Black History Month – Oct 2020

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Newcastle University Library’s Special Collections and Archives include several collections which contain materials with relevance to race equality issues. These are highlighted below, together with contextual resources such as blogposts and online exhibitions.

Collections

Jack Mapanje Archive

Jack Mapanje was born in Malawi in 1944, growing up in Kadango village in the Mangochi district.

Photograph of Jack Mapanje
Photograph of Jack Mapanje. Image attribution: Amnesty International, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, via Flickr

He first started to write poetry from despair at the political situation in Malawi; his first collection, Of Chameleons and Gods, was published in the UK in 1981 by Heinemann. The collection was critically acclaimed around the world, but withdrawn from circulation in Malawi in June 1985 by the government of dictator Hastings Banda. In September 1987, Jack was arrested and detained without charge or trial in Mikuyu Prison in Malawi. During his imprisonment, Of Chameleons and Gods won the Rotterdam Poetry International Award in 1988, and Jack was subsequently also awarded the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award in 1990, recognising his fight for freedom of expression. Despite an international campaign by numerous writers, linguists, and human rights activists, including Harold Pinter, Wole Soyinka, Susan Sontag, and Noam Chomsky amongst others, Jack was not released until May 1991, and was given no explanation of his detention. During his time in prison, he wrote his second collection of poetry, The Chattering Wagtails of Mikuyu Prison (1993), and much of his third, Skipping without Ropes (1998).

After leaving Malawi with his wife and children, Jack settled in Britain, where he has lived ever since, and has held numerous prestigious posts in universities, the first of these being a fellowship at the University of York in 1992. He was later an Honorary Visiting Professional Fellow in the School of English at the University of Leeds, where he taught a degree course between 1993 and 1996, and edited the collection Gathering Seaweed: African Prison Writing (2002) based on this course. Jack held a Royal Literary Fund Fellowship at Leeds Trinity University from 1999–2001, and has since held a post as Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and Literatures of Incarceration at Newcastle University. Most recently, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bedfordshire in 2015 and has held a Visiting Professorship post in the Faculty of Arts at York St John University.

In the Mapanje (Jack) Archive we hold material relating to his poetic works, items relating to his academic career in both Malawi and the UK, and perhaps most interestingly, correspondence written during and after his time held as prisoner of conscience.

You can find out more about his life and career in the blogpost ‘Jack Mapanje – poet and prisoner of conscience‘.

Anne Walmsley Archive

A specialist in Caribbean art and literature, Anne Walmsley is a British editor, scholar, critic and author. Anne started her career in the late 1950s when she worked as a secretary for Faber and Faber.

Typescript draft of Caribbean Dancers
Typescript draft of Caribbean Dancers [Walmsley (Anne) Archive, AW/1/2/3/5]

Anne Walmsley participated in the Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM), founded in 1966 by Kamau Braithwaite, John La Rose and Andrew Salkey. In 1985 she was awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship to research CAM and in 1992 she was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Kent for her thesis on this, which was also published as a book entitled The Caribbean Artists Movement: A Literary and Cultural History, 1966-1971. 

Anne Walmsley has contributed to a range of journals, literary magazines, exhibition catalogues and anthologies. The Walmsley (Anne) Archive holds a range of material including letters and reports from her time at Longman’s, her scrapbook from teaching at Westwood, research on CAM, and research on a range of Caribbean artists.

Highlights from the collection include:

Several titles published by Margaret Busby OBE, Britain’s youngest & first black female book publisher. Titles include, And Still I Rise (2006) and CLR James’s 80th birthday lectures (1984).

Photograph of Margaret Busby
Photograph of Margaret Busby. Image attribution Andy Mabbett, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The critically acclaimed debut novel, In the Castle of My Skin (1953), the critically acclaimed debut novel of Bajan novelist, essayist and poet George Lamming (b. 1927).

