Writer, history researcher, biographer

My first talk

Posted by Suze Appleton on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 Under: Elizabeth Raffald
Elizabeth Raffald - The Experienced English Housekeeper Of Manchester

The adventures with Elizabeth continue! I have given my first talk about her, although, typically I tripped myself up before it started. I had got on the tram to Manchester, where I was giving the talk, and it was only after I had got off at Central Library and walked a block or two that I remembered I had set out that morning with a carrier bag containing my folder of handouts and visual aids. Calamity! panic! What a start to a career of being a speaker! A quick call to Metrolink had my bag recovered in minutes, to be picked up from lost property at a later date. But now I had to start my talk without it. Fortunately I had the memory stick of slides in my handbag and most of the talk was ingrained on my memory, having lived and breathed this story for months. My audience declared it excellent and engaged with me in asking for more information, curious about certain details of her life. This I enjoyed as it sent me off on yet another track.

The following day I was back yet again to Manchester Central Library to see another link in the chain, a biography and family tree of Elizabeth, written in the late 90s by a woman I had never heard of and who was unknown to any search engine. When I saw the book I realised why. It looked like a handmade book, numbered 9 of 18, and contained a tree showing the link between Elizabeth and the writer of the book, and more descendants who would be alive today. They seem to be Yorkshire based so I feel a trip to York may be needed soon.

Another link has turned up unexpectedly, closer to home.you may need to read this bit slowly, it's a 6 degrees of separation type thing. My daughter mentioned to her boss the name Elizabeth Raffald and it turns out that the widow of the man who studied her for 20 years Is her aunty. Not only that but she lives in my area! I may have passed her in the street, or seen her at a local event, not knowing the link between us. I'm hoping to get the chance to meet her soon.

I also discovered another local link this week - it's been very spooky how things link up. Speaking to Gary at The Market Restaurant about putting on a Raffald supper to go with the talk he let slip that the previous owner of the restaurant used to live in my area - yet another woman I may have passed anonymously at the shops.
Was I fated to do this research about Elizabeth? Am I uniquely placed to tie all the loose ends together? I can't wait to find out what's next.
PS if you want to book a talk, contact me using the form on this website.

In : Elizabeth Raffald 


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