News: The Society's new website, esah1852.org.uk has been launched. Changes will be made to this blog over the coming weeks to improve user experience.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Car Park Immediately Next to Essex Record Office to Close

Essex Record Office has informed by Chelmsford City Council that it will be closing their Wharf Road surface car park on Saturday 27 May 2017. This is the car park adjacent to the Essex Record Office.

The site has been sold to Taylor Wimpey who will soon commence the build of around 420 homes on the site.

This means from Sunday 28 May Wharf Road Car Park will no longer be available.  There are, however, many alternatives.

The nearest car parks to the Essex Record Office are as follows:

·         Baddow Road         CM2 7PJ        long / short stay 344 spaces

·         Meadows Surface CM2 6FD       short stay 250 spaces

·         Q-Parks Meadows CM2 0DG      long / short stay multi storey 454 spaces
o   We have arranged discounts for this car park – please follow the link below for details

·         Meadows Retail      CM2 6LU       short stay multi storey 391 spaces

·         Euro Car Park         CM2 6JX        short stay

Park and Ride is also available at the following locations (we are a short walk from the Parkway bus stop):

·         Chelmer Valley        CM3 3PR       1003 spaces

·         Sandon                     CM2 7RU      1500 spaces

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause to yourself and other visitors to the Essex Record Office but as this is a Chelmsford City Council owned site we have no control over its operation.

Should you require any further assistance please contact our Conference Centre Team on 033301 32501 or by email at ero.reception@essex.gov.uk

Regards

Keith Grinsted
Marketing Manager - Essex Record Office  

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Additional Excusion Planned for ESAH Members: 1 July 2017

Royal Gunpowder Mills Visit
Saturday 1st July 2017 at 11am


There is an additional visit this year to the Royal Gunpowder Mills in Waltham Abbey. The Gunpowder Mills are not open to the public on this day. The cost will be £13.00 per person, and includes entry, land train tour (which lasts 45 mins and allows you access to areas you are not allowed during opening times) and refreshments, which will be available all day. A minimum number of 20 is required to qualify for the group booking rate. There is free parking at the site. All bookings to be made through the usual channel to Dr Graham Gould.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

High Country History Group: Essex Churches Then and Now. Thursday 27 April 2017

High Country History Group: Essex Churches Then and Now. Thursday 27 April 201...: Our next meeting will be on Thursday 27 April, 8pm, when Andrew Smith, in his role as Honorary Archivist of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History, will be giving a talk on Essex churches drawing on two albums of Victorian photographs in the Society's collection.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

The Fighting Essex Soldier: Book Launch at Essex Record Office, Saturday 6 May 2017



This book contains the collection of papers presented at a one-day Conference at the Essex Record Office in March 2014: ‘The Fighting Essex Soldier: Recruitment, War and Remembrance in the Fourteenth Century’.  Its launch will be on Saturday 6 May 2017 between 2.00-3.45pm.  Tickets are free but advance booking is essential. Information on the papers read is given in the attached document.  http://www.essexrecordofficeblog.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Fighting-Essex-Soldier-programme.pdf



Freedom of Information Request regarding Essex Record Office costs: Response to the Essex Society for Archaeology and History

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History has an enthusiasm for the understanding of the county's past so became concerned when it was announced that one of the jewels of archives, the Essex Record Office, faced cuts in service and an aim to 'break even' over the course of time.  The Society took the unusual step of making a Freedom of Information request to Essex County Council portfolio holders.  Here published is the response which will no doubt be of interest to our members but also members of the public who care about the facilities provided.


Essex County Council 
Cabinet Office 
PO Box 11 County Hall Chelmsford Essex CM1 1 LX 

Mr A Corder-Birch DL 
The Essex Society for Archaeology & History

Dear Mr Corder-Birch 

20 March 2017 

I understand that the formal response to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request has been sent to you today. 

However, I recognise that this response will raise as many questions as it provides answers. That is why I would have preferred to give the information within the context of a meeting, and why I hope now you will agree to have the conversation rather than engage in yet more correspondence. 

From my point of view there are several goals: 

1. To ensure that an excellent service continues to be available for the residents of Essex. 
2. To ensure that it is provided in the most cost effective way. Excellent services are worth paying for and my aspiration around "break even" is that there is sufficient demand, and that — where appropriate, not including legal obligation — each unit of service provision attracts income at least equivalent to its marginal cost; 
3. We retain commitment and expertise of our staff. 