Photograph of George Lamming
Photograph of George Lamming. Image attribution: Public domain

Bloodaxe Books Archive

The Bloodaxe Books archive is considered one of the most exciting archives for contemporary poetry that exists. The material in the collection includes 592 boxes of original typescripts, editorial work, correspondence and examples of marketing, business and financial records dating from the 1970’s to the present day. These records represent authors and books that have won virtually every major literary award given to poetry, including the T.S. Eliot Prize, Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize. Bloodaxe is also known for its work with translated collections and American poetry, and have published responsively to cultural change in Britain, publishing some of the finest writers in the British-Caribbean and South-Asian diaspora. Another significant achievement is that Bloodaxe publish more female writers than any other British poetry publisher, at a 50:50 male:female ratio. The company has opened up poetry to thousands of new readers and the material held in the archive demonstrates how Bloodaxe Books has been able to achieve this.

Front cover of 'Middle Passages' written by Anne Walmsley
Front cover of ‘Middle Passages’ written by Anne Walmsley [Bloodaxe Books Collection]

Bloodaxe Books Collection

The Bloodaxe Books Collection consists of poetry, prose, translations and critical work published by the company since its inception in 1978.

Want to find out more about some of the poets that Bloodaxe Books represents? Check out ‘Contemporary Poetry Collections: poets and their archives‘ on the blog.

Front cover of ‘Europa’ writtwen by Moniza Alvi
Front cover of ‘Europa’ written by Moniza Alvi [Bloodaxe Books Collection, 821.914 ALV]

Joseph Cowen Tracts

The Cowen (Joseph) Tracts are almost two thousand pamphlets which were formerly owned by local (radical) M.P., Joseph Cowen (1829-1900). The tracts date mostly from the mid- to late-Nineteenth Century and reflect Cowen’s interest in the social, educational, political and economic issues of the day.

Political cartoon of ‘After the ballot’
‘After the ballot’ [A volume of printed ephemera, broadsides, posters, cartoons, referring to election in Northumberland, Necwcastle and Tyneside divisions, 1826-1931] (RB 942.8 ELE Quarto, Rare Books Collection)

Included in the pamphlets are subjects on abolition and the slave trade, including material relating to Frederick Douglass. Douglass was born into slavery c. 1818 on a plantation in Talbot County, Maryland, USA. He became one of the most famous intellectuals of his time. He advised Presidents and lectured to thousands on a range of causes, including women’s rights and Irish Home Rule. On 3 September 1838, Douglass escaped from slavery in Baltimore. He disguised himself as a sailor and headed north, travelling by train and boat, first to Philadelphia, then on to New York. Find out more about Frederick Douglass and Newcastle on the University’s website. You can find material from the Cowen Tracts, relating to Douglass on the library catalogue.

Black and white photograph of William Douglass
Photograph of William Douglass

Pamphlets were an effective form of public debate because they could be circulated to a wider audience than books and authors could remain anonymous. Other subjects include discussions around Irish politics, foreign policy, women’s rights, religion, education and public health and include such titles as The Union programme for 1880: constructive, not destructive, Irish legislation [1879?], Are women fit for politics?: are politics fit for women [185-] and The education of the agricultural labourer: a paper read before the Morpeth Chamber of Agriculture, on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 1870 by M.W. Ridley (1870).

2nd Earl Grey Tracts

The Grey (2nd Earl) Tracts reflect the interests of their former owner, the 2nd Earl Grey (1764-1845) whose Whig government was responsible for the 1832 Reform Act, 1833 Factory Act and the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act.

The pamphlets cover a broad range of historical, social and economic subjects including colonial policy, public finance and banking, the Corn Laws and agriculture, poor relief, slavery, Catholicism, Ireland and the Greek Revolution.

Digital Resources and Blog Posts

Martin Luther King at Newcastle University

A digital exhibition tells the story of the civil rights campaigner Dr Martin Luther King Jr., receiving an honorary degree at Newcastle University in November 1967 using original photographs and documents from the University Archives.

