About Polly North

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So far Polly North has created 130 blog entries.

Happy Christmas

For all those who might be having the odd 'chat' with relations over Christmas, keep the huff 'n' puff for the diaries...just like 'anonymous'..... 'Had a long conversation with my mother yesterday. Had quite lecture - Ma said I didn't do enough at home -the idea! She said I must get used to housework for when I marry, marry?' Anonymous, February 1923  

2018-12-20T15:48:40+00:00By |Collections|


This wonderful collection of diaries is quite remarkable - a real gift! Diaries of Meg Hendry The diaries date from 1903-1917. They are three thick notebooks, in which the diarist has embroidered sayings, photographs, and dates. The diaries are made up of irregular entries in a number of formats, ranging from the diarist's poetry, the poetry of others, newspaper clippings, observations, and lists of books read. At the beginning of the volume for 1908-1917 the diarist lists each New Year's Day's weather each year from 1908-1917. The diarist notes the location for each poem and in each reflects on a [...]

2018-12-20T15:33:40+00:00By |Collections|

Indeed, who doesn’t?

June21st 'What young lady, travelling for the first time on the continent, does not write a 'Diary'? …Forth steps from its case the morocco-bound diary, regularly ruled and paged, with its patent Bramah lock and key'   Anna Brownell Jameson, Diary of an Ennuyée, 21 June 1836

2018-12-06T15:40:45+00:00By |Collections|

Love, love (or just boys?)

Diarist: Anonymous Diary Dated: 1978 and 1979 ‘30 July 1978: Our last day. Lo and I stayed at pool all day enjoyed it. Others went to beach party. We to disco at end got kisses from Billy + Hans WOW! Blush.’ MEMORANDA 1979 Boys January Blonde 5th former who I see at lunch time. Thomas, cycles to school. Lives near. February Dominic Butler (from Latchfords party!) Jewish boy. Simon F... March Simon F.... Dominic Butler lives at Bridgecroft, 70a Kent Road, Harrogate. Tel 69846 Thomas April Dominic Butler…. […] August Dutch boy looks like Guy from monkeys Humphrey Dutch boy [...]

2018-11-16T13:14:17+00:00By |Latest News|

All about the almanac (part 2)

.....By the late sixteenth century, European almanacs became very popular; as a category they outsold the Bible. These volumes, like their Babylonian predecessor, contained information on the moon, stars and sun, but also included agricultural and ecclesiastical calendars, dates of fairs and markets, prognostications, political commentary, advices for life and health, recipes, weather forecasts, harvest predictions and medical notes. Like Bibles, almanacs were often used to record personal information such as domestic accounts, births, marriages and deaths. Many almanacs were published interleaved with blank pages for owners to make entries. Satirical almanacs even had spoof-diary notes printed in the text. [...]

2018-11-09T13:06:54+00:00By |Latest News|

Back to Bolivia for November (nearly 200 years ago)

Diarist: James Bennetts Williams Diary Dated: 1883-87 As we discovered last month, the diarist recounts his emigration from Cornwall to Bolivia to work in the silver mines; his move followed the decline of Cornish tin-mining in the second half of the nineteenth century. ‘Thursday 8 November 1883: […] 4 or 5 of the men went on shore yesterday without leave & stayed all night & when they came on board in the morning they were drunk & soon got their discharge. I hear some of them have joined the Chilian [sic] Navy. Went to bed about 8 p.m.’

2018-11-08T13:09:43+00:00By |Latest News|