A Hidden Treasure Trove?- Visiting UCLan Archives

The UCLan Through the Ages team has in the last few weeks started to work on an exhibition about history of UCLan, which will be launched in Fresher’s. As part of this process we have been visiting UClan Archives located within Vernon Building. Working alongside Helen, the Repository Manager we have been delving through the store room on the hunt for material that we can use.

We thought it would be nice over the next few months to share on the blog some of the hidden treasures held in the archives as they are not usually seen or accessible to the public.

One of the first treasures found by our project coordinator Hannah was this plaque dedicated to Joseph Livesey, the famous temperance campaigner and one of the original founders of UCLan. The archives is home to lots of material related to the Temperance Movement.

Plaque commemorating Joseph Livesey

The plaque appears to have come from a former shoe shop at 28 Church Street in Preston, where Livesey lived from about 1825-1860. We were excited to find a picture of the plaque in place at its former home. The house is currently occupied by the Preston Carers Centre.

28 Church Street, Preston, where the Livesey plaque came from.

A similar plaque was put up at Victoria Road at Walton le Dale, at the house where he was born in. It is apparently still in place.

House Plaque, Walton le Dale. This is the counter piece to the plaque formerly at Church Street

Our project assistant Miriam also uncovered an interesting Temperance pledge from 1856. It was signed by George Cruikshank (1792-1878), a famous caricaturist, and John B. Gough (1817-1886), an American orator of the Temperance movement. It was signed in 1856, the year the National Temperance League was formed, of which Cruikshank was the vice president.

Pledge signed by John B. Gough and George Cruikshank

The archive also holds a large collection of material from UCLan’s past, including a large collection of Pluto issues, the student newspaper and predecessor of Pulse Media. This quirky excerpt from one issue really made us chuckle, clearly filling the student led newspaper was a difficult task in the 1980s!

‘This Space is blank…’

We also found an interesting article accusing the then polytechnic of banning gay books from being sold in the bookshop. Seemingly books by the Gay Men’s Press were considered too radical for the bookshop, as they refused to stock it. This was not unusual at the time, as there was a rise in homophobia due to concern about HIV/AIDS. Homosexuality was believed by some as the source of the disease, however, it was under researched and not well understood. Whilst times and attitudes towards homosexuality have now changed, it can be said there is still a great deal to be done!

‘No Ban on Gay Books’

Keep an eye out as we reveal more hidden treasures from the archive!

Picture credits

‘No Ban on Gay Books’ and Pledge signed by John B. Gough and George Cruikshank photographed by Miriam Kohler

Plaque commemorating Joseph Livesey and ‘This Space is blank…’ photographed by Hannah Beattie

Tony Worrall Photography, House Plaque, Walton le Dale, image via https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyworrall/1240056134/in/photostream/

Turner Brothers Ltd, 28 Church Street, Preston, image via Preston Digital Archive https://www.flickr.com/photos/rpsmithbarney/4285601545/in/photostream/









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