1858 (see footnotes for details) reproduced by kind permission of The National Archives.
Towards the end of June 1858 George Ellis, of Arnold in Nottinghamshire (part of the Basford Poor Law Union), wrote to the Poor Law Board. His letter is a wonderful piece of writing and deserves setting out in full...