Photograph of Martin Luther King signing the University's visitors' book, 13 November 1967
Martin Luther King signing the University’s visitors’ book, 13 November 1967 (University Archives, NUA/052589-5)

Dr Martin Luther King Memorial Service

Dr Martin Luther was assassinated shortly after 6pm on 4th April 1968, King was short dead in Memphis, Tennessee. He was just 39 years old. This is a blog post on the memorial service for Dr Martin Luther King, held at St. Thomas’ Church, Haymarket in Newcastle, 1968.

E.M. Bettenson, “Dr. Martin Luther King,” announcement, 22 April, 1968
E.M. Bettenson, “Dr. Martin Luther King,” announcement, 22 April, 1968 (University Archives, NUA/00-7621/3/21)

Books We Forgot to Remember: the radical tradition in British children’s literature of the early twentieth century

A blog post from Newcastle University students about the radical tradition in British children’s literature of the early twentieth century. This includes the includes the book, Blue Peter, which was written to tell a tale of marginalised minorities at the time of its production during the World War II.

A member of the SA throws confiscated books into the bonfire during the public burning of “un-German” books on the Opernplatz in Berlin (image not from Newcastle University Library Special Collections and Archives)
A member of the SA throws confiscated books into the bonfire during the public burning of “un-German” books on the Opernplatz in Berlin (image not from Newcastle University Library Special Collections and Archives)
Continue reading

Daguerreotypes – Hugh Lee Pattinson

With information taken from Dictionary of National Biography and Henry Lonsdale’s ‘The Worthies of Cumberland‘ (1867-75)

Hugh Lee Pattinson (image in the public domain and not part of Newcastle University Special Collections and Archives)

Hugh Lee Pattinson (1796-1858) was born on 25th December 1796 at Alston, Cumberland, son of Thomas Pattinson, a retail trader, and Margaret Lee. Hugh Lee Pattinson gained some knowledge of electricity and at the age of seventeen constructed some electrical devices. He also studied chemistry especially in connection with metallurgy.

He took among the first-known photographic images of Niagara Falls and the Clifton Hotel. These early photographs were known as daguerreotypes. Daguerreotypes were produced using an early photographic process involving an iodine-sensitised silvered plate and mercury vapour. This photographic method does not permit reproduction so the images are unique.

Photograph of the Horseshoe Falls.
The Horseshoe Falls (1840) [Daguerrotypes, DAG/4]
Black and white photograph f the American Falls.
The American Falls (1840) [Daguerreotypes, DAG/3]

To view more Daguerreotypes, visit CollectionsCaptured.

Timeline

1821 Employed as clerk and assistant to Anthony Clapham, a soap boiler in Newcastle.

1822 Pattinson joined the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle.

1825 He became assay master to the lords of the manor at Alston.

1829 Pattinson discovered an easy method for separating the silver from lead ore but did not have the funds to complete his research.

1831 Appointed manager of the lead works of Mr Wentworth Beaumont where he had the opportunity to perfect his method of desilverising lead which was patented in 1833.

1834 He resigned his post and, in partnership with John Lee and George Burnett, established a chemical works at Felling, Gateshead and afterwards at Washington.

His process for extracting the silver from lead allowed the working of lead mines that had been deemed too uneconomic to run.

He also invented a simple method for obtaining white lead, and a process for manufacturing Magnesia Alba. (Patented 1841)

1838 Became vice president of the British Association, a fellow of the Geological Society.

1839-40 Visited America to investigate an offered mining speculation.

1852 Elected fellow of the Royal Society in June.

1858 Retired from business to study astronomy, mathematics and physics. Soon after this he died at his home, Scot’s House near Gateshead, and was buried in Washington.


Full text of chapter on Pattinson from ‘The Worthies of Cumberland’.

Text and digital images copyright © Newcastle University Library (1997). All rights reserved. Copying or redistribution in any manner is prohibited. Any public or commercial use of these materials without prior written permission is a violation of copyright law.

The legacy of W.F. Kirby: inspiring two placement students

Written by Dalia Aizi, a MA Museum, Gallery and Heritage studies student, whilst on placement in Summer 2019.

