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Stories and Articles

Both the Birds and the Childs were Co-operaters and Theosophists with all that the movements stood for. It is remembered that Dorothy was president of the Women's Guild. The family were all musical and mostly played with their bands in Co-operative halls in and around Torquay.

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Advertisements 1927

Advertisements 1927

The Bird family playing in a Co-op Hall Torquay

The Bird family playing in a Co-op Hall Torquay

The Co-op in Italy

The Co-op in Italy

The Mazurian Connection

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Eastern European Names

In Poland and most of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth the surnames first appeared in late Middle Ages. Initially their purpose was to denote the differences between various people living in the same town or village and bearing the same name. Initially the surnames used were simple nouns denoting the occupation (Karczmarz - Innkeeper, Kowal - Blacksmith, Bednarczyk - Young Cooper), descent (patronymic names like Szczepaniak - Son of Szczepan, Józefski - Son of Józef or Kazmirkiewicz - Son of Kazimierz) or a feature (Nowak - the new one, Bialy - the pale one, Mazur the one from Masovia or Wielgus - the big one).
Since the early 16th century geographical names became common, especially among the szlachta. Initially the surnames were in a form of Jan z Kolna (meaning John of Kolno), later most of the surnames were changed to adjective forms (Jakub Wislicki - James of Wisla, Zbigniew Olesnicki - Zbigniew of Olesnica) with suffixes -ski, -cki and -dzki.
A separate class of surnames is constituted by names derived of the names of szlachtas coats of arms. These are used either as separate names or the first part of a double-barrelled name. This way persons named Jan Nieczuja and Krzysztof Nieczuja-Machocki might be related. Similarly, after World War I and World War II many members of the underground organizations adopted their war-time pseudonyms as the first part of their surnames. This way Edward Rydz became the later Marshal of Poland Edward Smigly-Rydz and Jan Nowak became Jan Nowak-Jezioranski.

Name Change

Changing your name:
· Under English Common Law, one could change one's name at any time, as long as the intent was not to hide from the law. In order to change your name, you only had to start using a new name. Everything else is merely to prove the name change has taken place. This is generally true in most former colonies, as well.
· A Deed of Change of Name (the official name for what is commonly known as "Deed Poll" is a legal contract in which one binds oneself to using the new name.
· Other types of evidence of a change of name: A letter from a responsible person such as a priest, doctor, member of parliament etc.; Public announcement such as an advertisement in a newspaper; A statutory declaration.
· It is not unusual for immigrants to change their name. American immigrants from a country like Poland might Anglicize their surname. Sometimes husbands would take the wife's surname, particularly if inheritance might be an issue. And, at least in America, one can change one's name when becoming a citizen. Men who had abandoned their family would often settle under a new name. Religion sometimes caused family splits and one side would take on a different spelling or whole new surname.

Gas Works

Nine Elms Gas Works

The presumed place of work of Alexander Powell Mazasitisz who lived a few streets away

Practical use of gas was first demonstrated by William Murdock 1792. He developed production techniques, which made commercial use practicable by 1802. In 1814 coal gas was first used for street lighting in Westminster to help prevent crime. The first gas street lamps used a simple (non-aerated) jet, which gave a poor light and were very smoky. Aerated Burners, which were brighter, were introduced in the 1840s. But it was only in 1885 that Auer's incandescent gas-mantle was patented which produced a brighter light. (Welsbach, Frederick Carl Auer, Baron von Welsbach [1858-1929] had discovered that a finely woven mesh, impregnated with the two rare earth elements when heated in a gas flame would glow white hot so giving a very much brighter whiter light than just using a gas jet alone.)
There were gasworks at Nine Elms near to the Battersea Power Station site. In 1837 the coal yard at the gas works was one of the first structures in the world to make use of use H.R. Palmer's corrugated iron sheet roofing. The coal yard was probably an open-sided with a barrel-vaulted roof of curved corrugated iron sheets riveter together with additional tie rods for lateral stability.