So I’m in Wales this week so no new plaques going up this week. I’ve started the process of researching and I finally appreciate how awesome it is to have access to a University library. The ability to search online journals and records is giving me access to so much in some ways but also so little in some ways.
For example I’ve been trying (without looking at any other blue plaque sites!) to find out a bit more about 18 Park Place
A basic google search gives you lists of blue plaques and zoopla links. A quick google of MEPC tells you they are a property company who do developments and refurbishments but that still leaves me nowhere with what actually happened in 18 park place over the years. Judging by the lack of information I doubt it was a great historical site but this project is making me start to take an interest in social history I never had before. Searching the newspaper records you can often get births, marriage and deaths records which gives you a family picture (I’m slowly building that up for Denison Hall) but 18 park place is a blank slate. I have two pieces of information about it.
Firstly in 1872 it was the branch office of the British National Insurance Corporation. Finding information on that organisation is proving tricky but I have found out their policies are now administered by Sun Life Financial of Canada (Lincoln UK). Now frankly that seems pretty dull. But when you combine it with the only other fact I know about the building it is. In 1884 the following advert was posted:
Now why would an insurance company require young men to spin hand looms? Obviously its possible that in those 12 years the building changes hands but still it’s intriguing. So anyway the research process continues but it’s throwing up more questions than answers at the moment.