Monday, 4 January 2016

Happy New Year from Hull History Centre

When trying to find an interesting way to say Happy New Year to our blog readers we came across a couple of interesting items from our collections that could both say and sing it for us.

Firstly we can would like to wish you a continental Happy New Year with U DDFA3/6/31/83, a postcard found amongst the papers of the Lords Wenlock of Escrick.

Front of postcard sent by Albert Debouvrie to Miss Irene Lawley, 28 Dec 1916 [U DDFA3/6/31/83]
Reverse of postcard sent by Albert Debouvrie to Miss Irene Lawley, 28 Dec 1916 [U DDFA3/6/31/83]

A century ago, on the 28 December 1916, one of the unmarried members of the Lawley family of Escrick, Miss Irene Lawley, received a postcard at 10 Portland Place, London, from a Mr Albert Debouvrie residing at the seaside resort of Nice-Havrais in Sainte-Adresse, Northern France. Written in French, he gives her his best wishes for a good and happy year, and hopes the card finds her in good health. It would be nice to think that Debouvrie was an admirer, and that the New Year signalled a new relationship for Miss Lawley. Unfortunately, we just don’t know anything more of the story....

We can also sign you a Happy New Year with U DAS/29/23, a curiosity from 1862 found amongst the papers of Colonel Rupert Alec-Smith of Winestead. This item is a hymn sheet containing the words for a ‘New Year’s Hymn’ dated 1 January 1862.

Sheet with words for New Year's Hymn, 1 Jan 1862 [U DAS/29/23]

On reading the words, you are reminded that life is but fleeting and that nothing can shield us from eventual and inevitable death. Now this might seem a little doom-and-gloom to us, but being a hymn intended to be sang at New Year’s Day services, the second part of the hymn then consoles the audience with the promise of eternal life with God. However, if we only focus on the first part of the hymn then it should remind us to make the best use of the coming year – I’m sure it will fly by!

We have lots of New Year’s resolutions here at the History Centre so it should be an exciting year. Stewart Mottram will launch this year’s Lunchtime Club lecture series at 12.30pm on 12 January with a talk titled ‘The Hull Charterhouse: Re-imagining Andrew Marvell’s Boyhood Home. Our 2016 History Makers programme begins at 9.30 on 16 January when we will be recreating our favourite things about history using Lego and crafts. And the first Family History Helpdesk of 2016 will be held 10am-12pm on 21 January.

Just because we have City of Culture Year coming up in 2017 doesn’t mean this will be a quiet year for us. Keep reading the blog and follow us on Twitter to find out what we are doing and how we are making 2016 count.  

All the Staff at Hull History Centre

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