Call me Ishmael....... So begins a book that I have never read and indeed was only vaguely aware of, but it's here that my little story begins. Well I suppose that's not quite right, because it actually started far less excitingly with me wondering what became of a ship! Little did I know that being a volunteer for Lancashire Archives could prove so thrilling! A simple ponder led me down a path that would uncover glamorous Hollywood credentials, with starring roles in films we would now know as Blockbusters.

It was with much trepidation that I arrived at the Lancashire Archives in Preston just a few week ago. I was not on a usual mission of seeking information on a clients family, no this time it was different. This time I was there to be put to the test!

So there I was, wilting under the monstrous stern gaze of both Gog and Magog, the giant guardians of the City of London, when I was reminded that of course they're statues, but my oh my they're fierce and in a way all the more frightening when you're stood in the vast medieval empty space of the Great Hall. This is where I found myself a week ago, following a visit to the Police Museum at the Guildhall London. A speculative inquiry by my husband, as to if it was possible to take a look inside the famous building, turned into a fantastic private tour, taking in the Great Hall, the East & West Crypts, Chief Commoners Parlour, the Old Library, the Livery Hall and an encounter with some Romans.

It had been quite a while since I'd done any digging into our own family past, mainly because of the work I'm doing for other people. So last week I got stuck into it and hit a rich vein of information which enabled me to not only confirm some work I had done earlier, but trace our name back to the latter years of the Tudor Dynasty. I have a new marker in the ground placing us in 1595, just several miles from where we are now.

Up next for the WDYTYA treatment is none other than Gandalf himself - Sir Ian McKellen. The venerable thespian, darling of the stage and screen is sure to be one of the best episodes yet. The current series of the popular ancestry show has provided us with some great viewing, who can forget Danny Dyers Regal connections or Amanda Holden and the tragedy of the almost forgotten RMS Lancastria.

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