Well, here I am at last…I’m a silver surfer blogger!
A multitude of reasons really.
I was born and have lived In Weymouth, Dorset for most of my life, and have always been fascinated by the history of the town.
A few years ago my hubby brought me a super camera, which made me venture outside to capture images of the area. What was surprising to me was when I downloaded these images on the computer, I saw things in my photos that I had never ever noticed before! Never mind that I had in all probability walked past them literally thousands of times during my lifetime.
As I snapped more and more shots, the world of Weymouth and the surrounding opened up before my very eyes.
Curiosity began to enter the frame…how long had that building been there? Why had it been built? Who had used it and what for? So then I started to research the various places, which led me to discovered the world of the Victorian newspapers, and the everyday lives of the folks who lived and worked here.
A whole new universe erupted before my eyes.
So many stories of life, love tragedy and death in our tiny town.
This led to me setting out on a journey of writing a book…not that i’d even thought about getting it published at first, I just wanted to get these folks stories down on paper.
Next problem was how to illustrate them..most of them were way too early for photographs, that was for the rich and famous only. Researching for Victoran illustrations turned up some on the net, but not always what I was looking for, I needed my own source. I came across the Victorian religious books such as The Quiver and The Good Word…they were weighty tomes stuffed to the gunnels with absolutley stunning drawings, page after page of them.
I now possessed a mountain of old books complete with their beautiful, if not sometimes melodramatic, pictures, and a plethora of stories of the Weymouth and Portland townsfolk.
What to do with them all?
Then some bright spark suggested that I start a blog! What me?…that’s for kids isn’t it? But the more I thought about it, the more I thought it seemed a good idea. This way, all those illustrations and fascinating articles in the local papers and books won’t just fade away to dust with time.
Hopefully someone might pass this way and appreciate the detailed artwork of the Victorian illustrators, and enjoy some of the local stories of, who knows, maybe even their ancestors.
- Why Weymouth and me? (cannasue.wordpress.com)
- 1879; Tragedy at the George Inn, Weymouth. (susanhogben.wordpress.com)
- 1824; Weymouth, the Great Storm (susanhogben.wordpress.com)
- 1899; Thwarted love…never cross a woman! (susanhogben.wordpress.com)
- 1895 Wheeling and dealing …….. (susanhogben.wordpress.com)
- Weymouth’s Victorian bandstands. (susanhogben.wordpress.com)
- 1877; Weymouths shipping trade (susanhogben.wordpress.com)
- Weymouth’s harbour area; Brewers Quay (susanhogben.wordpress.com)
5 Comments Add yours
Good morning from Canada
I came across your blog while researching, The Verne Citadel for a family history story I am writing about my Great Grand Parents. They met there and married at the Chapel of our Lady St. Andrew on Feb 15 1879. Shortly after they departed from Sligo Ireland to spend the rest of their lives in India. My great grandmother was the eldest daughter of Michael, Office Keeper at The Verne Citadel. He was a pensioner from The Royal Engineers. The last two children born into the family were registered in Weymouth, Sub-district Portland County Dorset. My ggg grandmother died there in 1884. I find your blog fascinating and helpful to set a picture in my mind of their life there. If you have additional ideas about accessing information about the history of life at the Citadel I would love to hear more. I am planning to visit Cornwall for three weeks this summer and thought I might take a trip to Weymouth to do some research. Thank you – Cynthia Young
Thanks for the nice comments. I love it when it reaches people who have personal connections.
Be well worth a trip to Weymouth. The Verne Citadel is now a detention holding centre, but you can go in there, they actually run Jail House cafe which sits up the top and where you park you pass a lot of the derelict original buildings.
If you have any names I could work with from the Verne Citadel I can see if I can find anything out.
Check out Geoff’s page http://www.geoffkirby.co.uk/PortlandArchivePictures/ he has some wonderful old photos o the Verne Citadel on there.
Thank you Sue. I appreciate any help. My ancestor with the Royal Engineers was Michael Byrne (1833-1913) His wife Josephine DeBono Byrne was the one who died in 1884. They were Catholic and my Great Grandmother, Mary Lucy Byrne was married at the Chapel of Our Lady St. Andrew Feb 15 1879. She married James Joseph Doran who was a Sergeant with the Lancashire Fusiliers- stationed at The Verne Citadel in 1870’s.
After Josephine died, Michael married Jane Nugent. He had very young children at home. They relocated sometime before 1891 where they show up in Portsmouth. Thanks for the link. I also joined your other blog. Thanks again.
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I’ll keep my eyes peeled for anything that might be of interest for you.
Dear Sue, hope I am contacting the right address!
I read your article on the Sydney Groves Memorial Hall with interest, thank you for that.
I am researching my husband’s family : his greta grandmother was a Louisa Kerslake, whose sister Rosina was John Groves’ first wife and mother of Sydney.
I was particularly intersted in the family photo, which you say you obtained from a descendant. Would it be possible to have an e-mail address for this descendant, as I would like to contact them for more information.
My name is Christine Tett, I live in Oxfordshire, and have been down to Dorset several times for research.
Thank you again,