Welcome to my website!
I am passionate about local and family history. My own family research started when I was a child. I asked my Dad to help me draw a family tree, but we didn’t get very far. His was a large family and they all ‘just mucked in together’ – he hardly knew the difference between his step-brothers and his cousins. I have since discovered that my extended family ranged from Chirk in North Wales, Shropshire, Norwich, Ipswich, Kent and as far as Canada, where a couple of great aunts were sent as ‘home children’. My family book can be seen on the Family History pages and includes tributes to our fondly remembered parents Pam Cheshire, Alma and Ron Rollitt.
During my 25-year career in IT, I managed software implementation projects in pharmaceutical, banking, field service and credit management industries. The most memorable and enjoyable project was the ‘Viking’ implementation of SAP at Hoechst Marion Roussel. An enduring interest was the production of professional business presentations and documentation, including a Project Manager’s Handbook. I edited a project newsletter and I was a member of the Editorial Board for an in-house magazine.
I completed an MSc in English Local History with Oxford University in 2011. Course work included elite kinship, culture and community, sources in the medieval and early modern periods, and crime and punishment with fascinating studies of female convicts sent to Australia. I studied the impact of transport systems on late Georgian Berkhamsted for my dissertation. You can find information and links on the Local History pages.
Self-employed for a while, I researched family histories for about 40 paying clients. I also developed websites for small businesses and charities. Over the years I have taken roles as secretary and archivist on the committee of the Berkhamsted Local History & Museum Society. I currently manage the BLH&MS and Berkhamsted Castle websites and a popular page on Facebook charting the history of our town through newspaper reports and photographs.
Now retired and spending several weeks each year in Portugal, I’m still researching and writing about Berkhamsted local history. The Society’s current project is a book about the young men who died in WWI and their families on the home front, which we hope to publish in time for the centenary of Armistice Day in 2018.