Early on in our placements at Special Collections, whilst doing research for a new exhibition, we came across a beautifully illustrated book titled European Butterflies and Moths. Upon seeing the plates and reading the texts, we were inspired to create ‘The Beauty of Science: Seeing Art in the Entomological World’. We decided to create an exhibition which celebrates the artistic aspects of science books, which are often overlooked.  

The life of W.F. Kirby

Born in Leicester in 1844, Kirby found a deep interest for butterflies at a very young age, which continued into his adult life. After his father’s death and the family’s move to Brighton, he became more involved in the entomological world, joining the Brighton and Sussex Entomological Society before he moved to Dublin in 1867. While there, he became an established and famous entomologist after his book, A Synonymic Catalogue of diurnal Lepidoptera was published.

European Butterflies and Moths

In 1882, Kirby finished and published European Butterflies and Moths (19th Century Collection, 19th C. Coll. 595.78 KIR), which gives a comprehensive guide into the world of the Lepidoptera. 137 years later, the book is still easily read even for novice readers such as us, which he writes about in his preface, stating that the book is ’designed to provide entomologists and tourists with a comprehensive illustrated guide to the study of European Macro-Lepidoptera’.

The exhibition ‘The Beauty of Insects: Seeing Art in the Entomological World’ that was created as part of the placement in Newcastle University Special Collections and Archives can be viewed online.

Early Hot Air Balloon – Vincent Lunardi

The note written in Spanish underneath describes the above image, where Vincente Lunardi is riding in a colourful balloon ascending (going upwards) from the Jardin del Buen Retiro (the public garden) in Madrid on 12th August 1792.

Vincente Lunardi was born in Lucca in Italy in 1759. He was an Italian aeronaut, which is someone who travels in an airship or balloon. He gained fame for the first 24 mile hot air balloon flight in England.

In the late 18th century (1700’s) there was a flying craze. There was the first manned free floating balloon flight in France (November 1783) and the first manned, free floating ascent in Scotland by James Tytler (August 1784).

Lunardi’s flight took off from the Honourable Artillery Company ground (an area that contained large weapons) at Moorfields in London. The flight occurred in September 1784 and many gathered at the grounds to watch it. It is claimed that he had to leave his friend, George Biggin behind, due to the crowd’s growing impatience or due to the balloon not inflating enough. Sources state that he had a cat, a dog and a pigeon with him for company. His balloon was very brightly decorated and was inflated by hydrogen gas to make it light enough to fly. He travelled for a total of 24 miles across London and overshadowed James Tytler’s balloon ascent, where he only went upwards from the ground.

Lunardi was nicknamed the ‘Daredevil Aeronaut’ and inspired ladies’ skirts and hats. The ‘Lunardi bonnet’ (a bonnet is a type of hat) is mentioned in a poem by the famous poet Robert Burns called ‘To a Louse’.

He carried out several more balloon flights, including one at the Jardin del Buen Retiro in Madrid in 1792. This was his first air balloon attempt in Spain. Prince Ferdinand of Spain was amongst the people watching  and wasn’t very impressed as the balloon rose 300 metres from the ground before falling in the town of Daganzo de Arriba.

This text is originally taken from the Education Outreach team’s ‘Amazing Archives’ resource.

Page Turners – Generations

A further three Trevelyan family albums have become available to browse and search on Page Turners. They fill the gaps between those already available, and bring the family to a great turning point in their lives.

George Lowthian, Kitty and Pauline Trevelyan in 1909

Volume Six is an album of two parts – the earlier pages having been compiled prior to Charles and Molly’s marriage. It includes photographs of Charles at Harrow in the 1880s, and early photographs of the family’s homes at Wallington and Welcombe. These early pages include the marriage of Charles’ brother Robert Calverley to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven from Holland as well as photographs of Philips Park in Prestwich.

The second half of this album is compiled by Molly, and spans 1908 to 1911. There are many pictures of their three eldest children; Pauline, George and Kitty, as well as their extended family, including Robert and Elizabeth’s only son the artist Julian Trevelyan. There are photographs of the family enjoying the countryside on the Wallington estate, and visiting family at Stocks, Sidmouth and Welcombe. There are more wedding photographs, although this time from the wedding of the family’s former nurse – Florence Lister.

