Dear Family and Friends,
We have an interesting journey from home to The National Archives (TNA), the new location of the London Family History Centre. We take the bus to Earl’s Court Tube Station and then take the tube to the village of Kew, Surrey, England. Kew is in Richmond upon Thames, a borough of Greater London south of the River Thames. It is also home to Kew Gardens, the largest collection of plants in the world. Leaving the station we walk several blocks through Kew until we reach the TNA. I love this town.
It makes me feel like I’m in a story book.
Since we’re leaving earlier in the day and because school has now started in England, we see school children in their school uniforms walking down the streets and on the buses and tubes. The uniforms are very nice. The secondary school boys wear dress pants, ties and blazers in various colors and patterns. The girls wears skirts, tights and blazers or sweater's. I saw several elementary aged children in Kew with red jackets and red hats. One little girl had on grey knee socks. a grey pleated skirt, a red blazer and a grey felt hat with a red ribbon tied around it.
The London Family History Centre at Kew
On 13 September 2011, The London Family History Centre opened at The National Archives (TNA). The facilities are beautiful. There are 4 staff desks with computers on the floor and 2 desks with computers in the staff room. The patron computers and microfilm readers are on the first floor overlooking the pond. There are a 23 patron computers and 27 microfilm readers.
The attendance on the opening day was 46 including many of the patrons that came to the Hyde Park building. Wednesday there were 32 patrons, 72 on Thursday, 62 on Friday and 38 on Saturday. When our regulars show up they always have big smiles and say, “I’ve found you!” And they bring treats.
We will be working at TNA with Elder and Sister Robertson. Elder and Sister Sprouse, the mission employment couple have volunteered to help a couple times per week. Our look is a bit different from the Hyde Park Facility. TNA has ask that we wear blue FamilySearch shirts so the patrons can tell the difference between their employees and our Family History Centre staff. At first I was not at all excited about wearing the blue shirt every day for 7 months but we have so many employees of TNA come up and talk with us “Mormons” that I can see the value in doing so.
Visitors From Home
Last Wednesday morning we went out to Heathrow to collect Andrew and Amy.They were a long time coming through customs so by the time they walked through the gate we were extremely excited to see them. Andrew and Amy lived in Glasgow, Scotland with their 2 sons before their twins were born so they were excited to get back to visit the UK and see all the sights that were difficult to see with 2 small boys in tow. We were able to spend a couple of evenings and all day Sunday and Monday with them.
It was hard on to say goodbye on Wednesday. We walked to the bus stop with them and they went on to South Kensington Station to take the Piccadilly line to Heathrow and we went on to Earl’s Court Station to catch the District line to Kew.
This week we not only saw family from home but were also able to meet up with our next door neighbors, Joel and Annette Nielsen who are vacationing in London. We had dinner with them and the friends they are traveling with. We always seem to be meeting up with the Nielsen's in London!
This morning as we opened our messages from home, we had a good laugh when we read one from Megan about a conversation she had with Nick, age 12. Here’s what it said:
Megan, “Nick, London is capitalized because it is the name of a city.” Nick: “I know, I only do that at school though.”
These messages from home make us smile.
Our best to all of you!
Love, Elder and Sister Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)
PS Andrew and Amy, thank you for coming to see us!