A belated Happy New Year to all my readers & many thanks for visiting the blog! Your messages of support, encouragement and appreciation have meant an enormous amount to me over the months of blogging.
I'm not undertaking any new work at the moment – as some of you know, I have problems with my vision and reading is rather problematic these days. However, I have various projects to finish off and a couple of engagements this spring. I'll be speaking at Hutton Rudby History Society on 19 February on the subject of Thomas Milner of Skutterskelfe, and at the Cleveland & Teesside Local History Society and University of Teesside Joint Day School on 14 March on the subject of the Jackson family and their Day Book. And if I don't seem to recognise any old friends who are there, I'm not cutting you dead, it's just that you're a blur because I've had to stop wearing my distance specs. Do come up to me and speak!
In the meantime, I am reading (slowly!) Paul Menzies' book Middlesbrough: Remembering 1914-18. Don't miss it! It's such an immediate, vivid, concrete evocation of those days. We've become so used to seeing the War depicted on its grand, global scale – this is what it was like to be there in Middlesbrough at the time.
And I must also strongly recommend the exhibition Middlesbrough in the Great War at the Dorman Museum. It is on until 6 April, and it's beautifully done. The Dorman is open Tuesdays to Sundays, admission free. If you haven't visited for some time, you simply must, you will be amazed – and it's a great place for children too, especially the H2O gallery. (And there's a playground nearby in Albert Park as well, to tire them out completely).