With just a few days to go, we’re starting to get that Christmas feeling at Hull University Archives! So we’ve been looking through the collections for references to Christmases past. These are some of the things we found…
Send a card
To get us started, here’s a Christmas card printed by our University for the year 1946. The ‘Donald’ who sent this card was a former student, so we can presume that these cards were available for purchase in much the same way Uni branded merchandise is sold by the Student Union today.
Receive a card
A much more visually interesting Christmas card from 1868 next. This one was sent to William Mortimer Baines by his son Henry Verdon Baines.
Order the turkey (or nut roast!)
A slightly left of field offering here, perhaps relating to Christmas dinner…. This is a draft agreement stating the terms under which Henry Southerne was able to rent a house and land in Everingham from John Rushworth. As well as paying a monetary rent, Southerne was responsible for providing Rushworth with a ‘fat hen’ every Christmas. Not something your modern student landlord asks for!
Deck the halls
Whilst we are on the subject of land ownership, this letter is an extremely contrite apology sent by Lady Constance Lawley of The Villa, Escrick, to Mrs Baines of Bell Hall on Boxing Day. It appears Lady Lawley trespassed on the Baines’ land in order to collect ivy to decorate her house for Christmas, scaring their game in the process.
Attend a service
Order of service for Christmas services held at the Church of the Holy Sacrament, Arras, on the Western Front in 1917
Write thank you notes
After the presents come the thank you notes. This one is from a daughter to her mother thanking her for the gift of a writing pad and fountain pen. The daughter would grow up to become a successful author.
And finally, a mix of Christmas cheer and bah-humbug in this memorandum from former University of Hull librarian Philip Larkin:
On behalf of the University Archives team, we hope you have a restful Christmas break and we’ll see you in the New Year!