London Colney history archives saved thanks to Herts Ad appeal

PUBLISHED: 15:00 28 May 2018

Pictures from the London Colney archive. Bell Inn (now Macdonalds)

Pictures from the London Colney archive. Bell Inn (now Macdonalds)

Archant

A local society have been overwhelmed with offers to save their unique historical archives, following a Herts Ad appeal.

Pictures from the London Colney archive. Bell Inn (now Macdonalds)Pictures from the London Colney archive. Bell Inn (now Macdonalds)

There was an appeal in last week’s Herts Ad from The London Colney Local History Society, which was searching for someone to house six filing cabinets of documents.

About 3,000 photographs and paper records, that exist nowhere else, are currently residing in a society member’s house.

However, that member is moving away and if no other storage space could be found, the society feared it would be forced to destroy some or all of the files.

The photographs have been digitised, but “obviously the originals are the ones with the historical value”, committee member Ken Barker said.

Pictures from the London Colney archive. High Street, London Colney, 1910.Pictures from the London Colney archive. High Street, London Colney, 1910.

However, since the Herts Ad article, four different organisations have come forward to save the records - Oliver & Akers Ltd estate agents, London Colney Primary School, London Colney Parish Council, and St Albans Museum and Gallery.

Ken said: “It’s very good news, it’s all very positive, we are very pleased with how the Herts Ad have been able to help us with this.

“What we are doing is visiting the three London Colney ones, because we would want to keep the archives locally, over the next few days - to see the people, to see the security and our access.

“At the moment it seems very positive and it’s all due to the Herts Ad.”

Pictures from the London Colney archive. Tillbrook Stores.Pictures from the London Colney archive. Tillbrook Stores.

All the options will be considered before the society make a decision.

The National Archives advise historical records are kept in controlled conditions - a cold room with low humidity, away from food which might attract insects, and potentially leaking water.

Ken said the offers, as well as positive social media response, shows how valued the London Colney archives are to the community.

He is the editor of a history magazine called The Record, which uses the archives. He has been a resident of London Colney for about 20 years and has been helping at the history society for 10.

Pictures from the London Colney archive. Mrs Tilbrook, 1910Pictures from the London Colney archive. Mrs Tilbrook, 1910

The London Colney Local History Society was founded in 1997 and has about 120 members.

Find out more about the archives or how to become a member of the society at www.londoncolneyhistory.co.uk/

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