Charles and other cabinet members at Downing Street at the end of the first Labour Government, November 1924

The next album in this instalment is Volume 11, which is laden with cuttings and photographs relating to the first Labour Government in 1924, in which Charles became President of the Board of Education. By the time this album was begun in 1924, Charles and Molly’s family of six children was complete, and photographs of their youngest, Geoffrey, playing with his young Richmond and Bell cousins. Further ephemera in the album relates to Molly’s work with the Women’s Institute, and local events at Cambo.

One event which features across these albums and others is the famous ‘Trevelyan Man Hunt’. This annual event saw one or more participants designated as ‘hares’, whose would spend the day evading capture by the others – the ‘hounds’. From 1898 this event took place annually, based at Seatoller – a family holiday home in the Lake District. Charles was ‘Master of the Hunt’ from 1901 to 1934. These three albums include photographs from the hunt in 1909, 1910, 1924 and 1926-28.

Group photograph of participants in the 1926 ‘Man Hunt’

The latest album of the three, Volume 13, shows a great deal of change taking place within the family between 1926 and 1928. Much of the album reflects the children’s ongoing education, including the younger children at Sidcot School, Kitty as the title role in a school performance of ‘St Joan’, and a visit to Schule Schloss Salem – an elite reformist school in Germany. There are images of two eldest children in their new homes – Pauline at Wessex College, University College Reading and George in his rooms at Trinity College, Cambridge.

The Trevelyan cousins at Cambo in September 1926

As well as their eldest children starting their life as adults, the end of this album features cuttings and photographs relating to the deaths of Charles’ parents – George Otto and Lady Caroline Trevelyan. This marks the point in the family’s life where they left Cambo House – the home they had known since their marriage 25 years before, moving into Wallington Hall, and taking on the management of a large and neglected estate.

Three Weddings and an Election – new Trevelyan albums on Page Turners

Another instalment of digitized Trevelyan family albums is now available to view on Page Turners. A further three albums are now live, each including contextual information allowing you to learn more about the people, places and events shown in the images.

The three newly launched albums are Volume 2 (1903-04), Volume 7 (1912-16) and Volume 10 (1921-23).

In the earliest of these volumes we see the announcement of Charles Philips Trevelyan and Mary Katharine [Molly] Trevelyan’s engagement, and their first year spent as man and wife. The photographs and newspaper cuttings contained in the album give an insight into the Trevelyan wedding, while also showing other society weddings from the period. This notably includes Charles’ brother, the renowned historian George Macaulay Trevelyan’s marriage to Molly’s friend Janet Penrose Ward, daughter of author Mrs Humphry Ward; and Molly’s cousin Florence Lascelles’ engagement and marriage to British Diplomat Cecil Spring Rice. We also see Charles’ growing political career, with the Land Values Bill and the 1904 election also appearing.

The volumes from the early 1910s through to the 1920s allow us to see the Trevelyan children grow from infants through all stages of childhood, into adults. The earlier stages of Volume 7 focus on Pauline (later Dower), George Lowthian and Katharine [Kitty] Trevelyan. We see the children enjoying dressing up, playing outdoors and arts and crafts. We are later introduced to Marjorie Trevelyan (later Lady Weaver) born in 1913, whose first steps are documented, as well as the arrival of twins Florence Patricia and Hugh Patrick Trevelyan born in 1915. This is a very brief glimpse into Hugh’s short life as he passed away a month after his first birthday.

Combined with the newspaper cuttings which appear, Volume 7 shows us two sides of Charles: the politician who conscientiously objected to the First World War, and the family man who led his son’s Boy Scouts group. We also see Molly’s political and community involvement through the inclusion of invitations and cuttings.

In the final volume of the instalment, we see the close ties between the Trevelyan’s, their extended family and their community. There are photographs and prizes from the Cambo Exhibition along with various plays and concerts. Pictures of Molly’s needlework are also including – the work is still exhibited at Wallington today.

