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Making History
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Tuesday 3.00-3.30 p.m
Nick Baker and the team answer listeners' historical queries and celebrate the way in which we all 'make' history.
Programme 8
5 December  2006

Listen to this programme in full

Tin Tabernacles

Dylan Winter reports on the pre-fabricated, corrugated iron buildings that were thrown up to meet the demands of a rapidly urbanising society in the nineteenth century and which still survive to this day. Largely used to provide places of worship they are sometimes referred to as ‘tin tabernacles’. The following site about corrugated iron has a useful article on them together with information about the way they were constructed

Another useful site is the tin tabernacles site

Further reading:

Tin Tabernacles by Ian Smith
ISBN 0-9547126-0-9 Published by Camrose

Author Ian Smith is always keen to hear of corrugated iron buildings that might not have been properly recorded. Write to him at:

Tin Tabernacles
Camrose House
106 Main Street
Pembroke SA71 4HN, UK
Common Graves

A Making History listener has discovered that one of his ancestors was buried in a ‘common grave’ as late as 1905. When did this practice stop he ask?

Making History consulted Professor Steve King at Oxford Brooke’s University

Useful information on pauper burials from Cambridge University Press

Death, Grief and Poverty in Britain, 1870–1914, Julie-Marie Strange
Published by Cambridge University Press ISBN-13: 9780521838573 | ISBN-10: 0521838576

Information about researching cemeteries from the Berkshire Family Historian
Introduced Species - The Coypu
Richard Daniel reports on the introduction of the coypu (a South American rodent) into East Anglia in the late 1920’s for fur farming; its subsequent escape and the fifty year campaign to eradicate it from the countryside.

Natural Wetlands Research Center

University of Manchester
Researching Trades

Family historian Paul Blake joined Nick Baker to talk about some of the common problems facing researchers when trying to decipher the trades people worked in from hand-written records.

Useful links include:

Scotland’s People

Rodney Hall’s genealogy website

John Hitchcocks's Glossary of Ranks, Professions, Occupations & Trades

Obsolete Professions

Paul Blake

Useful publications

Blake & Collins Who was your Granny’s Granny? Foulsham (2204) ISBN: 057202875X

Hurley, Beryl, (Ed.). The Book of Trades: Or Library of Useful Arts: Vol 1, Devizes, Wiltshire, Wiltshire Family History Society (1991) 63 pp. [ISBN 0951225340]

Hurley, Beryl, (Ed.). The Book of Trades: Or Library of Useful Arts: Vol 2, Devizes, Wiltshire, Wiltshire Family History Society (1992) 63 pp. [ISBN 0951225359]

Hurley, Beryl, (Ed.). The Book of Trades: Or Library of Useful Arts: Vol 3, Devizes, Wiltshire, Wiltshire Family History Society (1994) 52 pp. [ISBN 1898714029]

Raymond, Stuart A. Occupational sources for genealogists: a bibliography, Birmingham, Federation of Family History Societies (1996) 81 pp. [ISBN: 1860060366]

Waters, Colin and Titford, John. A Dictionary of Old Trades, Titles and Occupations, Countryside Books (2002) 302 pp. [ISBN 1 85306 601 X]
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Making History

Vanessa Collingridge
Vanessa CollingridgeVanessa has presented science and current affairs programmes for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Discovery and has presented for BBC Radio 4 & Five Live and a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and the Mail on Sunday, Scotsman and Sunday Herald. 

Contact Making History

Send your comments and questions for future programmes to:
Making History
BBC Radio 4
PO Box 3096 Brighton

Or email the programme

Or telephone the Audience Line 08700 100 400

Making History is a Pier Production for BBC Radio 4 and is produced by Nick Patrick.

See Also

Elsewhere on

BBC History

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