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14 Mar 2017

Why why why, Delilah!

All I wanted to do was tell a simple coherent story of how I slipped away from my college trip to London age 18 and saw a copy of an 1868 directory for London in the Guildhall Library and made it back in time to buy a tawdry fake-chamois leather jacket from somewhere in Covent Garden, before getting the coach with the boys from Devon back home.

But nothing is dated!  I am desperately searching my hard-drive for material from 1995.  There is absolutely nothing.  I found this:
which I can tell by the handwriting has got to be 1995.  I was still doing greek E's in 1995.  It is notes taken from the old record office at Obridge, Taunton, written up the same evening or the next day.  I remembered that it had to be before the basement of the old PRO in Chancery Lane closed which was 1996.  It had to be after I passed my test, and I know that in December 1994, the furthest I had driven was Clayhidon and that was scary enough.  And I moved to Mortimer, Berkshire in late August 1995, so it must have been between the two.  I have found this snippet which tells me the letters I received in late 1995, so I can sort of piece more together.

It was definitely August 1996 that I first heard from the Boyce (not Royce) descendant Celia, as I have two pieces of documentary evidence for that - later than I thought.  She sadly died about a year ago after a battle with COPD.

Brainwave - bank statements!  But I had an infuriating habit of getting out £100 cash out at a time, and never using cashpoints, mostly because there weren't any.  So this bank statement doesn't help matters.  There's also a massive gap for the whole of March when I was in the Herefordshire hills in a caravan, lambing.


I still cannot remember what us Devon agricultural students were doing in London in (?) June of 1995.  Yes, I know that I was itching to escape to the Guildhall Library for half an hour, with its very profitable results (next blog post), but we weren't looking at the Smithfield meat markets despite the near perfect syllogies if we were.  As the Boyces I was hunting lived and breathed at Smithfield as meat salesmen and the records at Guildhall are just a sniff away.  Can't remember a thing about it, can't search my hard-drive for it.  It's 1995 for goodness' sake; and I can't remember when I visited the record office at Taunton (July 1995 would make sense).

Why didn't I put the wretched date on the documents that I was filling up with long-ago dates?  Why why why, delilah!

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