Welcome to the world of one-place studies! Twenty-six of our members are sharing something in their particular place for this year's A-Z Blogging Challenge. Today old-hand OPSer Alex Coles is forced to doff her newbie hat.

My one-place study for Wing Buckinghamshire has been around for more than a decade now. It has had a website right from the beginning, back in the dark ages when you needed to learn HTML in order to put a website online, and has evolved into something I'm quite proud of. From time to time another one-place studier will compliment me on it (yay!) or confess that they are quite intimidated by it and boy, doing a one-place study looks daunting (boo!)

But can I share a secret?

I don't know everything about everything.

For instance, I've realised I know virtually nothing about insurance. Many years ago, I extracted around a dozen Wing names from the Sun Insurance records around 1820. Then, apparently, I gave myself a big mental tick in the insurance box and went on my merry way. Never went back to it. Never bothered to learn about how the UK insurance industry was established and grew over time. Never bothered to understand how it worked in practice, who was likely to have had insurance, what their options were, how shady or legitimate it might look to a modern eye, or what records might be out there.

So when I recently encountered a court case reported in some detail in the newspaper about an insurance agent from the neighbouring town who represented one firm and told my Wing folk that firm was shutting up shop or amalgamating with another firm or changing their name (depending on who you spoke to) and their policies could be transferred to the new firm but they would have to hand over their policy documents and apparently this was a big transgression on several fronts to the point that the phrase defraud was being bandied around in court a lot, it made my head swim just a little. I have some background reading to do in order to understand what was going on. After that, there'll be records to hunt down and shoes to put myself in to understand what this all really meant to my Wing folk.

There's always more to learn about and see and do In My Place. And THAT's why we love one-place studies.

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