This volume also tracks the 1922 election campaign, during which Charles successfully stood as the Labour candidate for Newcastle Central, a seat he would hold until 1931. We see Ramsay MacDonald become Prime Minister and follow the early stages of the new Labour government.

By Megan Wilson

Special Guest Blog: Courier 1969-72, Problems, Prebble and porn

This is the fourth installment in our Courier Special Collections Guest blog series. You can see the other two installments here; ‘1948-55 the early years‘, ‘Changing Directions 1955-62‘ and ‘1962-69 The Golden Years‘.


1969-72 Problems, Prebble and Porn

'Prebble Resigns as Editor', 1st March 1972

‘Prebble Resigns as Editor’, 1st March 1972

Rising printing costs forced the Courier to revert to eight pages in 1969, and for several years the paper suffered from staffing shortages. While it had always been difficult to find enough volunteers to maintain a high quality paper, the problem worsened in the early 70s, with the paper left without an editor at the start of the 1971-72 academic year. Stuart Prebble, who had recently joined as a news editor, was eventually promoted to the top job, but the paper remained generally understaffed for much of this period.

The Union itself was also facing difficulties, with a proposed merger between the SRC and Union falling through and an increase in violence and vandalism. The Courier was frequently attacked at Council meetings, with accusations of bias and a fall in standards commonplace. Both Grey’s Column and Geordie’s Marra were phased out in 1971, and the paper’s criticisms of SRC staff became more frequent and less subtle.

Under Stuart Prebble’s editorship pin-up pictures of female students remained a regular feature, and in November 1971, to “celebrate” the Courier‘s twenty-third birthday, the paper published a topless picture of a female student; this was, coincidentally, also the first anniversary of The Sun’s first topless page three picture. Several other topless pictures followed over the next few years, with the climax being the “Courier porn page” in May 1972 – part of an issue that also included features denouncing feminism and joked about rape.

Bumper Edition of the Courier which featured the Couier porn page, 5th May 1972

Bumper Edition of the Courier which featured the Courier porn page, 5th May 1972

Prebble himself had resigned by this point, in order to run for President of the Union free from accusations of using the paper to publicise his campaign. His noble intentions were undermined, however, when his resignation appeared as the front page story of his final issue in charge, prompting ridicule even in the Courier letters page. His successor, Dianne Nelmes, was openly critical of Prebble in the Courier during his time as President, until she herself resigned due to work pressures in November 1972. She also went on to become President, while several other members of the Courier team rose to prominent positions within the SRC and Union. Despite, or perhaps because of, this close connection between paper and politics, attacks on the SRC in the Courier became more frequent and more personal, while the Courier was increasingly criticised at Council meetings.

Courier letter page, 6th December 1972

Courier letter page, 6th December 1972

During her short time in charge of the paper Nelmes arranged for students of the new Newcastle Polytechnic to join the Courier‘s editorial team. The inclusion of the Polytechnic trident next to the University’s shield did little to mask the sidelining of Polytechnic news, however, and the scheme attracted criticism from both sides. After just four months the partnership collapsed and the Polytechnic students withdrew from the Courier to form their own newspaper in collaboration with local colleges.

Courier with the Polytecnic trident and Polytecnic news, 1st November 1972

Courier with the Polytecnic trident and Polytecnic news, 11th October 1972

This was the least of the Courier‘s problems. Financial difficulties necessitated an almost doubling of the cover price between 1970 to 1972. Staff shortages remained a problem, and on several occasions pages in the Courier were filled with articles reprinted from other student papers or Times Higher Education. Meanwhile the letters page became a battleground between members of the Courier team, the SRC executive and the Socialist Society. The Courier‘s relationship with “Soc Soc” had progressively declined since the late 1960s, with the society forming a rival publication – called, naturally, Pravda – in 1971. “Soc Soc” and the Courier fought for control of the SRC executive, with personal feuds and petty rivalries also thrown into the mix to create a tense and tumultuous atmosphere.

