Our Blog

1921 Census - Grace and Favour

29 June 2021

For most people in 2021, the name Gracie Fields conjures up an elderly, dignified white haired woman who hailed from Rochdale and retired to the Isle of Capri. But in 1921, Gracie was just entering the prime of her career.

1921 Census - George Mainwaring

24 June 2021

George Mainwaring: A Rochdale Artist

In our continuing series for 1921 we have been looking at all aspects of the 1920's.  In today's blog we are shining a spotlight on local Rochdale man George Mainwaring.  George was a Rochdale artist who wrote and illustrated for the Rochdale Observer in the 1960's.

1921 Census - The Theatre Royal

16 June 2021

The royal arms appear above a statue of Shakespeare over the door, but what is this sadly neglected building on Peter Street?

1921 Census - What were our ancestors wearing in 1921?

04 June 2021

The setting for the 1921 fashion scene was a post-war era beginning to be dominated by Hollywood films and the film stars who were becoming the fashion icons everyone wanted to copy. See how fashions in hairstyles and clothing changed as a result.

1921 Census - City Centre a Century Ago

31 May 2021

A century ago, Manchester city centre looked very different to nowadays, not least the types and amount of public and private transport. Industrial and domestic pollution meant blackened buildings and smog. However, most of the city's major buildings were already established.

1921 Census - Industrial Holidays

17 May 2021

We're all going on a Summer Holiday

A holiday.  I think we've all been dreaming of one.   I'm sure a break by the seaside was just as important in 1921 as it is for us now.  However the main difference I guess would be that the whole of our community would not close down and be on the same transport out! Back in 1921, holidays in the industrial north were a much more communal affair.

Census 1921 - Processing the Data

11 May 2021

How the 1921 Census was Processed

We take data processing for granted, but 100 years ago the idea of using machines to sort, count and generate reports was a very new one. While the technologies used were electro-mechanical rather than electronic, the underlying processes were much the same as we use today and, indeed, some of the companies involved developed to be well-known names in computing in the 21st century.

Why not learn more about this early data processing exercise?

A New Pace

10 May 2021

Challenging times have meant a change of pace to all our lives. And, this is also relevant to those of us who volunteer on the Society's Family History Help Desk.  Like the rest of the nation the initial lock down in March meant an immediate cessation of all our Help Desk activities and finding new ways to fill our days and new ways of doing things.  And, as the days and the weeks have passed this has even meant learning new ways to research our family history!