I do hope to hear from you shortly with a view to arranging a meeting in County Hall. The contact number for my office is 03330 131026. 

Yours sincerely, 
Cllr-John Spence CBE DL 
Cabinet Member for Finance, Commercial, Traded Services, Housing and Planning. 

Freedom of Information Act / Environmental Information Regulations Request
Reference:    ECC2010920 02 17
Response:     17 March 2017

GIVE ESAH AN IDEA OF THE CURRENT RUNNING COSTS AND STAFFING LEVELS OF THE ERO IN ADVANCE OF PROPOSED
CHANGES:

I can confirm that Essex County Council does hold this information.
•           Running costs of ERO for 2016/17 are:
o          Staffing and activity costs: £   981,000
o          Building costs:                    £   538,000
o          Total:                                  £1,519,000


Question 2 -  What is the current income target (for 2016/17)

I can confirm that Essex County Council does hold this information. The current income target for 2016/17 is £700,000


Question 3 - What is the income to date (for 2016/17)

I can confirm that Essex County Council does hold this information.  Please see below:

·         To the end of January 2017, income for the financial year was £464,000
·         Our forecast for the full year to March 2017 is approximately £520,000
·         Clearly some of our ambitions have not been met as we go through the process of learning about the size and availability of markets, etc, and we will build this into our planning for future years.


Question 4 - PROJECTED 2020 RUNNING COSTS

I can confirm that Essex County Council does not hold this information. We are currently reviewing our future business plans, leading to a business case for internal review in the summer of 2017.


Question 5 - CURRENT STAFFING LEVELS?

I can confirm that Essex County Council does hold this information. Current staffing levels linked directly to delivery of the Archive Service are:
    • Archivists – collection management, accessions, research, client advice – 6.5 FTE (Full Time Equivalent)
    • Technical Specialists – digitisation, conservation and preservation, sound and video archive – 5 FTE
    • Public Service – ERO Searchroom, on-demand document production, front-line and on-line enquiries, reprographics, archive repository management, etc – 4 FTE
    • Events, outreach, education, marketing, etc – 3 FTE

In addition, providing associated services within the £ figures cited in ‘1’ and ‘2’, above
    • Duplicate Certificates service (ie birth, marriage and death certificates): 4 FTE
    • Conference centre, building operations and security: 3.5 FTE

We have recently reviewed the Searchroom public opening hours (with effect from April 2017) to reflect user demand and these have been publicised separately during February. We will continue to review our overall service delivery model, costs, efficiencies and resourcing as part of the future planning referred to in ‘4’, above



Question 6 - WILL THERE BE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON ANY PLANS THAT AFFECT THE ERO?

I can confirm that Essex County Council does hold this information. Only when any plan is developed, following the internal review later this year, can we determine the need for public consultation. In that case we will, of course, engage key stakeholders such as Essex Society for Archaeology & History


Your Right to Know
Information Services
Essex County Council
Telephone: 08457 430430


Monday, 3 April 2017

Essex Record Office Searchroom Opening Hours

The Essex Record Office is making significant changes to its search room opening times with effect from Tuesday 4 April 2017.  Typically there will be a three day week, after which the lights will go out, but every fourth week there will be a long week when the search room will be open from Tuesday to Saturday.  The timetable is not straightforward and requires forward planning before making a visit to avoid disappointment.  Click here to follow link to the ERO site.

Members of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History will be interested to know this information. The link is therefore posted on the side bar of the blog for future reference.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Historical Association Talk: Saturday 8 April 2017

The penultimate talk of the Essex Branch of the Historical Association will be held on Saturday 8th April 2017 at 2.30pm at the Trinity Methodist Church, Rainsford Road, Chelmsford, CM1 2XB. The talk is entitled:

Aspects of Iron Age & Roman Colchester
Given by Dr Patrick Denney,
 Visiting Fellow, Dept. of History, Univ. of Essex

Colchester was both the Iron Age and Roman capital of Britain.  When the Romans arrived in 43AD they began by constructing a legionary fortress on the site of the modern day town, before later converting it into a Colonia for retired veterans from the Roman army.  The talk will highlight some of the major archaeological finds from the Roman town and fortress which, collectively, have done so much to help shape our knowledge of Roman Colchester.

Patrick Denney is one of the leading Colchester historians and has written numerous articles and books on the history of Colchester.  He is an active member of the Colchester Recalled Oral History Group and Secretary of the Friends of Colchester Museums. He is also a Regional Blue Badge Tourist Guide.

Thank You Debbie Cresswell (publicity)