'Call to resign from Soc-Soc', 6th December 1972

‘Call to resign from Soc-Soc’, 6th December 1972


The above content is taken from Courier alumni, Mark Sleightholm’s Courier History site and is interspersed with images from the Courier Archive online website. Mark has begun documenting the history of Newcastle University’s Courier student newspaper, which gives a fascinating insight into reporting trends, recurrent stories and issues, and profiles of the different sections through the ages.

Mary Trevelyan: From Child to Mother on Page Turners

The second instalment of digitized Trevelyan family albums is now available on Page Turners. A brief introduction to this resource and the Trevelyan albums was given in our launch post last month. We’re happy to say that a further three albums have now gone live, along with contextual information which allows you to search for individuals, places, or learn more about the images.

This group includes the first (although not the earliest) volume in the collection – Volume One. Begun in 1894, when Mary Katharine Trevelyan [Molly] was 13 or 14 years old, it gives a valuable insight into her life before her marriage to Charles Philips Trevelyan. Born into the Bell family, wealthy industrialists in Middlesbrough, Molly’s father Sir Hugh Bell had joined the family firm, becoming director of the Bell Brothers’ steelworks in the town. Her mother, Florence Bell nee Olliffe was an author and playwright. Her family’s is perhaps most famously known for her half-sister Gertrude Bell, the archaeologist and diplomat.

Picture of Molly by Lilian Bell, 1894 (CPT/PA/1)

Picture of Molly by Lilian Bell, 1894 (CPT/PA/1)

In the seven years covered by the album we see Molly and her extended family relaxing at properties in Red Car, Mount Grace and Sloane Street, London. There are also souvenirs from time spent in Germany in 1900, including concert programmes from Weimar and Berlin. The final few pages give an inkling of the following volumes’ content, as pictures from a visit to Wallington feature, with photographs of the impressive great hall and the exterior, as well as picnics with her future husband Charles on the estate which they would eventually manage together.

Great Hall at Wallington, 1903 (CPT/PA/1)

Great Hall at Wallington, 1903 (CPT/PA/1)

Volume three, which also appears in this group, shows the early years of Molly and Charles’ married life together (1904-1906). At this point, their lives were split between Cambo House on the Wallington Estate, and Great College Street, Westminster, this album begins with many photographs of the couples’ friends, visits to family at Stocks House (the childhood home of Charles’ sister in law Janet Trevelyan nee Ward), Welcombe (a second home of Charles’ parents George Otto and Lady Caroline Trevelyan) and Rounton Grange (the Bell family home, recently inherited by Molly’s parents). Their love of animals is evident in the frequent photographs of cats and dogs, which appear alongside newspaper cuttings discussing Charles’ career as Liberal Member of Parliament for the Elland constituency in Yorkshire. The album ends with the birth of their eldest child (and first of seven), Pauline Trevelyan (later, Pauline Dower).

Sir Hugh Bell and Pauline Trevelyan, 1905, CPT/PA/3

Volume five continues on from volume three (handwritten notes added later by Pauline state that ‘there never was a vol. 4 a mistake in the binding!’). This album includes the arrival of their next two children, George Lowthian [Geordie] and Katharine [Kitty]. This album includes many photographs of their three eldest children playing together when young, as well as photographs and souvenirs of Charles and Molly’s trip to Italy. Marriage is very much a key feature of this album, and many invitations to weddings of their friends and family are included, as well as photographs and souvenirs from the wedding of Molly’s sister Elsa to Admiral Sir Herbert William Richmond (the parents of Lady Bridget Plowden].

Molly with Pauline and George Trevelyan, 1907, CPT/PA/4

The content of these albums shows the shifting focus of Molly’s world as she transitions from a teenager in an industrialist family to being the wife of a politician and heir to a landed estate and the mother of three young children. Consistent to all the albums though, is the importance of family. The scrapbook style combination of private photographs, souvenirs and publications, gives an intriguing insight into both the private and public worlds of the Trevelyan and Bell families. One which will hopefully be further understood once the ongoing cataloguing of the family correspondence is complete.

