Posted on

The Ghanaian travels of Stephen Buckland

Hello again! As my fourth week at the Archive is beginning, I am starting to compile a series of gems to show everyone hopefully in the very near future. As I first suspected, it certainly was not difficult to find gems in the vast number of collections here, and I’m so excited to help work on bringing them to the public eye.

Poster Image

Besides gem hunting I have also looked further into the Stephen Buckland collection, including two incredibly detailed diaries he wrote during his time in Ghana (pictured above). Buckland noted all the fine details of the mills he visited, including little sketches of various pieces of machinery and notes on measurements for whatever he found of interest. It was a real privilege to uncover the quirky personality of a man who is such a well-known and highly regarded figure in the mill world. Aside from the diaries, the drawings he clearly spent hours perfecting, and the letters he sent airing his thoughts on an array of subjects (whether this was done politely or not is questionable!), all make for a fascinating read.

Mildred also allowed myself and the other intern Hannah, whose first blog you’ll likely have already read, a look at a small sample of her own collection that she brought in from home. This ranged from small notebooks filled with beautiful sketches and watercolours of mills around the world – all drawn by Mildred herself – to old decorated snuff boxes.

One of my personal favourites was a drawing of English prisoners being forced to walk the treadmill as punishment, or simply just to give them something to do. This exercise was widely detested by the inmates, who would often deliberately injure themselves to try and get out of doing it! It was lovely to see a bit more of Mildred’s collection, however we were warned that it was only a fraction of her work, so I can only imagine what else is stored away!