Saturday, 31 August 2013

Summer 2013.

It's been an extremely busy summer - yet it would seem on the surface that not much has been happening with the Embsay project. Our commitments with other projects within the Upper Wharfedale Heritage Group have meant we haven't been able to give Embsay research as much time as we would have liked. However, that doesn't mean we haven't been fully occupied!
Jennifer Stearn with the Embsay Children's Centre summer school at Whitfield Syke (c) photo by Ruth Spencer
Work on the genealogical database is steadily ongoing - we now have over 11,000 individuals on the database and it's still growing on a daily basis. The archives of the Craven Herald newspaper are being searched for all references to Embsay and Eastby - since these are all on microfilm it's a very slow process and requires a lot of patience and eyestrain. We are nearing completion on our analysis of the census returns - Only 1901 and 1911 to go through now. We have also almost completed our extraction of data from parish registers / monumental inscriptions and related sources. A start is being made on other sources such as Wills at the Borthwick Institute. 

The survey of the field walls has been stalled by the high summer vegetation which makes it very difficult to examine the stonework closely, but work will resume in the autumn. 

The survey of boundary stones across Embsay Moor is almost complete - there remains just one last stone to record. A talk will be given on the findings of the survey at the Christmas meeting of the Upper Wharfedale Heritage Group. 

We are also preparing to give 2 talks at the Embsay Village Hall in October - details will be circulated nearer the time. 

Pat Carroll teaches two girls how to plot their finds (c) photo by Ruth Spencer

Some UWHG members recently spent a day at the Embsay Children's Centre, with children of various ages from 4 to 10 who were attending for the summer holidays.
Phil with a captive audience at Whitfield - or is it the other way round? (c) photo by Ruth Spencer
They took the children up to the Whitfield Syke mill, where Phil told them the amusing story about the water rights dispute. The children then went "fieldwalking" and took their finds back to the Centre in Embsay to process them. There were more finds waiting to be dug up in the Centre's own sand-pit.
Pat and Jennifer help the children dig up some finds in the sand-pit (c) photo by Ruth Spencer

And finally, the Embsay Research Team are very pleased to have a new member, John Weatherill, who is starting to tackle the large number of archive documents which need transcribing. This will open up a huge new area of information for us on the history of the parish. 

Jane Lunnon