Friends of the Cardall Collection
The Cardall Collection originated in the middle of the 20th century when a local Southam man, Jack Cardall, started writing about the history of Southam, a market town in South Warwickshire. The Collection grew as local people offered Jack collectable items relating to the town. For many years the Collection was housed in Jack’s house and after his death it was looked after by his widow, Rene Cardall. Eventually the Collection numbered approximately 4,500 items including articles, photos and physical objects which occupied the whole of the downstairs of Mrs Cardall’s house.
The Collection was open for viewing by the public on a number of days each year in aid of local charities and for many years parties of primary school children visited from as far afield as Coventry.
The Friends of the Cardall Collection were established to find a permanent home for the Collection and to document and preserve it for the use of the local community. Projects are ongoing to catalogue the Collection in a digital archive, to extend it through Oral History and to display it in local premises including Schools, the Public Library, etc. There is a current membership of about 75 local people and new members, particularly those who want to participate in the projects, are actively welcomed.
In 2011 the Collection was given a unique pictorial record of Southam and the surrounding area by Alan Griffin, a local historian. This record consists of over 1,000 unique 35 mm negatives taken by Alan over many years – some are photos taken by Alan of actual events and others are photos of pictures. All these negatives have now been digitised and are held on a laptop with a corresponding index. In addition the Collection has also discovered amongst Mrs Cardall’s effects a set of nearly 450 glass plate negatives probably taken by her husband’s father in the 1910’s and recording life in Southam in those times. These negatives have also been digitised and are held on the Collection’s laptop.
The Collection now has several illustrated talks available which cover the history of Southam and of the Collection itself. These talks can be given to interested local organisations for a small fee to assist in funding the Collection’s work.
During the Summer of 2014 we are holding an Exhibition featuring the work of the Women of Southam and the surrounding area in staffing the VAD Hospital which was located at The Grange from 1917 – 1919. See the poster for details of opening dates and time. Please note the exhibition is in the basement and only accessible by stairs.
For further details contact:
Basement, Vivian House, 21 Market Hill, SOUTHAM, CV47 0HF