Around here we always think it is neat when we dig through an old drawer or closet and find something unexpected that takes our thoughts back to previous stages of our lives. It is like when you are looking for a beach chair, and you find a photo album from your childhood.
Some folks at a college in England were doing some restoration work on campus and uncovered a treasure trove of ephemera from a bygone era. What they found is amazing.
A maintenance crew working at Cambridge University’s Selwyn College were performing routine remodeling work on one of the buildings on campus recently, and when they started to knock down a wall, they made a fantastic find, worthy of the archaeology department.
When they removed a wall from one room, they uncovered an alcove, referred to in the UK as a “Gyp.” this small room was used by staff who would prepare toast and tea for the students every morning. In this room, the maintenance crew found a victorian era cast iron stove, and more importantly, a stash of postcards and letters belonging to workers from a bygone era.
Based on the stamps, the letters date between 1912 and 1916, according to Selwyn College’s Archivist, and they provide a fascinating glimpse into life on campus from over a century ago.
The school plans to display the stove, letters and a photograph of the campus chapel to help contemporary students understand the history of their school. Meanwhile, the archivist is in the process of trying to identify the persons to whom the ephemera belonged. She hopes then, to be able to track down descendants and share the find with them as well.
This reminds us of a Mississippi house that was abandoned thirty years ago. A photographer recently investigated it. As he explored the house and documented each room in pictures, a sad narrative to came into focus. But even with the eerie atmosphere, there is a mysterious beauty to the home as you will see in these pictures.