Blog

Jessica Hammett (University of Leeds) with Ellie Harrison (The Grief Series) This blog post is about how we care for our participants and how we care for ourselves when we do public engagement work, especially when we are researching difficult topics; in the case of this project death, grief and...

A guest blog from Patrick Bourne, with thanks to the Leeds Jewish Representative Council, the United Hebrew Congregation, Leeds and the Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue for providing information Along with the Irish, the largest migrant community in early twentieth century Leeds were Jews, many of whom had fled persecution in...

A guest blog from Carolyn Huston, a member of our family historians group  My garden here in Leeds is the place that I spend a lot of leisure time enjoying. Gardening has always given me pleasure and it has always been the place I go to drown my sorrows. An...

Following our workshop on collaboration – between family historians, academic historians, archivists, librarians and many others – on Saturday 14 July, one of our speakers, Mike Esbester (University of Portsmouth), reflects on what he got out of the day. Mike gave a talk on ‘Crowd-sourcing, family history & the British railway accident:...

A guest blog by David Selway (Cardiff University) David gave a talk on his research as part of the events programme associated with our ‘Remembrance’ exhibition at Abbey House Museum. Listen to the talk here and read more about his research below.   In the winter of 2015, a week before Christmas,...

A guest post from Satwant Rait, with thanks to the Sikh Elders Service for their contributions to discussions on Sikh remembrance There is no Sikh religious dictate in terms dressing up, but there is a Punjabi cultural tradition of wearing a suit and in Sikh tradition the mourning colour is white. Almost...

During June, the ‘Living with Dying’ project are going on a Journey with Absent Friends with artist Ellie Harrison and ‘Team Grief’. In an ordinary, domestic caravan, we’ll be travelling from Leeds, to Oxford, Poole, Hamburg, Stockton and the Isle of Arran, to think about where the memories of the dead...

A guest blog from Amanda Reed  My name’s Amanda Reed – my maiden name is Cunningham. I was born in 1964 in the Armley area of Leeds and I’m an English Gypsy. I’ve researched my family tree back to the 1700s.  I’ve collected objects, photographs and documents relating to my family...

A guest blog from Janet Coles  My maternal grandmother, Emily Maria Gaskin, was born in 1884 in London and died in York in 1956. She is the only grandparent I can remember and I was her only grandchild; though she died when I was seven, I have several fond memories...

Our exhibition Remembrance will open at Abbey House Museum on Saturday 3 March. The exhibition includes objects which have been used to remember loved ones since the Victorian period and up to the present day. Some of these were mass produced, or reflect widespread mourning rituals and practices. But people have also...

A guest blog from Janet Coles  The silver vesta case belonged to my maternal grandmother, Emily Maria Gaskin, who was born in London in 1884 and died in York in 1956. Even sixty years later it reminds me of the happy times we spent together. Although I was only seven when she died, it clearly brings back the image I have of her: a tall, quiet, very elegant woman....

Laura King, University of Leeds Part of the Living with Dying project has involved working with a lovely group of family historians. They’ve been researching their family histories and we’ve been supporting them with some training – and lots of chatting over tea and biscuits! In turn, they’ve been generously...

The case of Suzie Lee and her family Laura King, University of Leeds The objects we own and keep can play a really significant role in helping us remember and keep with us loved ones who have died. But what if you were constantly on the move? For Gypsy and...

A Guest Blog from Maureen Jessop ‘What’s tha doing round there?’ came the voice from the worn brown leather chair. This was a question my brothers and I heard every time we visited our grandparents. The voice was grandad’s. The sin was going too close to the sideboard. The sideboard was...

A Guest Blog from Marie Songhurst This writing case belonged to my mother – Ethel Mary Tee (Mayhew). I believe the writing case was a birthday or Christmas Present given to her during the 1930s. Mum was born in Wisbech in Cambridgeshire the day before Armistice was declared in 1918,...

The case of the Lupton Family of Leeds Laura King, University of Leeds Across different cultures, in different places and different times, objects of various types have been used to help us remember those who have died. In some cases, this means the creation of specific things to keep that...

