Denbighshire Archives are pleased to announce two winning stories that have been selected as part of the recent ‘Tell Us Your Story’ campaign. Councillor Barbara Smith presented the winners with their prize today.
Users of Welsh archives were asked to submit a story about their experiences and discoveries as a result of using the service. A total of 77 entries were received from all over Wales and 22 winning stories have been selected to each win £100.
Denbighshire winners include Ruth Pritchard from Rhyl and Julie Anne Jones from Wrexham. Ruth used Denbighshire’s Archive Service to search The North Wales Weekly News and her story talks of her excitement at finding a photograph of her great grandfather, a Rhyl-born football referee and linesman, Frank Beech. Ruth went on to contact the Welsh Football Association and found another photograph of her ancestor stood next to the famous Billy Meredith! Ruth said “Frank died long before I was born but I feel that I know him now, thanks to the wealth of information I found at Denbighshire Archives. The internet is often the first step when researching family history, but local archives can reveal much more.”
Julie Anne’s story was also based on her own family history. She talks of her great grandmother who came from a coal mining family but discovered she was in Wrexham workhouse as a child in the 1901 census. Julie Anne used Denbighshire Archive Service to search the Wrexham workhouse records and learned that her great grandmother had been “boarded out” to a local family in June 1902, where she stayed until she married her husband at the age of nineteen. Julie Anne says “I owe a big thanks to Denbighshire Archives. No one knew anything about my great grandmother’s life and now we can pass on her story”.
Welsh Government Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths says “The stories highlight the value that archive services can bring to local communities and demonstrate the meaning and impact that the records they hold can have on individuals and families. The popularity of archives as a cultural and educational resource has never been higher.”
Nicola Williams, Marketing Project Officer and one of the judges commented, “We were very pleased to receive stories from a wide range of users across Wales. They vary from personal family revelations and local history finds to stories from lecturers, teachers, students, pupils and volunteers. Some of the stories are very moving and others demonstrate how the service has helped them to acquire new skills and sparked new interests. I would like to thank everyone for telling us their stories.”
Some of the winning stories from across Wales will be brought to life in short films showcasing the variety of records, photographs and documents that can be accessed free of charge by your local archive service.
Visit Archives Wales to find out more about the campaign.