Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Thank you

I would like to take the opportunity this week to thank everyone who has followed my blog so far. The emails and comments I have received have been overwhelming and I am extremely grateful for your support. When I am cocooned down in the basement, immersed in boxes and papers it can sometimes feel as if I am the only person interested in this collection and I forget about the hundreds of different people who are waiting for the chance to access these records. Which is why I was pleasantly shocked by a surprise visit last week from Toby Chance, who popped in to CHAS to meet me and see how I am progressing. Toby has written a book about Chance's Lighthouse work with Peter Williams called Lighthouses: The Race to Illuminate the World, which will be extremely useful for me when I start cataloguing the lighthouse records next week. Having gone through many of the boxes of records himself to conduct his research for the book, he can appreciate how overwhelmed I occasionally feel by the size and scope of the collection.

I have also been fortunate enough to meet and speak to Alan Taylor and Ray Drury, previous employees of the company who have offered to help me when I get stuck with understanding how Chances operated. Whilst the records provide the textual evidence of how work was done at the company it is very hard to imagine what it actually felt like to work at the glass works. Alan and Ray can provide this insight and it is very interesting to hear their stories. Ray has kindly sent us a copy of an interview he participated in as part of the Taking Chances project in 2006, recording the experience of Chance employees. I have also received other items from followers of the project. Kevin Byng bought in some photos taken in 2004 of Chance Glass Limited in Malvern, which was set up by Chance Brothers Limited in 1946 for the production of syringes made from precision bore tubes and laboratory glassware. This branch is now the only part of the company that is still operational today. Thomas Tag from the USA Lighthouse Society has also forwarded a copy of a photograph taken of Queen Elizabeth during her visit to Chance in 1940, which I previously posted details of. I will post these images on the blog as soon as I get permission from the owners.

If anyone else has any items of interest they would like to share or deposit with CHAS or if you would like to leave feedback about what you have read on the blog please feel free to post a comment or send me an email to

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