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5Q With Mike Covell, Saturday May 1,2010

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  • 5Q With Mike Covell, Saturday May 1,2010

    The Faulty One kindly responded to a set of 5.
    Thanks very much Mike

    1....Which individual or individuals involved with the WM would you like to find
    out about to a greater degree, but because you live where you do you have less
    accessibility to files or data which would be of value to your work ?

    Robert D’Onston Stephenson and Frederick Bailey Deeming are two people that fascinate me, and not a day has gone by in the past 4 or 5 years where I have not thought about them, or some aspect of their lives. I am still researching both, and am still looking into other candidates that have links to Hull and have a wealth of unseen material on the likes of Frederick Richard Chapman, Lewis Carroll, Thomas Sadler, et al.

    I also have a massive folder on Inspector Thomas Roots and his work at the Criminal Investigations Department. I find him and his life fascinating and would love to discover more about him.

    I selected the people associated with Hull purely for geographical reasons, and because I could not afford to travel the length and width of Britain researching. I would love to be able to, but I can’t see it happening unless I win the lottery!

    2.....Which area of the Case ( doesn't matter if its a suspect or
    whatever) do you tend to steer clear of (if any) and gravitate towards more (again, if an) ?

    I read about all aspects of the case, but tend not to get involved in speculative work, opting instead to try and discover new and interesting snippets of information on suspects, victims, and surrounding characters. Whilst I think that theorising can help in certain aspects of the case, as a whole it doesn’t drive it on, and without real research we would still be stuck in a world shrouded in pea soup fog, Gladstone bags, and bloodthirsty toffs!

    3....What is the one find ( over the last two years ) that you or someone else
    has come up with that has been the most beneficial or even most encouraging to
    you in your research?

    Debs and the Pompadour Cosmetics material were astounding and really motivated me to dig a bit deeper and look for new leads. I am still struggling to discover a primary source that shows Stephenson worked at this company, but so far trade directories and the official files just have me banging my head against a wall!

    4.....Do you or do you not feel that the Ripper has been named in the
    literature...not necessarily as someone mentioned contemporaneously...but at
    some point in time?

    This is a good one. I would like to think that he has, but who knows.

    5. ....How much time do you estimate you spend per week researching online?
    How about in other ways, such as reading or re-reading materials?

    I spend between 4-6 hours a day conducting online research, on Ancestry, Find My Past, British Newspapers, Australian Newspapers, Google Books, British Medical Journal, and other sources.

    I also 8 hours a week at least at the Hull History Centre, some days looking through the archives, other days looking over BMD material, some days I can sit for hours with the Trade Directories, looking for people and locations. I can usually spend about 8 hours at the centre in one sitting, providing I take nibbles, and if Susan has more than one day off I occasionally visit twice a week.
    With Dad being ill and still fighting Cancer this changes depending upon his health, some days he is quite happy to potter around at home, and go for walks, other days I like to pop round and make sure he is ok. It’s fortunate that we all live so close to each other.
    That doesn’t include the hours I fit in between to type up findings, however; with the laptop I can sit in the History Centre and type as I find material.
    I am fortunate in that I have a large private collection of books, magazines, and newspaper articles, so I can pick stuff up and read it between doing other things. I can often be found reading in bed by torchlight whilst Susan is snoring!
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