If you have an ancestor who worked in the telecommunication industry then this new online digital archive will be of interest. It is a joint venture by BT, Coventry University and The National Archives to bring together more then half a million images, letters and other documents dating back to 1846.
I put the surname Roberts into their quick search and it came up with 271 references, I chose an entry that looks interesting and this information came up……………
Claim for wayleave payment by W T H Roberts of Birling, Kent
Finding Number POST 30/1042C
Extent 1 folder
Creator Name Post Office registry
Admin History W T H Roberts made a complaint that a line of telegraph poles passed through his private property. He claimed for wayleave payment. The case was also known as the Pilgrim’s Way case.
Description Papers relating to a claim for wayleave payment by W T H Roberts of Birling, Kent including correspondence with Roberts; plan showing the route of line; sketches showing the poles; and consents by the Malling Rural District Council and the District Council for the Rural District of Strood, Kent for the construction and maintenance by the Post Office of a line of telegraphs at the side of the road between Birling post office and the Black Boy Public House, Upper Halling via Standgate Road and Old Pilgrim Road. Former file reference E 18469/1903.
Fascinating document if you have the Roberts family of Birling on your family tree.
The image collection looks to be a real asset if your family worked in the early days of telegraph whether it was laying cables to working at the Post Office.