The DAC team at Edward King House occasionally receive items from parishes across the diocese that are destined either for the ‘FP files’ or for the Lincolnshire County Council archives located on St Rumbold Street in Lincoln. The archive gets ‘first dibs’ on items that they deem to be of more historical interest and other general documents are filed in bulging cabinets at the diocesan offices.

The FP files are ‘Files: Parish’ and were so named by Squadron Leader Frances Shepherd, one of a long line of Diocesan Secretaries who were from a military background. They contain documents relating to anything from closed churches, details of rights of way to chancel repair liability and many other topics.

The ecclesiastical files at the Lincolnshire County Council offices have a great many documents ranging from parchment documents detailing baptisms going back to 1559 in Cabourne parish to ‘burials in woollen’ between 1675-1708 in Waddington. These are all listed online.

The parish of Binbrook recently gave the DAC a number of village artefacts.  The archive took some documents including the minutes of a meeting, a faculty notice and a picture of a venerable resident and the DAC retained a selection of parish magazines from 1956 entitled ‘The Chronicle of the Parishes of All Saints’, Elsham and St Clement’s, Worlaby.

The parish news is contained on the inside covers of the front and back page and the rest of the content covers religious themes and church news from around the country and internationally. There are story serialisations and a few adverts for Beecham’s pills for bright eyes, Ovaltine for quality sleep and Phosferine for the ‘modern malady’ aka stress.

Also featured in each edition is a two-page spread entitled ‘Weekday pages for Women with Homes’ which was ‘conducted by’ Miss EM Harding. In it she gives some handy tips for housewives of the time. The magazine offered six, five shilling prizes each month for ideas.

Here are some suggestions for good household management:

Pants – After buying men’s new long pants it is a good plan to stitch neatly inside the crutch a triangular good piece of an old pair, as the seat and waist portion wear out sooner than the legs. They will then last twice as long’. This piece of thrifty advice was offered by Mr CG King. 

Dishcloths – are nearly all sold with raw edges, so that after a few days’ use they become so frayed it is only a matter of time before they are nothing but a ball of yarn. To prevent this, blanket stitch all the way round, close together, after having turned a hem on the cloth to make a firm edge. Miss EM Harding

In the February 1956 edition Miss Harding laments the use of tins and “fridges” as these were causing people to forget that the best foods to eat are the ones in season as they are then at the best, cheapest and most plentiful. She comments ‘it is a pity so many are obliged to resort to tins and “fridges” due to causes outside their control’.

Socks to mat – children’s socks which have gone beyond repair can be turned into a bath mat by cutting them into long strips, half an inch wide. The reader is encouraged to cast on 60 stitches with Number 8 knitting needles and knit in plain until the required length is achieved. The contributor Mrs M Selby reports that this makes a very good bath mat and will of course, wash and boil very well when necessary. With a little coloured binding and a small design appliqued on they would make a very welcome present.

Other suggestions include taking a ‘full summer ironing basket’ outside into the garden to convert the drudgery into a pleasure. Oil of geranium is recommended for keeping the midges away when sprinkled around the hemline of your frock. Miss Harding explains that she tried it and reported being left ‘unmolested’ as a result. If mice are a problem these can be deterred with strong liquid ammonia at the foot of your curtains or anywhere else they climb.