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Shropshire Archives reopens in a phased way from Wednesday 29 July

More Picken photographs

August 7, 20193:33 pmLeave a Comment

Our volunteer photograph cataloguer, Tony Price, has been doing more research on the wonderful Picken photographs. He writes…

Having met a descendant of the Picken/Cooper family, Jo Whitaker, I was able to put some names to photographs, and add more information and stories behind them.

In the last addition of the Friends of Shropshire Archives’ magazine Salopian Recorder (Summer 2019) the front piece picture was of the Picken family shop, (PH/B/34/80).

Picken family shop PH/B/34/80
Picken family shop PH/B/34/80

Jo suggested I read a piece in the Autumn 1968 edition of The Countryman, as it contained an article written by Joyce Gardiner – Ted Picken’s daughter. She was christened Nellie, but in later life she liked to be called Joyce.  Fortunately the Archives holds a copy (TE 64 v.f.) and reading the article gave me a greater knowledge of the picture in the Salopian Recorder.   

Bucknell was a centre for the picking of  whinberries (bilberries), which were collected by the women and children of the village, purchased by the Pickens and sold on to the dyeing industry in Manchester. The Picken family also purchased fruit of the fields – mushrooms, blackberries, hips etc. for selling on.  Hanging on the shop front are baskets that could have been used by whinberry pickers.  

Whinberry pickers at the side of the Picken family shop PH/B/34/64
Whinberry pickers at the side of the Picken family shop PH/B/34/64

We are working to make the Picken catalogue and photographs available online and hope to complete this by the end of the summer.

Written by sarahd

3 thoughts on “More Picken photographs”

  1. Ruth Lockley says:

    I’d be fascinated to see the outcome of this. My grandmother’s (Cole) family were from Bucknell for generations and she always spoke with great authority on the whinberry picking and made the most delicious whinberry pies each year. Her family were agricultural labourers, grooms and gardeners and her father later moved the family to Leintwardine.

    1. Sophie Francis says:

      I am interested in replicating the whinberrie picking basket, but i am not clear if there is one particluar type of basktet that was used in terms of weight. Would you have any knowledge of this? Thanks Sophie

      1. sarahd says:

        The other photograph we have which shows the baskets in more detail is:

        PH/C/27/8/1
        Clun School, Basket Dancers, 20th century

        It shows the baskets known as “Wiskets” reputed to be used to pick wimberries.

        On this image they do seem to be slightly different sizes.

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