Policemen's progress

Project update July 2012

By Jeff Cargill

Sketch of 'an old paste brooch in the form of a coronet'

Now that the conservation work has been ongoing for over six months I thought it would be a good idea to keep readers up to date with our progress. The project is proceeding well and many interesting stories are coming to light, hopefully these will form the basis of further articles. Although much of the work is very painstaking we are ahead of schedule. As the more severely damaged material comes into the studio this will inevitably redress the balance and slow the process down.


  • 34 of the volumes have been consolidated and repaired and are ready for listing.
  • Of the volumes that date from the First World War all 6 of those in HALS section of the collection and 8 of the 13 from the Bishops Stortford Museum section are included in the above total.
  • 3 volumes and 1 bundle of documents are currently undergoing treatment.
  • It has taken approximately 850hrs of interventive conservation time to date.

  Materials used so far:

  • 6 litres of consolidant solution (0.5% w/v Hydroxypropyl Cellulose in Industrial Denatured Alcohol).
  • 30 metres of heat sensitive adhesive coated tissue.
  • 120 Tschudi four flap folders
  • 5 archival manilla wallets

Our conservation volunteers have started to clean those parts of the collection that will require little or no interventive treatment. This involves brushing the bindings and each page with a soft brush to remove loose debris. If there is surface dirt which does not brush away dry chemical sponge is used to gently remove it. These sponges are made from special rubber foam which efficiently picks up the dirt while leaving no residue on the paper. This is very important as residues could degrade and further damage the documents. The volunteers have already found a sketch drawing of a lost brooch and a “Copy of letter” from Bromley Jones & Co Solicitors, Rhyl, Flintshire. The message states that Mr A O Lamplough “the well known Egyptian water colour artist” is being impersonated by a “certain man” who has been dealing in water colour paintings having adopted the artist’s name and “endeavoured to sell pictures represented to have been painted by our Client. Moreover the party in question has obtained goods in the name of our Client”. Messages book, Jun 1908 – Oct 1908   

Further updates and items of interest will be added in the near future.

This page was added on 22/08/2013.

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