The Diaper Heritage Association
Fisherman, Ferryman, Sailor, Spy - the Diapers of Itchen Ferry

The latest from the Diaper Heritage Association

News Newsletter
Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund


No 13 July 2007


After having a little break from all things Diaper, your committee have been gathering together all the statistics and evaluation material which have to be lodged with the Heritage Lottery Fund by the end of July. We thought you might be interested in some of the findings.


Website hits in 2006 108013

Website hits in 2007 22235 (to date)


Family tree individuals on file 7937

Total marriages 2392

Earliest linked Diaper in tree Robert Diaper who died in 1576 and has 5750 descendants.

Earliest Diaper in written records John Diaper, carter, active in the 1430s.

Unlinked Diapers in tree 2187 (branches in Wiltshire, London and Suffolk)

21 generations are listed in the tree and 1398 different surnames appear.


Museum attendances July 06 – March 07 - 33,235


Events - 1971 people attended the events programme, most found the information via the leaflet, followed by word of mouth. The vast majority of people rated the events as excellent, followed by good. No one rated any events as poor. The majority of visitors were from the Southampton region but also travelled from Portsmouth, Leicester, Guildford, Dorset, Dorchester and Bath. Overseas attendees also came from the USA, Canada, and Australia.

Oral History

The Oral History Project has gathered some fantastic memories of Itchen Ferry.  Some are personal and affecting – recalling the death of a relative or neighbour, the recollection of bombing raids or the trials of family life.  Others are rich in descriptive and technical detail – working at Thorneycrofts, and the Docks, crewing on racing yachts and fishing vessels.  Some are joyful recollections – of people trying  (and failing!) to jump onto the Floating Bridge once it was moving, and one interviewee described how it was her job, as a small child, to visit the ice-cream seller and run back over Peartree Green as fast as she could before it melted!  There are tales of the Itchen Ferry Regatta with its races and Greasy Pole, and the pubs and schools in the Itchen and Woolston area.  All the stories are an extremely valuable to the story of the Diaper family and provide detail and colour which enriches its history.  Many thanks go to those who have so far taken part in the project. 22 interviews have been completed and transcribed, 5 more interviews have taken place and are being transcribed, 3 interviews still to take place. Copies will be sent to all those interviewed and reference copies will be placed in the archives of the
Southampton Oral History unit.


All of the family tree volumes (I&II) are now sold out and only 1 CD remains. We now have enough orders to reprint a small number of volume 1, so if you have ordered this it will be with you in a few weeks, we can continue to order Vol I in batches of 12 until the end of Nov 2007. For Vol II we need to achieve 50 orders before the printers will reprint, so instead we are looking into costs of a composite DVD with upto date family tree information plus report book, however to run this 1GB of ram will be required to view the data. We have put together an index of individuals for the family tree book which is available at £6 including p&p and is available now, cheques made out to DHA and send to address at the bottom of the newsletter with your contact details.

We hope later in the year to put more genealogical information on the website. Reference copies will also be placed in the Southampton Archives, County Archives, Bitterne Local History Society and Southampton Library special collection, as part of our archiving process later this year. We still have copies of the Last Marquis which tells the history of Itchen ferry in the 19th century, £5 available from Angie.


Orders to Angie at


The family tree is still growing and we are still receiving new data, and we are now looking at other areas outside of Hampshire with the hope of linking up Diaper families from Wiltshire, Suffolk and even London. We are also looking at the earliest part of the family tree to see if we can tidy up some of the loose ends so we are looking into the early Diaper wills from Hampshire to see what other family information can be gained from them. We are still inputting photo’s of individuals, so if anyone has pictures that they wish us to add please forward to Julie Barker at

Trying to Find

Sandra Bray and Ron Farmer are trying to find a pair of Diaper Twins – now as those studying the family know we have plenty of those! - currently though we have no information on this particular pair: Kathleen & Ann Diaper who were born about 1950 and lived at Peartree Green. They went to St Patrick's Junior School and St George's Senior School and Sandra last saw them in the 1970s. Any one who might know the whereabouts of the twins please phone Sandra on 01677 424441 or Ron on 023 80 396 833 and of course let either Julie or Angie know so they can add the errant twins to the family tree.
(If you have any notices for the newsletter please send them in)

Future of DHA

Most of the feedback we have had is that people would like us to keep up the website and do occasional newsletters. We have extended the website rental for another year and certainly expect to produce at least two more newsletters as we tie up the main project and will also do a major upload of information on the website towards the end of the year when we have some spare time to put up a lot of the archive material we have collected over the last 2 years. We would suggest a modest annual subscription thereafter (£10 has been suggested) to cover the site rental cost. We will assess the situation after we have signed off the final accounts.


Publications – Angie at

Genealogy – Julie at

Website & newsletter – Cheryl at

Oral history – Anna at


Postal Address: DHA, 31 New Rd, Fair Oak, Nr Southampton SO50 8EN 023 80 60 2195