In our first trip out as a Society for some time we booked a stand at THE Genealogy show in the NEC in Birmingham earlier in June, gathered together a group of willing (!) volunteers and headed off to Birmingham with boxes of resources. I was a bit taken aback at being asked to hire high-viz jackets for those involved in setting up and produce a risk assessment in which I promised not to use ladders (shhh... no mention of climbing on a chair...), but the set-up day was literally that, setting up with forklift trucks whizzing around constructing stands and scenery.
We were given a stand in a good location (close to the coffee trolley!) and so had plenty of footfall during the two days. The exhibition consisted of work from a number of members on their studies so there was a good range of interests, techniques and approaches demonstrated. Janet Few’s photograph album illustrating her place with houses and residents over time was well received, as was Peter’s map work and Alex’s project extracting an item from the local Wing newspapers of 150 years ago. There were many cries of ‘ooh - that’s a good idea’ as people looked at the resources and many left inspired (but sadly with no more time.. if only!).
We chatted to a huge number of people over the two days and found that many people hadn’t thought of doing a one-place study but were interested in the idea. A number of folk commented that they couldn’t do a study because they didn’t live near their place, so Alex’s Wing work was useful there too to demonstrate that yes, this is possible even from the other side of the world. Another group of people were actually doing an OPS but didn’t know it had a name. Others had started an OPS in the past and were inspired to pick it up again. Janet Few kindly brought a number of copies of her book ‘Putting Your Ancestors in their Place’ which generated a lot of interest too. If you haven’t got one then there are just a few copies left.
Many thanks to Peter, Jacqui, Janet F and Kirsty for their help in making this all happen and to those who shared study resources and ideas for the stand. We are going to do it all again next year so save the date - June 26th-27th 2020 in the NEC in Birmingham - and we’ll see you at #THEGenShow2020.
Fifteen people signed up as new members at this year’s show. Welcome to you all, we look forward to sharing your discoveries and learning from your journey.