Members Meeting 9 July 2016
The RSHG Members Meeting at the George Street Centre on Saturday 9 July was very enjoyable and 40 people attended.
Kate MacDonell, Secretary, gave a report on recent events illustrated by a slide show. Shortly after our April meeting RSHG held a drop in event at Ryde Cemetery Learning Centre to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.
The Annual Summer Open Days were held during the weekend 18 – 19 June. The theme this year was ‘Family Business’ and both chapels at the Learning Centre had many varied displays. As always there were different guided walks taking place within Ryde Cemetery over both days. We also launched our new project ‘The Lost Children’.
At the end of June we had a visit from Greenmount Primary School who participated in a variety of activities related to their Victorian studies.
Kate then shared the good news that RSHG have just received a National Sustained Achievement Award from the Community Archive and Heritage Group. Further details on all these events can be found on our website.
Arthur Williams, Treasurer gave a financial update followed by Ann Barrett who gave her research report. Ann’s story for the morning was on the recent discovery of the memorial to Sir Richard Francis Sutton, 5th Baronet, High Sheriff of Berkshire, who died in 1891 at his mother’s home in St. John’s Park. He was well known in yachting circles and had a most elaborate funeral.
Carol Strong, our Mapping Co-ordinator, gave an update on the revision of maps and indexes and explained a bit about our new project ‘The Lost Children’. Using original maps and burial registers, we have identified 19 areas of Ryde Cemetery set aside for child burials. Many were unmarked originally and have remained so. Some were reused for later burials and have new memorials. We aim to record all the names of the children ‘lost’ in these unmarked graves and research the social conditions and diseases prevalent in the town leading to the high child mortality rate.
Following refreshments our visiting speaker, Mark Wingham, gave an excellent presentation –”The Golden Age of Picture Postcards”, illustrated with a feast of local picture postcards, mostly from the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. Several unnamed Ryde scenes were displayed as a quiz to see if the audience could identify them.
Our next meeting will be the AGM in October.