Recently Received

Accessioning is the process where archivists record new additions to their collections. Over the last year we have been given over forty new additions ranging from objects, uniform, photographs, publications, documents and many others besides. I thought that I would share two recent examples with you this week.

WVS Canteen Worker Plaster Statuette

On our shelves waiting to be housed in a new acid free box surrounded by plastazote  is a 12 inch tall carved plaster statuette of a standing WVS Canteen worker in WVS uniform coat, hat, scarf and gloves.  It was sent into the Chesham House RVS Community centre in august this year after being brought by the owner in the 1980s from a shop called Bygones.

Pictured in this blog she is holding four cups with her fingers through the handles in her right hand and two with the fingers of her left.  She is also holding four milk bottles against her chest with her left arm.   There are two tea urns at her feet to the right and behind her.  On the front of the plinth is incised, 'W.V.S. CANTEEN WORKER’ in a serif script in capitals. 

The reverse of the plinth holds a very feint signature 'Margaret H G???????' and a date '1941.5'.  Unfortunately a portion of the hat brim over and behind the right eye has been broken off and is missing, and a crack around the whole of the neck indicates that the head has been broken off and replaced. Now it is part of our unique and very interesting collection it can be preserved and kept safe for posterity.

East Kilbride, Lanarkshire Local Office Collection

This was one of the larger accessions of the year and probably the last to arrive, we look forward to seeing what comes to the archive next year. The documents which arrived in a large cardboard box was made up of minutes, day books, Narrative Reports for Strathaven, Strathclyde and East Kilbride, Quarterly Reports, Scottish Annual Reports, financial records, emergency Services training programmes and publications. All these records tell the story of the Strathaven and Strathclyde offices in the Lanarkshire/East Kilbride districts between 1954 and 2003. One of my favourite items was "WOMEN'S ROYAL VOLUNTARY SERVICE NOTES FOR MEMBERS" which had a very interesting FAQ section including one which sounds more like a statement:

“Question: You are a class organisation, middle-class, choosey and establishment-minded"

"Answer: Come, come, most up-to-date community welfare is organised on the knowledge of demographic figures. WRVS membership is representative of the communities in which they live and serve. North Country folk serve North Country communities. Londoners serve London. In a new “young families” housing complex, young marrieds serve young family needs. In sheltered housing, elderly serve each other. I suppose you imagine AB’s serve DE’s. you ought to think again! (Note: Modern demographics have a way to classifying Very Rich as AB and Very Poor as DE and Middle and Professional classes as C1 and C2.)”

Posted by Jennifer Hunt, Deputy Archivist at 09:00 Monday, 12 December 2016.

Labels: Lancing, Sussex, Lanarkshire , Accessions, Scotland

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