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“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” ― Barack Obama   On the evening of 6th June, towards the end of this year’s Volunteers’ Week, I had the privilege of attending the Erewash Museum Volunteer Party and Awards. As ever, it was a roomful of happy people celebrating what the museum has achieved – and what it can only achieve through the...
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For Local and Community History Month our volunteer researcher Paul Parkin has been delving into the history of Dalby House, the site of the museum, and the people who lived here.  The Agard Family, 1783–1806 The first family (on record) that lived here was the Agard family. In 1783 Mary Agard (nee Bourne) inherited the “copyhold” for the house. At that time the building was not yet known as Dalby House. Copyhold is an ancient form of land tenure in which the property is held “at the will of the Lord according to the custom of the manor”. The Lord...
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With the summer fast approaching, people are taking to the canals once more, either to use the towpaths for various activities, or even hiring a boat and taking a holiday on the canals. And then, of course, you can’t forget the people who live on the canal all year round. Many people see this as the idyllic life style. A house which can go anywhere (as long as there’s a navigable body of water) seems like a good idea, and can be a lot of fun. However, that was far from the case for the people who first lived on the...
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So soon after Easter this year, this weekend was another long weekend, the May Day bank holiday. For many of us, it’s just another day off, and a much-welcome break. However most people never ask why we celebrate 1st May. It isn’t a big religious holiday like most of the others, and it doesn’t seem to be a particularly significant date in the modern calendar. However, it was very important in the past. Whilst, these days, we don’t consider summer to start until 21st June, the old first day of summer was May Day.   Because of this, there were many celebrations...
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With Easter this weekend, I’ve been looking into the traditions of the Easter Egg and the Easter Bunny. The origins of these are now lost, although it appears that they have been symbols used for festivities around this time of year for thousands of years. In fact, there is an ancient Iranian tradition for decorating eggs to celebrate the Iranian New Year at the Spring Equinox (the day in Spring when there are as many hours of daylight as there are of dark). This is one potential origin for Easter Eggs, coming to the more Christian countries via routes of trade...
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