Entries by David Plant

The National Air Raid Precautions for Animals Committee

The National Air Raid Precautions for Animals Committee (NARPAC) was formed in the Summer of 1939, one of a number of protection initiatives established by the Home Office at a time when war with Hitler’s Germany was becoming inevitable. The Committee was composed of representatives from the Home Office, the Ministry of Agriculture, the police, […]

The Unstoppable Connie Ford

In 1970 Connie Ford was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List in recognition of her long career in the study of disease and infertility in cattle. It was a just reward for her dedication to researching the relationship between animal health and environmental factors such as geology, water quality and mineral intake, as well as acknowledging her skills in communicating her theories. To Ford it may have also served as recognition of the struggles and prejudices she faced, especially in the early years of her career. […]

2023 in the Archives

It’s been a productive year in the archives, with a particular focus on adding more collections to our online catalogue. This involves sorting and listing archival documents, before creating online catalogue descriptions to aid discoverability. The documents are then rehoused in acid-free folders which assists their long-term preservation. This year’s biggest project was the archive of Connie Ford, an accomplished expert in cattle disease and fertility. Weighing in at some 350 items, Ford’s archive (pictured above) includes correspondence, notebooks and many published research papers created by herself and others. […]

No Foot, No Horse

This illustration comes from the book No Foot, No Horse by Jeremiah Bridges, first published in 1751 by J Brindley of New Bond Street, London. The illustration shows the locations of thirty-two common complaints suffered by the horse’s foot. These include disorders such as Sand Cracks, Channel-Nails and the horrendous sounding Loosened Hoof. It’s thought that with this publication Bridges became the first Englishman to fully describe the anatomy of the horse’s foot. Bridges is also believed to be the first to precisely define navicular syndrome, a disease of the navicular bone and surrounding soft tissue which could ultimately cause a horse to go lame. […]

Archival Arrivals

At the RCVS Archives we are always on the lookout for interesting documents to add to our collections. Recently we acquired two small but appealing archives, given to us by RCVS members. […]

James Best’s Advertisement

Misdeeds contrary to the 1881 Veterinary Surgeons Act came in many forms, from employing unqualified people to the mis-certification of sick horses. Similarly, the idea of advertising was seen as an ungentlemanly activity, as it was felt veterinary surgeons should rely on their skills and good reputation alone. […]