Universities at War Guest Blog #4

Over the next few weeks Jake Wall, one of our Universities at War project volunteers, will be blogging about his experience of researching the stories of the WWI fallen using the university archives available in the Philip Robinson University Library.


Hello and welcome to another instalment of the Universities at War Blog. In the last few entries school magazines were used to try and recreate the life history of some of our 12 soldiers, specifically their time at Armstrong college. However now the focus will move to a more broad snapshot of their lives.  This week I have looked at the North East War Memorials Project website.

William Stanley Wylie

William Wylie - Image from the Shields Gazette, 1st July 1915

William Wylie – Image from the Shields Gazette, 1st July 1915

William was born in 1891 in South Shields. He was the only son of marine engineer, Edward Wylie, and his wife, Amy. He was educated at Westoe Secondary School, Harton, South Shields from the age of 12, and left in December, 1906, only to return the following September for a further two years, leaving in 1909 at the age of 18 to attend Armstrong College. He went back to Westoe Secondary School to work as a teacher, as well as Dean Road Boys’ School, again in South Shields.

William was gazetted as Second Lieutenant to the York and Lancaster Regiment, 3rd Battalion on 27th October 1914. He was promoted to Lieutenant in March 1915. While attached to the 1st Battalion in Belgium in May 1915, William went missing near the town of Hooge. He was later reported as killed, having died of his wounds on 10th May 1915 aged 24.

The North East War Memorial Project aims to record every War Memorial located between the River Tweed and the River Tees.  As they say on their site, “Our local War Memorials remind us of what happened and the consequences of these conflicts for many people in the region.  They tell the story of those who fought, those who died, and those left behind to cope with the confusion which followed”

The site records four local memorials to Wylie:

  • A stained glass window on St Mark’s church in South Shields
  • A Plaque in Dean Road Boy’s School
  • A plaque in South Shields Boy’s High school
  • A plaque from Westoe Secondary School (now installed in Harton Technology College)

Of these only the plaque now installed in Harton Technology College remains.

Wylie’s full details, including some pictures of local memorials bearing his name, can be seen on his NEWMP profile page.

Universities at War Guest Blog #3

Over the next few weeks Jake Wall, one of our Universities at War project volunteers, will be blogging about his experience of researching the stories of the WWI fallen using the university archives available in the Philip Robinson University Library.


Picking up from where things were left last week here are some new stories as reported by school magazines.

Joseph Benjamin Wright

Sadly, details of Joseph’s college exploits seem to be limited, he was a member of the Officer Training Core and achieved the first of two qualification certificates, certificate A in March 1911. He was tragically killed in 1916.

It is a strange coincidence that Joseph and William Stanley Wylie were both awarded the same certificate at the same presentation ceremony. Thus, it is probable that two of our soldiers knew one another and were possibly even friends.

Taken from Newcastle University Library Archive: nua-3-2-northerner-dec1917-pg5

Taken from Newcastle University Library Archive: nua-3-2-northerner-dec1917-pg5

Samuel Walton White

Samuel studied in the Arts Department in Newcastle in 1915 where he met Lieutenant J.H Feggetter, a very close friend. He joined the he 26th N.F Irish and went to serve in France in July 1916. Following this he joined the 13th N.F as a second lieutenant and died shortly after.

Feggetter later went on to write an obituary for White when he was killed on June 16th 1917. The end of any life is an occasion for sadness but the sense of melancholy was made far more profound in this case upon the realisation that White died close to his birthday and lived to be just 20. It is reported that he met this sad fate with a company of six other men who were machine gunned down while penetrating German barbed wire.

William Gladstone Wylie

Wylie was awarded a bar to the military cross in 1918 for his bravery on the battlefield when he transported ammunition to the frontline in a 27 and ½ hour operation while under heavy artillery fire which killed many of the other men in his company. Wylie’s courage was noted in two separate dispatches. However, he sadly died in 1918 and is described as giving his life for his country.


More information on the Universities at War project, as well as the stories uncovered by our researchers so far, can be seen at www.universitiesatwar.org.uk.