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Copying the Maps and transcribing the Schedules

In undertaking the project, the Badsey Society's first task was to obtain permission to take copies of the maps. The Aldington map dates back to 1807 when a map was drawn up after a private Act of Parliament was passed to enclose the lands in the parish. Five years later, in 1812, a similar Enclosure Act was passed for Badsey. The original maps have been well preserved but are large and unwieldy and inaccessible to many. The Badsey map is in the library of Christ Church, Oxford (the Patrons of the parish), whilst the Aldington map is in the Worcestershire Record Office.

Having gained the necessary permissions, the Society then paid for a professional company, HEDS (Higher Education Digitisation Services), to scan the maps. This took place at the end of January when the maps and the accompanying Award Schedules were taken to a laboratory at the University of Central England in Birmingham to be scanned. HEDS then prepared computer images of the maps and schedules, which will be used by Worcestershire Historic Environment & Archaeological Service to digitise the maps. The pictures featured here were taken on 25th January 2005 when the Aldington map and schedules were scanned. Archivist Michele Meller can be seen studying the final page of the book into which the map is bound. This is the page on which the Commissioners and the major landowners signed and affixed their seals.

The map was then placed on an A1 scanner. Lee Jones, who conducted the scanning, refines the image on his computer screen prior to scanning. In addition to computer images, HEDS also produced full-size copies of the Award Schedules to make it easier for transcribing the documents. Following an appeal for volunteers, 18 people volunteered to assist. The Schedules list in detail every single landowner in Badsey and Aldington, together with the amount of land they owned. Information from the very wordy documents will be presented in tabular form and sent to Worcestershire Historic Environment & Archaeological Service as an Excel spreadsheet, in order for them to assist them in the digitising of the maps.

Maureen Spinks held training sessions for the volunteers. Irene Grose-Hodge holds an actual-size Award Schedule which the transcribers will be working from. Meanwhile, Camilla Watkins and David Pawlyn take a closer look at what they will be working from.

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