Professor Maggie Andrews and Jenni Waugh introduced a group of volunteers and doctoral students to the collections of Worcestershire Archives & Archaeology Service, now held in the Hive.
The session focussed on researching the lives and offices of women who volunteered in wartime to join the WI and other organisations, and continued to work to improve the health and welfare of the county’s working classes during the years that followed.
Collections consulted during the workshop included the minutes of the County Council Midwives’ Act and Smallholdings sub-commmittees; the private papers of the Baldwin family of Bewdley; and the private papers of the Allsopp family of Hindlip.The group were also introduced to the local newspaper collections available on microfilm at the Hive and online at the British Newspaper Archive; and to the extensive collection of local history publications.
Of particular interest to the group were the lists of county councillors and Justices of the Peace printed in Kelly’s Commercial Directories. In the directory for 1921, Miss Catherine Frances Severn Burrow, of St James’ House, Malvern, is named as the elected county councillor for Great Malvern.
In the 1924 directory, the list shows that Miss Burrow has been joined in the council chamber by Mrs Helen Constance Talbot, as councillor for Kidderminster (South West no.5 Ward). In the 1928 directory, Mrs Annie Smith has replaced Mrs Talbot in the Kidderminster ward whilst Miss Burrow continues to serve in Great Malvern. Both women are listed again amongst the county councillors in the 1932 directory.