At 17:10 Monday 29/07/2002, you wrote:
One point I should like to make to this meeting is the matter of
which is of interest to more than the population of Wiltshire and
The first choice of Wilts County Council of a new location was Devizes,
a charming town with no railway station. Matters were conducted in
secret by The Wharf Centre Development Committee - or some such name.
The Wharf Centre is a sad place with broken paving stones that needs
development, but not, in my opinion, at the expense of a bad relocation
of the Record Office.
The second choice was Chippenham, on the main line from Paddington to
Bath (end of statement of Chippenham's charms).
The current location of the record office is Trowbridge, which has
excellent road and rail communications in all directions. The building
is what I would term a "local government economy" structure. It's
adequate for its users and, in my opinion, better than the old Berkshire
RO in the Shire Hall at Reading. But I believe there have been calls for
upgrading its archive storage facilities. I've no direct knowledge in
As some one who has not a passing interest in Wiltshire as it is adjacent
to my 'own' county of GLS I ook notice of your posting. Many of my
ancestors Warn, Witchell and others will be recorded at the Wiltshire CRO
in several parishes like Yatton Keynell just over the border from my
If it is JUST a move from locations in Trowbridge to another, I am not sure
that should cause too many problems. My own county of Kent relocated its
Record Office within Maidstone and that did not seem to meet with much
disapproval. I think. As one who lived in reading from 1974 until 1983, I
did not use the RO in Shire Hall, but I am led to believe that the new
location is better.
My opinion for what is worth is this:
1) a record office should be located near to public transport routes,
buses, trains, trams, etc
2) adequate car parking for disabled persons - I would say that wouldn't I?
3) ideally placed for other local resources including FHS Resource Centres
e.g. Gloucester City (GFHS member too!)
4) if it can be combined with a County Library facility so much the better
5) the type of building is largely irrelevant as long as it is dry, kept at
a constant temperature for the preservation of old documents
6) have well informed AND helpful staff both face to face and telephonic
7) have adequate researcher facilities including disabled access and
toilets and ideally a restaurant e.g. PRO, Kew
8) preferably have the full set of IGI microfiche and/or the CDROM (Ref
Bromley Main Library) and adequate numbers of microfiche and microfilm
readers and/or printers and able to supply blank HD floppies for output
from the IGI on CDROM.
(Bromley Local History Library supplied these at £1 each - not too
excessive as Phil got all 'his' British Warn(e)'s on just a few, years'
9) preferably also have a full set of GRO BMD's a la Bromley Library, again!
10) be able to get the documents at relatively short notice - I always
phone first any way!
11) have photocopying facilities for documents which would not be harmed by
the scanner's beam
12) have reasonable opening times and sufficient notice of closures,
strikes excluded I'm afraid!
That probably will not cover all things, but it is a start for you.
Maybe I missed a subtle point that a non Wiltonian would not spot but for a
researcher outside the County, it probably covers most things.
Hope they let you in tomorrow - do report back here!