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BBC Domesday Archives On Saddleworth Released

Remember this? (picture: Regregex/Wikipedia)

Articles and pictures of the Saddleworth of 25 years ago have been released by the BBC, as it seeks to update its Domesday Project.

Back in 1986, on the 900th anniversary of William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book survey, the corporation launched an ambitious effort to once again chronicle what Britain was like.

Tens of thousands of contributions were received from every corner of the country, a task mainly co-ordinated by local schools. But quickly-obsolete technology meant that relatively few people have been able to use the data.

Until now that is. The BBC has this week published the Domesday Project in an easy-to-search database on its website. And the sections on Saddleworth make interesting reading!

An article about Lord Rhodes of Saddleworth notes that he was “still taking an active interest in public life” despite being 90.

Others suggest that many issues were just as important to local folk in 1986 as they are today. One article about buses states: “There is a lot of concern at present that these services may be further reduced as a result of legislation.” Another records that Saddleworth’s then-relatively new status within Greater Manchester was “a subject of great discontent amongst many Saddleworth residents.”

Meanwhile, a section on local dialect mentions “boath the hawpenny an’ the gingerbread” as a Saddleworth expression for a greedy person, not one I’ve come across before I have to admit!

There’s plenty more to read and look at about Saddleworth on the BBC Domesday Reloaded website, and you can do so by clicking here and here.

The BBC is asking for people to update the pictures and text, and instructions of how to do so are here.

Were you involved in collecting the original material? Do you have any memories of taking part? If so, you can share them by leaving a comment below this article.

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