I don’t know if anyone out there can help me. I’ve been unable to Post for 2-3 weeks now because I cannot upload images. Last year I Upgraded in order to have the extra space for images along with other facilities and I have the receipt for this and account shows that it is not due for renewal until October 2020 when it will be taken from my account.
When I changed my theme accidentally a few weeks ago, it reverted to a Free theme and I think this is why it will not allow me to add more images, although why it should have reverted I cannot imagine.
I have put 5 Help messages up on the Forum but although my query is acknowledge and I am told someone will get back to me I have never heard again from anyone. After delving into the murky innards of my account with WP I discovered that the email address there was an old one which I discarded over two years ago. I re-validated this to ensure they had my current email address even though I receive regular notifications from them at this current address.
I don’t know what else to do except to discard the whole thing and start all over again with a new WP site but I am loathe to go down this road. There seems to be no way of contacting them other than putting a message on the Forums (done) and sending a message to the Helpline (done). I gave them my current email address and also pointed out that my WP is travelswithmycamera.blog not travelswithmycamera.com which is the only site showing.
Hey, I hadn’t realized I had changed my blog theme!
I had ‘lost’ my blog, something I’d also done six years ago, and it’s taken me 2-3 days to get it sorted out with the help of the nice people on the WP Help Forum. Meantime, passing the time I was looking at other Themes and clicking on them to see what they looked like. I hadn’t meant to change my theme, but obviously, I have done so – even using one of their header photos. It’s not a bad theme, but when I have more time I shall have to come back and change it again, either to what I had before or something different.
When I have more time, that’s a joke isn’t it? but it seems that the more time I have on lock-down the less time I seem to have to do essential things. Mind you, I’ve done a lot of sorting out, (bags full of stuff for the charity shops when they re-open), tidying up in general, and fulfilling those halfhearted resolutions I made at New Year. Half my day seems to be spent making lists for the grocery slots I might get!
April, 2020: I miss a lot during these days of lock-down, of isolation and no contact with friends, but what I’m missing more than I thought I would is the work I and a group of other volunteers have been doing with our County Archaeologist, Dr. Ruth Waller.
“The past is another country “said J.P. Hartley, but I don’t think he had in mind the 13th or 14th centuries when he said that. It is something very obvious to me however, as a volunteer with the Brading Community Archive Group, when I open a centuries-old Rate Book, a Fee Farm Rent Book or a Poor Rate Book. For over a year now we have been working on unlocking the past through old documents, books, paintings and photographs from the village of Brading on the Isle of Wight, a project made possible by a Grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and without which the project would not be possible.
The end result will be that books and documents which have been hidden away for centuries will be transcribed and available online to researchers. The original documents will be seen side by side with the transcribed documents and will also be available in paper form for researchers.
Charles lst gave this once thriving seaport as security for a loan from the City of London. Today Brading is no longer a coastal seaway: after failed attemps in the 16th century the marshes were finally drained and the embankment completed on 1881 which enabled the railway system to progress.
Brading’s history is apparent from the Norman Church at the top of the incline to the well-preserved 16th and 17th century houses that line both sides of the High Street with their eclectic range of windows, roofs and chimneys. Next to the church is the old town hall, a stone and brick building with an open arcade housing the stocks and whipping post, once the site of the butchers’ shambles for the market first held in 1285.
It is here that we work, in the Old Town Hall, a musty room over the stocks, a cold place in the winter as we can’t have heating because of the fragility of the books.
As bacteria, acids, oils and dirt on our hands can be transferred to the materials we are working on, disposable rubber gloves are worn at all times, no food or drink is allowed on the premises and it goes without saying that no pens are allowed anywhere near the documents or books (all notes must be taken using pencils). Working on the books is done according to prescribed rules: opening them at 1800 could cause irreparable damage (1200 is the maximum opening) and tightly bound books should be opened no more than 900. To prevent damage to the spine they are opened in a box made into a sort of cradle and as fragile surfaces must not be touched pages must never to be turned by the corners, and more …. And I haven’t got to photographs and pictures yet!
