Tuesday 15 March 2011

Census, census and more census

Census Calendar 1911 RG 27/8
I spend a lot of time in among the census returns, to the extent that I often feel more at home in the nineteenth century than the twenty-first. And if that was true before, for the next couple of weeks you can double that.

I have already done a couple of radio interviews, and responded to some press enquiries. And as of today I have started a round of live speaking engagements. Tonight I was one of three speakers at an evening event at the British Library, to a large and appreciative audience. I had a very enjoyable evening anyway, and I was very impressed with the smoothness of the BL's organization. The pre-show tea and biscuits were exceptionally good, too.

On Saturday I am the first speaker at a Census day conference at the Institute of Local and Family History at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston. After a short break in sunny (?) Manchester, on my first day back at work at The National Archives I give the Thursday afternoon talk on...the census. I have also just been informed that the transmission date of a BBC 2 programme 'This is Britain' with Andrew Marr will be next week, Friday 25 March. I shall be watching from behind the sofa, so that I can avoid the bits where I might be on-screen. I had a lot of fun doing the filming, and Andrew Marr was very nice, but the less I appear on screen the better, so I can enjoy the rest of the show. The filming took a morning, which in my limited experience means a few minutes of actual TV. It will make my mother happy, though.

This is all part of the lead in to the real thing, the 2011 Census on Sunday 27 March. Everything you want to know about this year's census, and probably quite a lot that you don't, is on the Office for National Statistics site, but David Schneider provides some more interesting answers. Alternatively, if you want to read an opinion piece of the census, try Charles Moore in the Daily Telegraph, described by the Press Association as 'irreverent', but it seems more like just plain old grumpy to me. 


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