THE PHOTO ARCHIVE by Volunteer Alan Clarke


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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.



A Volunteer Writes…


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The museum’s recent well-regarded and strongly supported Heritage Lottery Fund bid was, as you know, unsuccessful. However, a new bid has been submitted.

The HLF decision will come in mid December. If we are successful, the HLF funding will be £3.2 million, the project will cost £4.4 million and the museum will need to raise £1.2 million to fill the funding gap. Should we not be successful we still aim to transform the Salisbury History Galleries, to restore the King’s House and to launch a programme of learning and community activities to build and grow our audiences.

The museum is therefore starting a major fundraising campaign, The Salisbury Gallery Fund. All museum Members have been approached and we are immensely grateful that many have already responded. However, the figures show that there is a long, long way to go.

Volunteers, by the very nature of what we do, already contribute massively to the running and future of the museum and its collections. The museum quite simply could not exist in its present way without us. However, without a building (and because of its age, it is always at risk) there would be no museum! And Salisbury’s history deserves the best!

Please support the museum in this way if you can. This could be a significant part of the fundraising. It is hoped other funds will come from major Trusts and Foundations and private individuals.

Donation forms are available from Reception or you can donate online by clicking here.

Thank you.

Garden 2




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download poppy

The Royal British Legion Poppies Installation in the Cathedral Close from 8 November until Remembrance Day itself was very striking.

The poppies were projected onto the West front of the Cathedral from sunset until later each night. They flowed down the face of the Cathedral, strongly reminiscent of blood, as was no doubt intended.

Cathedral 9

The Royal British Legion has an interesting website which explains why 2018 was a year for saying “thank you”.

Bridget is Running for Lives




Our own Volunteer Co-ordinator, Bridget Telfer, is running the Downton half marathon on 25 November, raising money for the University of Southampton’s immunotherapy research to save more lives from cancer. All this is in memory of her father Trevor.

On 25 November 2018 me and Kevin will be running the Downton Half Marathon in memory of my dad Trevor, who passed away in February this year from melanoma. We will be raising funds for Southampton University to do more incredible research work into melanoma treatment. Dad was treated with an immunotherapy drug at Southampton Hospital from January 2018 – a new treatment that is giving hope to lots of people diagnosed with the disease. Thank you for helping raise money for this very worthwhile cause.

Full information and chance to donate is here.

Eighteenth Century Tablecloth


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A Jacquard Loom

It is the task of the costume volunteers to check all the items in our costume collection (for bugs and other similar issues), to re-catalogue prior to recording on our computer system, and to repack to approved museum standards.

As you will be aware, perhaps if you follow our blog,  many stunning items are ‘unearthed’, not least, last week, a damask tablecloth.

The museum has, from time to time, taken in what might be called ‘related items’ to the costume collection, including buttons, fans, swatches of cloth, handkerchiefs, bedspreads, and, in this case a tablecloth.

As part of the weave of this cloth there were complicated and detailed street scenes and references to a celebration associated with George II. It has been provisionally identified as Dutch (because of the appearance of the name of our capital city, spelled ‘Londen’).

George II , born in what is now Germany, came to the throne in 1729 at the age of 44 and remained until his death in 1760. The tablecloth may well be a souvenir of the coronation.

It was, as you might imagine, extremely difficult to photograph effectively but these views may offer an idea of the exceptional weaving:

Tablecloth 3

Tablecloth 2

Tablecloth 1

From Britannica on-line: Crusaders who had passed through Damascus introduced the fabric to Europe in the 11th century, and the weaving of linen damask became established in flax-growing countries—in France, for example, by the mid-13th century. The Flemish city of Courtrai was noted for its table linen in the 15th century, as was Haarlem, Netherlands, in the 17th and 18th centuries. William III established damask weaving in Ireland in the late 17th century.

Antique damask was 18 to 25 inches (45 to 63 cm) wide, the distance a shuttle carrying the weft threads could be thrown by hand from selvage to selvage through the raised warps. Widths of 50 inches (127 cm) and more could be produced by mechanized weaving, which was introduced about 1835.



You may be buying bulbs, or thinking about seeds for next spring. Can we remind you that we need plants for our grounds? They are beautifully kept by our Volunteers who give of their time freely, as we all do, but plants can be expensive!

There is a planting plan and programme. If you have something to spare that you think we might use, please contact our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Bridget, who will check with the gardening team to see what is needed.

Many thanks


We had a link to the Salisbury Cathedral Close Preservation Society that wasn’t working in one of last week’s blogs (Witches, Witchcraft and Magic in Salisbury, by Alan Crooks). Apologies! It is now up and running (or you can access it by clicking on the link here) and we thought you might like to know that they have an interesting talk, their annual lecture, to be held here, at the museum, on Tuesday 20 November at 6.30pm.

Heather Sebire, FSA (English Heritage) will be talking about Stonehenge – a curator’s view. £10 including wine.

A Reminder…


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St Thomas’ Church Christmas Tree Festival 4th – 9th December. We are looking for decorations inspired by HOARDS: A Hidden History of Ancient Britain.

Think coins, arrowheads, brooches, miniature shields, axeheads, pieces of jewellery etc. Decorations can be sparkly and garish, whimsical or beautifully crafted. And if our exhibition isn’t inspiration, what is?!


All photos by Ash Mills

Please join in by sending in your creations by 1st December.

‘Hoards: A Hidden History of Ancient Britain’ continues until 5 January 2019