Local & Community

In the UK millions of people volunteer to support activities in their local area and communities. The preservation of historical places, artefacts and sites is a valuable part of that community volunteering, while the research and promotion of local history to the communities that it can affect is an important way of connecting people to history and to each other. In this section articles and information will be included on local history activities such as ‘Local History Month’, the activities and concerns of local history societies, and community action and engagement projects around particular aspects of history.

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  • 'How to' research local and family history

    Multipage Article

    An HA Podcasted Guide to researching local and family history featuring Dr Nick Barratt.

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  • A European dimension to local history

    Article

    Trevor James raises the prospect of broadening our approaches to local history to take a wider European perspective. When Professor W. G. Hoskins published his The Making of the English Landscape in 1955, he taught us how to observe and understand the topography of our landscapes, urban and rural, and...

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  • A year in the life of a branch coordinator

    Article

    Jenni Hyde takes us through an exciting year with the Bolton Branch and provides some great ideas for other branch secretaries.

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  • Bathing Beauties, Knobbly Knees and Music by the Sea: The Marina, Great Yarmouth 1937-1979

    Article

    Bathing Beauties, Knobbly Knees and Music by the Sea: The Marina, Great Yarmouth 1937-1979, Colin Miller, Poppyland Publishing, 2019, 134p, £10-95, ISBN 9781909796584. At one level this is a detailed chronicle of what happened in Great Yarmouth when the local council decided in the 1930s to develop an open-air music...

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  • Building St James's spire: Louth's guilds and popular piety in the later middle ages

    Article

    Medieval historian Dr Claire Kennan continued our Virtual Branch series with a local history talk on the building of St James's spire, Louth.  In her talk Kennan traces the important role that Louth's major guilds of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Holy Trinity played in the building of the St James’s spire. Throughout the...

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  • Churchyards

    Article

    Churchyards (Britain's Heritage series), Roger Bowdler, Amberley Publishing, 2019, 64p, £8-99. ISBN 9781445691114 This book is dedicated to the memory of Frederick Burgess, the author of English Churchyard Memorials (1963), from whom many of us learned to study and understand what we find in churchyards. This carefully developed study by...

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  • Croydon’s Tudor and Stuart inns

    Article

    Trevor James offers a case study in how to define and identify inns as part of the historic urban environment. Croydon’s Tudor and Stuart inns Croydon’s Tudor and Stuart inns had a remarkable and formative effect on its urban landscape, an effect which still endures into modern times. Topographers and...

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  • Disease and healthcare on the Isle of Man

    Article

    Caroline Smith provides a perspective, past and present, of the experiences of epidemics on the Isle of Man.  In recent times health has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Epidemics and pandemics are not new, but the Covid-19 outbreak is probably the first to have such a noticeable effect...

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  • Download Local History Month Posters

    Article

    Download this year's Local History Month Posters via the link at the bottom of the page. Everyone lives in an area of rich local heritage, even if they don’t know it yet. May is the time to investigate, explore and discover the history of the world immediately around you. Find...

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  • England's Immigrants 1330-1550

    Multipage Article

    An HA Podcast with Professor Mark Ormrod of the University of York looking at the research project England's Immigrants 1330-1550.  In this podcast Professor Ormrod explores the extensive archival evidence about the names, origins, occupations and households of a significant number of foreigners who chose to make their lives and livelihoods in...

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  • England's Past For Everyone

    Article

    England's Past for Everyone was a local history project run by the Victoria County History. Volunteers throughout the country worked alongside authors and researchers to produce a whole range of new resources. From a series of books to learning resources for schools, it sought to bring local history to life.  The EPE project was...

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  • Exploring local sources

    Article

    Tim Lomas was correct when he said, in his article in the Summer 2019 edition of The Historian, that historians can see much more in medieval documents than the scribes intended.  Lay manors in Bedfordshire are a good example. Eggington manor, in the south-west, was part of a larger estate and held...

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  • Family and Personal History

    Article

    If you are interested in researching your family and personal history there are a number of very good sites online that can give you guidance. 1. BBC Family History The BBC Family History site is a great place to start if you want to research your family history: The Basics...

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  • Film: Veteran Mervyn Kersh Talks about his experience of World War II

    Multipage Article

    Mervyn Kersh was a young man from South London whose army service included arriving into Normandy in the first few days of the invasion, crossing the Rhine and being a British Jewish serviceman in Germany when the war ended. In this film released to commemorate VE Day Mervyn describes his...

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  • George Eliot and Warwickshire history

    Article

    David Paterson explains how George Eliot’s vivid memory of her childhood in north Warwickshire is revealed through her novels. George Eliot, born 200 years ago this year, is one of our greatest novelists, born and brought up in Warwickshire, a county in which she spent the first 30 years of...

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  • Good Evening Sweetheart

    Article

    The talk given by Sue and Pete Mowforth to the Glasgow Branch, reading from a selection of their parents’ war-time letters, resulted in a flurry of media interest from the national press and radio, including an appearance on the BBC’s The One Show in February 2017. Olga and Cyril Mowforth married in June...

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  • Havelock Hall: the East India Company college gymnasium at Addiscombe

    Article

    Trevor James emphasises the importance of this structure in England’s sporting landscape. Tucked behind the houses in Havelock Road in the East Croydon suburb of Addiscombe is a seemingly unprepossessing building, known locally as ‘Havelock Hall’. Now converted into flats, it derives its name from its late nineteenth-century religious use,...

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  • Homes fit for heroes? James Cecil and the public interest

    Article

    Hugh Gault reminds us that the provision of adequate and price-accessible housing stock has been a matter of public debate and concern for over a hundred years. Economics and financial priorities have continued to undermine the methodologies and good intentions needed to solve the problem. This year is the hundredth...

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  • Local History Online

    Article

    Local History Online is a useful resource to find out about local history societies in your area. It has an extensive directory of local societies which has direct links to over 650 society websites and contact details for an additional 560 societies, as well as links to local speakers and...

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  • Local and Community History Month

    Article

    The aim of the month is to increase awareness of local history, promote history in general to the local community and encourage all members of the community to participate. Activities happen across the UK and include trips, library exhibitions and local lectures. It is a great way for groups to...

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