MyHouseMyStreet Posters

As you can imagine, it's been a huge challenge to distribute the many house posters produced for this year's exhibitions; some 600 in total. Our volunteers have made repeated visits to streets over the last few weeks, noting when people will be in and distributing posters accordingly. Despite this, there have been homes where contact has eluded us and days before the 11th we still do not have posters in place.
Therefore, a huge 'thank you' to those local residents that took it upon themselves to volunteer as coordinators for their streets and assist us with the distribution challenge. We really are very grateful for your help.

Brighton & Hove Open Door 2011 launches

Well, here we are again, it's time for Brighton & Hove Open Door!
The 2011, event starts today, 8 September, with a guided tour of The Regency Town House at 0900 and continues until late on the 11th; by which time a further 124 events will have been delivered!
Of course, our flagship events are the MyHouseMyStreet exhibitions. Those in George Street and Dorset Street are experiments focusing in particular on 1861, 150 years ago this year, those elsewhere are more general and cover from the construction of a street up to 1974/5.
If you are going to any BHOD 11 activities, please do consider completing a visitor assessment form. Your feedback really does help us improve the presentations made each year.
Well, it's time to open the door at the Town House. Hope to see some of you in the next few days!

Brighton & Hove Open Door 2011

We are very excited about Brighton & Hove Open Door 2011, which will be happening around town from September 8th to the 11th.
This will be our third staging of MyHouseMyStreet. In the past we have focused exclusively on the North Laine area. However, we are branching out this year to include several streets in the St James's Street area and in Brunswick Town. 

For a Google Map of all of this year's MyHouseMyStreet locations, click here.

Printing MHMS posters, at last

After nearly a year of collecting and processing directory and census data, we are arriving a the point where we are now ready to produce occupancy posters for our street exhibitions in September. Over the next couple of weeks we will make some 600 such posters, each listing the past occupants on an individual house in the city.
Posters are interesing for a variety of reasons, some for example, stand out for the sheer numbers of people they reveal to have onced lived in a partiular property, others for the strange professions residents were following.
Whatever the information revealed, the main attraction for the residents we've worked with is, of course, that they get to discover who lived in their house before them and we have had a great response from people preparing to display the posters. Now, we hope for good weather and a large number of people turning out to see them in situ.

Thoughts of a novice!

Enzo, a volunteer who has joined us recently, provides some initial fedback on his MHMS experiences:
A total stranger to the world of Microsoft Office and the way records are entered and sorted into being, I spied a volunteer position at the Regency Town House on a trawl of the net. With a few emails exchanged, I met Nick Tyson for an informal interview. He told me about the MyHouseMyStreet project and soon I began my introduction into the how’s and why’s of data entry.
Excel was a little challenging at first but, with a few hiccups along the way, I was soon happily scouring data out of directories and census materials, collecting surnames and forenames, birthplaces and dates of birth, marital status, occupations, relations and resident staff.
Digging deep into the history of selected Brighton & Hove streets has been fascinating. Seeing the fluctuations between each census, the rise and fall in prosperity, the distinctions of being an owner, a lodger or a boarder, of the young being considered scholars or not! The social and professional realities of those long dead now mean so much more to me than the mass of words and figures I originally saw on the screen.
The treasure from my genealogical searching was often masked by comedic transcription errors: towns that have never been, words that legibility forgot. The translation of material from scrawl to screen sometimes obvious but not always!
What have I taken from it all? A new understanding of both the local and the national scene over the last 200 years; a historic perspective gradually blossoming, via the apparent tedium typically associated with executing data entry. Yes, tedium is not an experience I have felt when working on the project, due to the live and pertinent stories, both professional and personal, that have come through the information keyed into the system.
My efforts, merged with those of many others, has been woven together in a phantasmagorical manipulation of html to produce the website you are intently clicking through and reading from right now! I hope you enjoy!

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