Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fear for Nottingham

After all the work our team has done to get our Councillors relected in the wards they represent has not worked. I'm sure the national situation had most to do with it but I'll let other people argue about that. I am going to go out on a limb and say that it can't be for a particular like for some of the candidates of Nottingham Labour or the Nottingham party itself.

Not all of them. There is one in particular I talked that, I felt, was a reasonable person who was actually there to look after the people she represents, a community activist instead of a partisan politician.

Having spent time with our Councillors well before election time I've have got to say that they are a bunch of people to be proud of. Always trying to work to better the situation for the residents of their wards the best they can. There never seemed to be a conversation in my presence about their own aggrandisement and their first concern was helping.

I have attended several (resident) meetings they have been to, outside the normal freak show that is Full Council, and found that they never politicised a meeting just to make a personal gain. Sound advice and help is what they offered.

I really hope that given the way I have seen Nottingham Labour behave that Nottingham doesn't implode and all the good work that our team doesn't come undone. The arrogance of the current ruling lot thinking they naturally deserve the votes of the people of Nottingham and not actually doing the detailed basic work for constituents to show that people should vote for them on merit makes me cringe.

We shall see what the next 4 years brings.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lib Dem FOCUS delivery.

It's getting near election time and like all the parties we will be
out delivering our Focus leaflets, although we do this all the time
and not just at elections. During election time obviously the info in
the leaflet changes slightly.

The ward i'm working in has about 35 hours worth of delivery so when
you are doing this every two weeks it can mean a tremendous amount of

Even though I'm not one of the candidates it gives you plenty of
opportunity to see if there is anything that needs reporting to the
Council. Another thing it gives you plenty of chances to do is
actually meet the people and have a bit of a chat. I had a good talk
with someone this morning and said hello to plenty of people. At least
a face to the person putting things through your door.

There are going to be people that aren't interested in either
politics, your party or even their local community. But one thing that
I'm afraid really annoys me is the odd occasion when, you are a couple
of doors away, the person inside just shoves the leaflet out of the
letterbox in to the street or their garden. This is just littering. If
you don't want the info whether it would be a political leaflet (any
party), that pizza menu, Chinese takeaway or charity bag please just
recycle it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Internet and Lost Relatives

I started doing family history research about 15 years ago as when internet research was just blooming. Initially I got all the information together I could about my immediate family and worked backwards from there, as you should.

Of course then Genes Reunited took off and more people became interested with the advent of the Who Do You Think You Are? series. At the time this put me in touch with a few third cousins doing research as well and my tree expanded through collaboration with this people. I am especially grateful to a couple in Derby called the Brown’s who had done a massive amount of research on the Brown family from Ilkeston before internet research made things quicker to reference. I went to visit them and they had all their evidence collected and would gladly share it with me. With a name in my past like Brown I was very grateful.

The more unreal things that have happened are as follows;

I have met my wife’s 7th cousin several times at work and they live not a mile away from me. Our common ancestor being from about 300 years earlier.

Myself and my father-in-law met up one New Years Eve with his 3rd cousin who came all the way from New Zealand researching his family.

I have been in contact with my wife’s 10th cousin whose connected relation was from about 1650.

I moved on from Genes Reunited as I started to get weary of their website and some of the people using it and started using instead. I put my research out there to find living people who might be connected to our family and in an exchange of information I was after getting so images out of them of their ancestors to add to my collection. Names, dates and occupation of ancestors are great but nothing can beat a picture of someone’s face which you can insert in your tree and their image won’t be forgotten.

Doing all these things have been fun but not my greatest thrill.

The best time I have had is quite recently. My father-in-law lost touch with the two sisters of his dad as they moved away from Nottingham and over time contact faded. I found this happens when the parents pass away and direct common link is there no more.

Well, finding living people can be sometimes difficult but after a bit of persistence I managed to find father-in-law’s cousins from Hull to find one had moved back to Nottingham and worked in a shop that my wife goes in all the time. The two sisters from this family hadn’t seen each other for a while either so I arranged a family get together back in Hull so we could all meet up and all say hello again.

My father-in-law’s other aunt (Annie) was a little more difficult as they had moved to Australia in the 1950’s, had stayed in touch with Annie’s mother but this contact reduced when her mother died. I think there was something more about this but not quite sure. Anyway, their names were Atkinson so finding the family was going to be impossible.

Janet was a daughter of Annie and in the earlier 1970’s decided that Australia wasn’t for her so did some travelling around Europe and then stayed with my parents-in-law in Nottingham for a while before moving on to Canada. Well, after 40 years Janet decided to do some family history research as well and because I’d put my information on Ancestry she emailed me to ask a question not realising that she was so closely related to us.

It’s brought back a lot of memories for Janet and she also gave me the information that Annie at the grand old age of 97 is still alive and, although bedridden, has all her facilities. She also remembers my wife, although the last time she saw her was at 2 years old so she has changed somewhat since then.

Although sometimes computers can be a pain and a thing someone of Janet’s age can be reluctant to learn from scratch recently like she has I am so glad she did.