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October 2023 Meeting Report

Cambridgeshire Archives, by Sue Sampson

The speaker at the October meeting was Sue Sampson from Cambridgeshire Archives. She explained how the first Public Record Office was set up in Chancery Lane in 1838, but County Offices did not follow until the early twentieth century.

Cambridgeshire County Council was recognised as a place of deposit for Manorial records in 1930 and the first archivist, Capt. Percy Bale, served in an honorary capacity. He fitted in his duties around the Newmarket Races. Later a trained archivist was employed and the records were all stored in Shire Hall. Now the archives are based in Ely and Huntingdon. At Ely there are 3 large strong rooms and 7 miles of shelving for 20 million documents, bar-coded so that staff can find any item quickly. The catalogue is available online at

Sue went on to show a fascinating selection of slides with documents relating to Sawston, such as the enclosure map from 1811, items from the Huddleston collection, Parish records such as Overseer's reports and examples relating to Sawston industries, the schools and the Co-op, as well as material from the collection of George Nathan Maynard of Whittlesford. She ended with a splendid image of Town Peas in the 1900s.

Mary Dicken

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