Our Worn Stories researchers visited West Yorkshire Archives this week in Wakefield. Our research programme is now working on three distinct themes: the workers in the rag businesses of Bradford in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the businesses (including wool extractors, rag merchants, shoddy and paper manufacturers) and their owners and the geography and location in the city of these businesses and workforces.
We were able to explore deed registers related to some of the businesses we are researching and also examined probate documents for some of the business owners. We also looked at valuation maps from 1910.
‘We enjoyed deciphering all the different styles of handwriting in the quarter sessions (court) documents and the eureka moments when we found someone we were researching in the records.’ Ann, project volunteer.