A guest blog from Paul Cave When I was a child, my favourite thing in the world was to draw. “I don’t know where you get it from” my parents would say as I bombarded them with sketches to critique (I’m sure they wished at times that I hadn’t got...

A guest blog from Sarah Sykes I always knew that my maternal grandfather, David Leslie Noble, was the son of a Nottinghamshire farmer, but didn’t know much about that side of the family. My grandfather joined the army as a young man and then had a long career in the...

Laura King, University of Leeds What objects do you hold on to because they remind you of someone you’ve lost? Where do those memories of the deceased live? What kind of things do we do to keep their memories alive? Last week saw the annual Mexican Día de los Muertos,...

The Leeds General Cemetery is a former cemetery on the University of Leeds campus now known as St George’s Field. Our research has been centred around this site. Who is buried in the Leeds General Cemetery? Why were they laid to rest here, rather than the many other cemeteries or churchyards...

A guest blog from Maureen Jessop Harold Cooper was born in Leeds on 10 November 1921, the eldest child of Tom, a railway worker, and Mary, a machinist. He was baptised at St Saviour’s Church, East Leeds on 20 November 1921 and subsequently attended St Saviour’s School. When Harold was...

A guest blog from Eric Songhurst Who was this fine imposing looking business man?  Is this where my willingness to serve on committees in various roles comes from? I was away at college in 1960 when my paternal grandparents’ house was cleared following the death of my Grandfather.  At some...

A conference to explore historical and contemporary perspectives. Bringing together, artists, academics and professionals working in a range of services relating to end of life, this conference will consider how space plays a role in practices of remembrance in the past and present, and in different cultures across the world....

Frederic Forster’s Mourning Warehouse, Lower Briggate, Leeds, founded 1849. Photo c. 1870-1890, possibly taken by J Wormald. © Leeds Museums and Galleries.   Guest blog from Partick Bourne,  Assistant Community Curator at Abbey House Museum and Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds I have an interest in the material culture around death and dying, and...

Hunslet Feast, 1850. Leodis Photograph Archive.   A guest blog from Carolyn Huston I try to be disciplined in my family tree research, but have a butterfly mind and find it hard to resist wandering off the main trunk of my tree and onto side branches.  Sarah Clarkson (1834-1908) is a good...

Image: Monument of Michael Thomas Sadler (1780-1835), paid for by voluntary subscription. This statue stands next to the cemetery chapel in St George’s Field. Does everyone deserve a dignified burial? What impact should class and wealth have on burial rites? In our previous blog post in the Leeds General Cemetery...

Since May we have been working with a group of Leeds based family historians on the ‘living with dying’ project. Some of them are already experts, others had done a bit of research before joining the group, and a few are completely new to family history.  There are a number reasons why we have built family...

Image reproduced with the permission of Special Collections, Leeds University Library. Item reference: MS 421/3/1/6, Burial Register. Access here.   If you lived in Leeds during the 19th century, how do you think you would have died? What disease, condition or accident would have been your cause of death? And, 100...

At first I thought that writing this blog might be a little daunting, as I only started as the new Development Worker at Leeds Bereavement Forum in mid-June. However, in a short amount of time, I have been fortunate to have seen and heard so much about the vitally important...

An Introduction to St George’s Field Cemeteries play an integral role in remembering the dead. They are a space shared by the living and the dead, enabling these two groups to interact and have a relationship. St George’s Field, previously the Leeds General Cemetery, is a fascinating example of a...

Leeds Bereavement Forum Annual Conference 2017 In June the project supported and participated in a fantastic event organised by Leeds Bereavement Forum, which brought together academic and artistic projects with health practitioners to develop some really interesting and productive conversations about death and dying. The key question of the day was whether talking about death in the...

Does the past matter? This research project is investigating the history of death, dying and the relationship between the living and the dead in twentieth-century Britain. It focuses on the place of death, dying and the dead in everyday and family life, asking how families think and talk about dying,...

We hope that some of the resources listed below for research and support will come in useful. If you have suggestions of resources to add or you spot a mistake please let us know using the comments box at the bottom of the page. Thanks!  Support Services in Leeds for Family...