This week is a bit of a mouthful, C is for Cadogaddesden Gazette. But one that might resonate with families, and even work places, today, as we all strive to keep in touch during lockdowns.
The Cadogaddesden Gazette was a magazine created by some of the family members associated with Kiplin Hall. It ran from 1895 to 1909, created by the Talbot children to share news and entertainment with their extended family. The name was created by combining the names of their parent’s London house, 28 Cadogan Gardens, and their residence at the time, Little Gaddesden, Hertfordshire.
Miss Bridget Talbot and her siblings edited the magazine, other cousins, aunts and uncles contributed drawings, stories and poetry. News reports on major events such as the royal wedding were written, and they even included adverts to add authenticity to the publication.
In 1895, when the magazine started, Bridget would have been 11 years old. Bridget is remembered today as the last owner of Kiplin Hall, and a key figure in its history. She is credited with saving Kiplin for the nation. In 1971, after years of campaigning and numerous attempts to generate funding to repair the then dilapidated hall had failed, the house was close to demolition. However, Bridget created a charitable trust to care for the house and gardens following her death, laying the ground work for the museum that visitors enjoy today.
Even as a child it was clear Bridget was a force to be reckoned with. All family members were encouraged to send in items for the Editors to consider to be included in the Cadogaddesden Gazette, but there were strict rules to be observed. The Editors could accept or reject contributions, even those from the adults! Many of the contributors were artistically talented, including Bridget herself who, inspired by nature, often included many of her own drawings and paintings in the magazine. Bridget would ask that all artworks produced were marked as ‘original’ or ‘copied’, a natural editor! Bridget also gave strict instructions that all recipients should make comments on the magazine, and pass each issue on to the next recipient on the mailing list within two days of receiving it.
The magazine she and her family produced serves as a fascinating record of national news from that time, and an imaginative and amusing insight into the world and interests of Victorian children. Earlier copies of the magazine were simply bound collections of various creative works on paper. Later copies of The Cadogaddesden Gazette were reproduced using a printing process called a Hectograph using dye and gelatin.
Two or three editions of the magazine were produced per year for 14 years, and were always well received. Bridget honed her organisational skills over this time, skills that would serve her well all of her life. The magazine not only shows the imagination of the Talbot children and the family members, but the close-knit, supportive nature of the family, and the impact of the society they were exposed to.
Bridget’s life was explored in detail in an exhibition held at Kiplin Hall in 2019 and 2020, The Creative Life of Bridget Talbot. A book has also been written about her life ‘The Heart of Kiplin – Life of Bridget Talbot OBE 1885 – 1971’ by Kiplin volunteer Susan Lay. Although the exhibition is now over, the book is available to buy in the Kiplin Hall and Gardens gift shop. As you can imagine, a child with the nature of an editor in chief went on to have a remarkable life, achieving a great many things. The book is a fascinating read, telling “the story of a well-educated, well-travelled lady of strong views, great determination and kindness, social concern, creativity and compassion.” author, Susan Lay.
Here at Kiplin we’ve been following in Bridget’s footsteps during lockdown. Doing our best to keep spirits high sharing an ‘Inspirations’ newsletter within our team of staff and volunteers. Showing each other the inspiring and creative things individuals have been doing during lockdown. We imagine many families, and even workplaces, have been doing the same lately. Keeping in touch with the people we care about has never been more important.
Kiplin Hall and Gardens is currently closed due to the lockdown but we hope to open as soon as travel restrictions are lifted. Always check opening times online before making a visit during these uncertain times.
Many copies of the Cadogaddesden Gazette are in the collections of North Yorkshire Country Records Office (NYCRO), with some examples archived at Kiplin Hall. You can access digital collections from NYCRO online at HERE and you can read more about Miss Talbot in an NYCRO blog post HERE
You can also learn more about Bridget by watching this interview with Dawn Webster, who was curator at Kiplin for 18 years, from 2001 to 2019 by clicking HERE