Before we got to the transcribing stage we had to carefully clean the books with special brushes which wouldn’t damage the paper, first the front, back and spine, then each page. When I say this was boring, believe me, I’m not exaggerating. After that, each book was wrapped in special acid-free paper, tied up with acid-free cotton tape, given a number which was attached to it and then placed carefully on shelves ready for the next stage.
In the midst of all this ancient paraphanalia we sit among modern technology, overhead scanners, laptops, computer storage devices etc.
Once the transcribing began the brain was engaged and the fascination with ancient ways and history meant that even two cold winters in the Old Town Hall could be coped with – just! As well as remembering that 1752 was the first year in England to begin on January 1st (until then the New Year began officially on March 25th, Lady Day) there was the fact that two centuries earlier, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII had reformed the Julian calendar because it did not conform to the solar system, and cut 10 days from the year. England did not follow other European countries in this and remained ten days behind until an adjustment was made in 1752 and these days removed. Then there are Regnal years versus calendar years and other hazards for the careless transcriber, one of the trickiest being documents written in the reign of Charles ll who came to the throne in May 1660 although he calculated his regnal year as beginning on 30 January 1649 the date of his father’s execution. These anomalies do not interfere with the actual transcription of the documents but they have to be kept in mind for dating purposes.
The actual transcription has to retain the original spelling and as spelling in English was not standardised until the 18th century this can create difficulties. Before then phonetic spelling was used and people wrote in the local dialect so when transcribing it is often necessary to say the word aloud as it appears on the page to get a sense of what the word might be. It is useful to know where the document was written or by whom as a word written by someone who spoke in a Somerset dialect say, could differ in spelling from that of a Londoner.
The books and documents themselves are fascinating and sometimes one can spend too long reading about the fines for allowing a pig to roam in the street, money requested for footware for a shoeless child of the village, for a cart to take an old woman to the Workhouse, or for bread for a hungry family. One is made aware of the importance of policing certain trades by the weights and measures being strictly kept under lock and key and checked and signed for each year, and made to wonder at the many pubs the village supported. There are many sad tales and one is grateful beyond words to have been born in this present day and age where despite its failings, there is a safety net to catch all but the most vulnerable in our society.
We shall be working on the books for another year at least, but once away from the ancient past and into the 20th century it will get easier, and I dare say, less interesting. Coronation street parties, the coming of street lighting and the contract to the lamp-lighter (£16 a year), are still fascinating but I shall miss the dark, old days, when life was ruled by the rising and setting of the sun and when having the price of a candle meant that a woman could wear her eyes out doing sewing to make an exra few pennies to feed the family.
When the lock-down is over and things return to normal, our little band of volunteers will return once more to our job of unlocking the past so that future generations will be able to research the history and times of Brading, Isle of Wight. Although it is but a small town on an island, the broad outlines of how it was run apply equally to towns and villages all over the country and the knowledge gained by looking at this one small town gives an insight into England’s governance at a micro level.
I haven’t posted for some weeks now as I’ve been tied up trying to recover virtually my entire photographic collection. I had a serious mishap with my computer and everything disappeared. Most of the documents I managed to recover but they are now in a different format and with the expenditure of quite a sum of money I got most of them back. Some were originally in an older version of Windows but had been converted but have now reverted to the former version.
The photographs are a different problem though. I managed to get quite a lot back but they are all mixed up. Not only are they in a jumble of dates but the captions have disappeared completely, leaving me at a loss as to where some were taken, when, and for what reason. Imagine trying to differentiate 100 churches or more, all taken at different periods in different countries and landscapes without any defining features, and you’ll have an idea of my problem.
My back-up went the same way and neither of the two computer experts I’ve had looking at it can understand why. Maybe because it is kept plugged in to my desktop all the time, to make a backup?
My older photographs I always put on DVDs (or CDs in the earlier days) and these are OK, but since I bought the Iomega backup machine I haven’t bothered. Lesson learned.
I am just about to put up a blog post but it won’t have the photographs I had planned to use of the volunteers working together on our project at Brading, Isle of Wight, and this after I’d got everyone’s permission to use the images!
And now to continue my search through thousands of images to try and re-caption them, date them (vaguely) and otherwise restore them.