Ancestry Adventures

Summary of Brum Trip (part 1)

Hello there,

I have been away in Birmingham for the past 4-5 days for the WDYTYA event (7th to 9th April 2016).

I have written a little diary for each day of my visit, but haven’t really finished writing about each day yet, so am just going summarize & highlight a few things.

Which is now going to be in two parts

Day One – Going to Birmingham

Left the house just before 12pm, had a few bits I still to do in town, then went to get some food for the trip and evening, then on to the station.

At Lemington Spa took a photo of a lovely old Church (which at the time I didn’t know if it would come out ok) so hoped to get a better photo of it on the way back home. (this is the photo I took on my way home, which is much nicer than the first one I took)


I got to Birmingham about 5pm, where I have a bit of a big hiccup EEK!. Both my rucksacks fell off my Rollater DOUBLE EEK!!, I thought they were gonna fall under the train TRIPLE EEK!!!, but the train step sort of ‘buffered’ my bags & the chap helping me get off quickly grabbed them up and put back on the Rollater PHEW!. So that was a bit scary!


So get to the hostel, & book in, go to my room, have my evening picnic & get (sort of) ready for the following day, then finally to to bed!

Day Two – 1st day of WDYTYA

Was my first time in going to a big event like this, so didn’t really know what it would be like, nor did I really have a plan or structure of what I wanted to get from the day etc, so by the end of the day I had a bit a headache.

As I was going along the NEC walkway


I initially thought “Oh, no how am I going to get down to the events area with my Rollater?” (You have to go down a level on the escalator, stairs or lift, but it didn’t seem to appear that there was a lift.)


As I got closer & closer, I saw that there WAS a lift, it was just tucked round the corner!


So here we are just about to go in to the WDYTYA event.

The few places (Ancestry, Find my Past & Family Search) I asked regard trying to find my Maternal Grandmother’s father (Sydney Terry), they couldn’t find anything either, so gonna be a case if going to the British Library (which is in London), I think!.

I remember one of the guys on the Find my Past stand was kind of “friendly arm twisting me’ into having a tree in their website.

One of the Family Search people possible lead on the an unknown marriage on my Grandfather’s (John) service records (it appears to have him married to a “Barbara Mary”)

Went to 3 of my 4 talks, as I forgot I had another one right after the 3rd talk.

Day Three – 2nd day of WDYTYA

Got to the NEC nice & early then realized I had left my lunch back in my room at the hostel.Today was trying to find my Paternal Grandmother’s father (Joseph Peter Tognoli/Giuseppe Pietro Tognoli) , again at Ancestry, Find my Past & Family Search, still nothing coming up. (Feeling a bit frustrated at this point)

Got my first autograph & photo with Marc Allum (Antiques Roadshow)

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had sort of met him the day before, (but didn’t really know who he was til I had a chance to properly look though the showguide) when I took some photos of some really nice artifacts (a globe atlas in a wooden stand and a table)

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Was a solid day of talks from 11am til 3pm. At some point before my 3rd talk I rechecked my tickets against my showguide, which is just as well otherwise I could have totally missed it. This talk was one of my MAJOR ones!

Shifting over to my 3rd talk of the day the line was long & huge!,

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I go to get in line but one of the event staff said for me to go up to the front, so that was nice. So I was one of the first people to go in, I quickly go in to get a good seat.

And there was Tony Robinson (was talking to Eric Knowles for a few minutes). I was sitting right in front of Tony!!


Then once Eric went off, I go to nervously go to ask Tony for an autograph & photo or two, but get slightly caught up with the Rollater (darn thing!) which Tony must have clearly noticed as he says “I’ll come over to you”, so Tony signs both the book (which so happened to be his own book – The Worst Jobs in History, don’t know if Tony really noticed that) & my autograph book.

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The day was much better & things went much more smoothly, even though I had a few tiny hiccups (thought I had left a couple of my (photocopied) docs at at one of the stands I had been at & somehow losing the sandwich I bought for my lunch)

Then back at my room, I proceed to have a MAJOR FAIL. I was looking over the audio I had recorded, I wanted to delete my “note to self” one, I hit the the wrong thing and completely wiped all the talks I had recorded from that day & the day before.

Part two to come

That’s all for now, so till next time, stay tuned for some more Ancestry Adventures!


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  1. Pingback: Birmingham Adventure Index | Ancestry Adventures

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