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Salisbury Museum image archive is now becoming really useful to people.  We have around a million images but the real strength is being able to find the images that people want.  Robert Key was interested in images that included him.  Within a few minutes we could show him around 300.  Another request was for haymaking in the Harnham meadows using horses.

Salisbury Meadows

The image above was quickly found.  It had been scanned years ago but it now had the following metadata within the jpeg file:

1920  Herbert Sloper holding lead horse.

John Wills second from right leaning on pitchfork

Large B&W negative 2187   Ref no 5113    73/1989

Haymaking with horses.  Cathedral in background.

Some of this information had been transcribed from the reverse of the print, some extra had been added by the volunteer doing the transcribing.  Once this information has been added to the image file, it can be digitally searched.  I am waiting for someone to ask, “Have you any photos of my farming relative Herbert Sloper and his friend John Wills?”

Some volunteers are scanning prints, some scanning negatives.  Others are adding metadata by looking at the images.  Another area not to be forgotten is adding to the image collection items from today.  What would be of interest to people in say 100 years’ time?  And importantly, what metadata should be added to the image file?  Already some of my friends only take High Definition videos, in that, if you want any stills, you can take them from the video.  I would expect that in 100 years’ time there will only be 3D videos with smell as well as sound etc.

I took the photograph below the other day as I thought it of interest.  Gravestones are often removed after 100 years; the land being wanted for a road, railway, houses or such.

Will Hanby

Did you know that the green around the Cathedral was once a graveyard but all the gravestones were removed leaving us with those lovely green lawns?

What interested me was that I knew nothing about a pioneer metallurgist called Wilfred Hanby; born 15th October 1892, died 18th March 1990 in his 98th year.  His gravestone looks rather neglected.  Probably because he had out-lived most of his friends.

Using Google, I found Wilfred Hanby married Stella Beatrice Hanby (born Booth).  Stella was born on April 23rd 1896.  They had one child.

I also found that he had written a 127 page book in 1920.

Metals in Aircraft Construction by Wilfred Hanby

PIBN   10531470

ISBN   978-1-333-65333-0

ISBN (Cloth)  978-0-332-51933-3

Published by The Standard Air Press Ltd.

It gives his qualifications as:

Member of the Institute of Metals; Associate Fellow of the Aeronautical Institute of Great Britain; Member of the Faraday Society; Associate of the Institution of Electrical Engineers; Member of the American Steel Treaters’ Society, etc., etc.

In his book there is a forward by L. BLIN DESBLEDS*.  I reproduce the forward here as at this time of 100 years since WW1 Armistice it seems so appropriate.

In November, 1918, when the Armistice was signed, which brought to an end the European War, it became evident that many young men would require intensive technical training in order to complete the engineering education they had commenced, and which, at the Nation’s call they were, for the time being, forced to abandon.  At this juncture the Aeronautical Institute of Great Britain undertook the establishment of courses in Aeronautical Engineering specially designed to meet the needs of a number of them.  One of such courses—the fourth one—was held for the benefit of members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, and, in connection with this course, Mr Wilfred Hanby, a recognized master of his subject, was good enough to give, in the summer of 1919, a series of lectures, on Aircraft Metals, which form the basis of the present volume.”

I have added all the above information to the gravestone image and it has entered the archives.  Maybe someone will use the archive in their research and complete the story of how a pioneer metallurgist, Wilfred Hanby, came to be buried in Salisbury’s London Road cemetery.

Alan Clarke

14 November 2018

  • In 1926, L. Blin Desbleds submitted to the Imperial Conference a plan to link up the British Empire by air with a series of “floating island” airports. Look him up on Google! Thank you for such an interesting blog Alan.